January 16, 2013

Chicago Cultural Center To Provide Permanent Home To StoryCorps Beginning This Spring

National Nonprofit Oral History Project will Launch “StoryCorps Chicago” Giving Chicagoans the Opportunity to Tell Their Stories

DCASE    312.744.3316

StoryCorps Press Desk    646.723.7020 ext. 75

The already storied history of the Chicago Cultural Center is about to be even greater.  StoryCorps, the national nonprofit oral history organization, will launch a new program, StoryCorps Chicago, at the Chicago Cultural Center, (78 E. Washington) this spring.

In partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and Chicago Public Media, StoryCorps Chicago will provide the opportunity for anyone to record an interview with a loved one.

“Chicago is such a vibrant, multi-cultural city,” said Michelle T. Boone, DCASE Commissioner.  “We have no doubt there is an abundance of fascinating stories that can be shared by our citizens, and even the hundreds of thousands of visitors we welcome annually.  This program will capture, record and share the personal reflections of family, love, immigration and courage and preserve them for always.”

StoryCorps Chicago will partner with a wide array of local organizations and institutions to ensure that every Chicagoan has the opportunity to share their story.  Dynamic public events presented throughout the year will celebrate the diverse communities that constitute the richness of our city.  StoryCorps Chicago will also have its own local series airing on WBEZ 91.5, featuring stories collected through the project.

StoryCorps Chicago will feature an exhibition area that will allow visitors to listen to StoryCorps stories and watch a selection of StoryCorps Animated Shorts, as well as learn more about how to participate in a StoryCorps interview.

“The idea behind StoryCorps was in many ways born in Chicago, and we are thrilled to launch our Midwest hub at the Chicago Cultural Center,” says Dave Isay, StoryCorps Founder.  “StoryCorps is excited to give Chicagoland the chance to record their stories for American history, and to deliver our services to this great city for many years to come."

"WBEZ and Dave Isay have a long history, dating back to the groundbreaking production of Ghetto Life 101,” says Torey Malatia, president & CEO, Chicago Public Media.  “Our partnership to achieve

the long-standing goal of placing a permanent StoryCorps booth in Chicago is driven by a shared belief that we are all equal when we tell our stories.  Our stories are a window into both our

individuality and the larger human experience. StoryCorps has proven to be wonderful resource for sparking personal conversations that have the capacity to impact us all. We're very pleased to have to opportunity to bring more of StoryCorps to residents of our region." 

Recordings will take place on Thursdays, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Reservations will open in the spring.  Exhibit hours will be the same as the Chicago Cultural Center hours. (www.chicagoculturalcenter.org.)

Design review and other preparations for the StoryCorps installation have begun, and construction is scheduled to begin in the spring. StoryCorps Chicago will be located on the Michigan Avenue side of the building, just east of the Randolph Street Café and adjacent to the Michigan Avenue Galleries which currently feature an exhibit by local artist Claire Ashley entitled “frizzflopsqueezepop”.  The future site of StoryCorps Chicago most recently hosted a temporary exhibit-related program associated with Industry of the Ordinary: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi: the “small ordinary shop”, which featured the works of local artisans.

Major funding for StoryCorps is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional support provided by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  Local funding for StoryCorps Chicago comes from The Joyce Foundation, The Boeing Corporation, Polk Bros Foundation, and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation.

StoryCorps Chicago is the latest programming addition to the Chicago Cultural Center which now includes a weekly DJ series called “Wired Fridays”, a bi-monthly happening for the stroller set called “Juicebox” and reinvigorated theater and dance programs.

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About StoryCorps

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, preserve, and share their stories. Each week, millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. StoryCorps has published three books: All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps, Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps and Listening Is an Act of Love —all of which are New York Times best sellers. For more information, or to listen to stories online, visit storycorps.org. Major funding for StoryCorps is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional support provided by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.



The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.


About WBEZ 91.5FM

One of the country’s premiere public radio stations, WBEZ 91.5FM is operated by Chicago Public Media, an institution that creates award-winning content for people seeking to learn more about the issues and ideas that affect our community, our nation, and our world. Chicago Public Media produces programs such as This American Life, Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me! (a co-production with NPR), Sound Opinions, The Morning Shift, The Afternoon Shift, Worldview, and Radio M. Chicago Public Media also operates Vocalo 89.5 FM, a next generation service that seeks to expand the reach of public media.  For more information, visit www.wbez.org.

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