• Theresa Kosen

The New Children's Museum Hosts StoryCorps Interviews

There are hundreds of examples of how San Diego’s diverse and interconnected arts and culture community inspires, educates, and entertains visitors and San Diegans all year round. There is more happening in your community than you know. Finding these stories of collaboration and sharing them is like being on a never-ending treasure hunt.

Recently The New Children's Museum received a three-day visit from StoryCorps to record memories and stories from its community members about their experiences with the Museum. This opportunity to capture its legacy was a benefit from the Museum’s 2019 award of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories. Since its founding in 2003, StoryCorps has given over 100,000 people in all 50 states the chance to record interviews about their lives, leaving a legacy for future generations. StoryCorps archives the interviews online and publishes some in radio episodes, podcasts, and books.

“It was such a great experience to work with StoryCorps and be part of the largest collection of oral histories in the world,” said Kerri Fox, VP Marketing and Communications, who coordinated with StoryCorps over the past few months.

StoryCorps recorded 14 interviews at The New Children's Museum January 21 – 23. Each interview was a 40-minute conversation between two people who reflected on how the Museum – and its emphasis on creativity – has impacted their lives and the community. The 28 interview participants represented various periods of the Museum’s rich 36+ year history in San Diego, including one of the museum founders from the 1980s, multiple artists who have created installations in the Museum, leaders of community organizations that have partnered with the Museum, Board members, elected officials and arts leaders including City of San Diego Arts Commissioner Keith Opstad and his wife, Erica.

“The conversations that came out through the interviews were touching and meaningful. We can’t wait until they are archived and available for the community to hear,” Fox added.

Within the next couple of months, the interviews will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (and accessible online). A very small percentage of all StoryCorps interviews are produced for national broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition.

The Museum was announced as a National Medal winner in April 2019. It was one of only 5 museums chosen – and the only children’s museum. Barona Cultural Center and Museum in Lakeside was another winner. This has led to collaboration plans between the two award winners in 2020 – the topic for another blog post!

This is our cultural ecosystem in action … organizations of various sizes and budgets, supporting each other, sharing resources, nurturing talent and increasing access and economic impact in San Diego.

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