On late evenings, when I am working on future projects or watching the news on my local public broadcasting station, sometimes there are a few minutes between the end of one program and the beginning of another. During those moments, short documentaries, usually animated, pop up — and for a short time I am intrigued by the stories they tell.
The animations that I see are stories of everyday people living all over the united states. The stories are of diverse world-views and perspectives, of events that we all can relate to because we are human and because we are storytellers by nature. These animations are created by StoryCorps — an organization committed to collecting, sharing, and preserving people’s stories. Their mission is to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.”
While many of their stories are beautifully crafted in an animation, most of them, if not all, first appear in a weekly broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR). Since 2003, StoryCorps has touched the lives of more than a quarter million people and has instrumentally improved many individual’s understanding of another’s world-view and life perspective.* This is the ultimate power of storytelling.
“StoryCorps is built on an uncompromising commitment to excellence throughout the organization that includes an intense focus on the collecting, sharing, and preserving of people’s stories; high-quality organizational management; and the care and support of an extraordinary work environment where respect and dignity are paramount.” StoryCorps
To date, StoryCorps has published 6 books, all with beautiful titles that illustrate on their own the power of togetherness and storytelling.
2007 | First book, Listening Is An Act Of Love (including first animation)
2010 | Second Book, Mom: A Celebration Of Mothers From StoryCorps
2012 | Third Book, All There Is: Love Stories From StoryCorps
2013 | Fourth Book, Ties That Bind: Stories Of Love And Gratitude From The First Ten Years Of StoryCorps
2016 | Fifth Book, Callings: The Purpose And Passion Of Work
What I am most familiar with are the animations — true works of art in their own right that are powerful, moving, and inspirational. If there were any doubts about what the power of storytelling can do, or if there were any doubts about the purpose of the arts, they will all be left behind once you take the time to view, honor, and listen to these stories. | Animations
No More Questions!
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An Introduction To StoryCorps
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Animation videos and screenshot images from the StoryCorps website. Book image from Amazon.
*StoryCorps Performance & Impact