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StoryCorps mobile studio in Corpus Christi

Solomon Ortiz and his son, Solomon Ortiz Jr., both of Corpus Christi, record a conversation with StoryCorps, an organization that preserves recordings of people’s stories in the Library of Congress. Photo courtesy of Minority Advancement Project of Texas

The voices of Corpus Christi soon will be part of the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered. The StoryCorps studio on wheels will be recording local stories through Dec. 18. Those stories will be archived in the Library of Congress. Some might even end up as an NPR broadcast or on a weekly podcast.

StoryCorps was founded by Dave Isay in 2003. So far, more than 450,000 Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs from all 50 states and Puerto Rico have recorded stories of their lives. The recordings are not interviews. Rather, two people with some connection sit down together and talk about a shared experience.

Participants share their wisdom and values with each other, often revealing a part of their lives for the very first time. These stories can range from war experiences to memories of growing up in the Coastal Bend to struggles during and after Hurricane Harvey.

The program’s mobile booth stopped in Corpus Christi on Nov. 16 as part of its nationwide tour. The Airstream trailer that houses the StoryCorps recording studio is currently parked at KEDT Studios at 3205 S. Staples St. on the Del Mar College campus.

A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides people through the process. Each recording session is 40 minutes long, and each participant receives a recording of the interview. If used on air, the session is usually trimmed down to just a few minutes of highlights.

Two recent participants were former U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz and his son, Solomon Ortiz Jr. They posted about their experience on the Minority Advancement Project of Texas Facebook page.

Anyone wishing to participate should call 800-850-4406 or visit StoryCorps.org to make a reservation. Follow StoryCorps on Facebook to keep up with the latest recordings and stops on the tour.

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