StoryCorps New Orleans

StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs, will record interviews in New Orleans from March 12 to April 8 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour.

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth — an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio — will be parked at Doerr Furniture, 914 Elysian Fields Avenue at Burgundy Street in New Orleans. Reservations for recording will be available beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 26, and can be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406, or by visiting storycorps.org. Additional recording appointments will be available beginning March 16.

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides participants through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary CD copy of their interview. With participant permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear. 

The 2010 edition of StoryCorps New Orleans, archived here, was selected and produced by WWNO producer Eileen Fleming, with support from the WWNO Productions Fund and from Villere & Co., managing the investments of New Orleans' families for almost 100 years.

StoryCorps

Inside soundproof booths across the country, friends and loved ones are interviewing each other about their lives. The booths belong to StoryCorps, a project that collects the stories of everyday people in order to create an oral history of America.

StoryCorps

Conversation by conversation, interview by interview, StoryCorps collects the stories and voices of our time. This week, Littdell “Queen B” Banister and Mary Jones give us a snapshot into the lives of the Mardi Gras Indians, where personal pride is sewn into every stitch of their annual suits.

StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs, will record interviews in New Orleans from March 12 to April 8 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour.

Neil Shapiro's family roots are entwined with the city of New Orleans back to the 1700s. His grandmother could trace her family that far back in the city's history. He's continuing in the antique business his grandparents began in 1899, when goods were bought and sold within the city. That began to change in the 1930s, when European imports started appearing in stores, while local treasures were handed down within families.

Ronald Avila, 27, and his sister, Belinda, 29, honor their cultural ties with their family's ancestry in Honduras. Belinda was born in the United States, while her father studied agronomy at the University of Florida in Gainsville. Ronald was born two years later in Honduras. Their mother later brought them to the U.S., where she encouraged their higher education.

Elizabeth Claudet and her husband, Joseph, sat down with her father, Charles Costello, on March 29 to talk about his experiences while living most of his 96 years in Louisiana. He grew up in DeRidder in western Louisiana, where as a boy he delivered groceries in a cart pulled by a goat.

Martha Ward and Frank Aseron had a long acquaintance. It began in the mid-1970s when she was married and had a daughter, Marlowe. Frank did some carpentry work at her home, and they saw each other around New Orleans for years. She later divorced, and enjoyed her career an anthropology professor at the University of New Orleans. Frank became involved in mortgage banking and construction lending.

Marilyn Barbarin knew from a very early age that she would be a singer. It began when a priest at her school in New Orleans heard her singing in the girls' bathroom, where she was taking an unapproved break from class. But instead of facing punishment, she was taken to a recording session at the now-shuttered Nola Studios.

Ann Asprodites has always referred to Janet Wallfisch as her aunt, but the 91-year-old is actually related a bit further down ancestral lines. Ann's grandfather was Janet's mother's brother. The two remain close. They have lunch about twice a month, when Janet can book some spare time between exercise classes, opera and other activities.

Trampus Butler has lived all of his 32 years on the grounds of Angola State Prison. On April 14, he sat down for a chat on prison grounds with StoryCorps facilitator Jeremy Helton.

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