As you may know, National Public Radio airs a weekly series called StoryCorps. StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 participants. Each conversation is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to their weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. Many local stations (such as WABE in Atlanta) air stories from their areas each week as well.
Atlanta is the home of one of four permanent studios in the U.S, and I have been discussing the possibility of recording some oral history of the AGMC with founding artistic director Jeffrey McIntyre for some time now. Since our upcoming concert, Singing Out Proud celebrates the birth of the AGMC in 1981, it became clear to both of us that now was the time to do this. I cannot express what a wonderful experience it was. The 40-minute conversation that Jeffrey and I had is something I will cherish forever. (Recordings can be heard online at StoryCorps.org, and some are selected for national or local airing, usually shortened to about 2 minutes.)
Jeffrey and I wanted to share some of our conversation from the blog, however, and so we’ve uploaded this 10-minute excerpt. I believe it encapsulates our conversation quite well. If you are not familiar with StoryCorps, visit their website and learn more about how you can become involved in this important preservation of history. We hope you enjoy the conversation and that you’ll consider telling your own story.
Recorded by Jeffrey McIntyre and Kevin Robison on June 13, 2013 at the Atlanta History Center. (Music: Lux aurumque by Eric Whitacre, recorded by the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus in December of 2012.)
Kevin Robison, Artistic Director