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StoryCorps visits Salt Lake City



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Parked on the east side of the City and County Building in downtown Salt Lake is a silver Airstream trailer. Inside, a small recording studio with two microphones set up on a simple table.

"Two participants, who know one another in some way, friends or family members, come in and sit across from each other and make their recording," explained Anna Walters, with StoryCorps.

StoryCorps is an independent, nonprofit project, in partnership with National Public Radio and the Library of Congress. It began in 2003.

"Our archive now has 25,000 stories in it that we've recorded, and the majority of that has come from our mobile tour, recorded in one of our mobile booths like this," said StoryCorps' Whitney Henry-Lester.

For the next six weeks, StoryCorps producers will hear from more than 300 Utahns. The mobile recording booth will be open five days a week; the recording sessions lasting for about 40 minutes.

"The project helps us to learn about who we are: our past, our present and about our aspirations for the future. And when we listen, we are learning," said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

Bookstore owner Ken Sanders, a longtime friend Scott Carrier, kicked off the Utah recording sessions. He says he likes the idea of preserving oral history and believes Utahns will have a lot to offer.

"Out of doing this kind of number, I'd have to think you'd have to find a number of astonishing stories," Sanders said.

"It's whatever they want to talk about, and the time is theirs to do with as they wish," Henry-Lester said.

The producers say they've heard incredible, inspiring stories in every state they've recorded and they expect to hear even more while they're here.

The StoryCorps features air every Friday morning, on NPR's "Morning Edition." If you would like to make a reservation to record your story, you can visit the StoryCorps Web site, www.storycorps.net, or call 1-800-850-4406.

E-mail: kmccord@ksl.com

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Keith McCord

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