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StoryCorps Mobile Tour To Visit The San Joaquin Valley In 2020

StoryCorps trailer
Ryan Dorgan
The StoryCorps Mobile Tour will visit the San Joaquin Valley with a stop in Fresno from February 12 - March 20, 2020

UPDATE 3/11/20: Out of an abundance of caution due to the Coronavirus situation, the StoryCorps San Joaquin listening event previously scheduled for March 19, 2020 has been cancelled, and will be rescheduled to a new date later in the year. 

Valley Public Radio is proud to partner with the groundbreaking personal history project StoryCorps, which will visit California’s San Joaquin Valley in 2020. The StoryCorps MobileBooth – an Airstream trailer converted into a mobile recording studio will be in Fresno from February 12, 2020 through March 20, 2020, located the Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) in downtown Fresno.

Online sign-ups for recording appointments in Fresno will be released on January 29, 2020.

The tour will offer Americans the simple yet singular opportunity to record meaningful conversations about their lives, to be preserved for posterity in the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. This trip will mark the 15th anniversary year of the Mobile Tour, which was launched in 2005 with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and has since facilitated tens of thousands of conversations between people who know and care about one another. 

The Mobile Tour is central to StoryCorps’ aspiration to become an enduring institution that touches the life of every American; it provides the StoryCorps experience to individuals who may not have access to the permanent StoryBooths in Chicago and Atlanta, or even to the groundbreaking free StoryCorps mobile app, launched in 2015. StoryCorps creates comfort and intimacy for its interviews, with a trained facilitator guiding participants through the process. After each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a link to download their interview, and a copy is archived at the Library of Congress. 

“By preserving the conversations of everyday Americans in towns and cities across the United States, we are working to create a culture of listening, and to remind the nation that everyone's story matters,” said Dave Isay, Founder and President of StoryCorps.

StoryCorps San Joaquin
Valley Public Radio is pleased to partner with StoryCorps to support the local visit. Following the conclusion of the StoryCorps Mobile Tour's San Joaquin Valley stop, Valley Public Radio will produce a new broadcast and digital series "StoryCorps San Joaquin" that will feature highlights from the interviews recorded here in the Valley, airing both on FM89 and as a podcast. 

“Every year, the StoryCorps Mobile Tour visits just a handful of communities. For StoryCorps to pick the San Joaquin Valley, and to partner with Valley Public Radio, is a great opportunity to share our local stories with the rest of the nation, and each other,” said Joe Moore, the station’s President and General Manager.

"We are especially grateful for the support of our sponsor The Kharazi Foundation for helping to make the visit and the StoryCorps San Joaquin project possible," says Moore. "We think our listeners will be thrilled to hear their stories told to a larger audience." 

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is the Founding Partner of the StoryCorps Mobile Tour. CPB’s support has enabled the StoryCorps MobileBooth to visit over 160 towns and cities nationwide since 2005.

In each city on the tour, StoryCorps will partner with the local public radio station, which will air a selection of the interviews recorded and, in many cases, create special programs around the project. StoryCorps may also share edited versions of select interviews collected throughout the tour via its NPR broadcasts, podcast, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books.

StoryCorps gives people of various and often multiple backgrounds the rare opportunity to sit down and listen to one another, and have that experience recorded into collective American memory. Participants have come to total over 500,000 since StoryCorps’ founding in 2003, making it both the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered and a priceless repository of wisdom for future generations.

StoryCorps participants
Credit Ryan Dorgan

About StoryCorps

StoryCorps is especially committed to capturing and amplifying voices least heard in the media. The StoryCorps MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer the organization has transformed into a traveling recording booth, crisscrosses the country year-round in order to gather the stories of people nationwide. With the 2015 TED Prize awarded to Dave Isay, StoryCorps launched a free mobile app that puts the StoryCorps experience entirely in the hands of users and enables anyone, anywhere to record meaningful conversations with another person and upload the audio to the Library of Congress. StoryCorps also records interviews in its permanent StoryBooths located in Chicago and Atlanta.

Recording an interview in a StoryCorps booth couldn’t be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you choose, to a StoryCorps recording site. There you’re met by a trained facilitator who explains the interview process, brings you into a quiet recording room and seats you across from your interview partner, each of you in front of a microphone. The facilitator hits “record,” and you share a 40-minute conversation. At the end of the session, you walk away with a copy of the interview, and a digital file goes to the Library of Congress, where it will be preserved for generations to come.


StoryCorps is working to grow into an enduring national institution that fosters a culture of listening in the United States; celebrates the dignity, power and grace that can be heard in the stories we find all around us; and helps us recognize that every life and every story matter equally. In the coming years StoryCorps hopes to touch the lives of every American family.

Support for the StoryCorps visit to the San Joaquin Valley comes from The Kharazi Foundation and from Assemi Real Estate. 


StoryCorps Mobile Tour 2020

January 5 – February 6 - Santa Monica, CA - KCRW

February 12 – March 20 - San Joaquin Valley, CA- Valley Public Radio

March 25 – April 24 - Salt Lake City, UT - KUER

April 29 – May 29 - Boise, ID - Boise State Public Radio

June 3 – July 3 - Missoula, MT - Montana Public Radio

July 8 – August 7 - Lewiston, ID/Clarkston, WA - Northwest Public Broadcasting

August 12 – September 11 - Bay Area, CA - KQED

September 16 – October 23 - Las Vegas, NV - Nevada Public Radio

October 28 – November 25 - Amarillo, TX - High Plains Public Radio

December 2 – December 21 - Marfa, TX - Marfa Public Radio