South Philly Storycorps a Great Success!
From September 17th through September 19th, we opened our doors to eighteen pairs of South Philadelphia residents as part of a partnership with StoryCorps, the nation’s largest oral history project. Over three days, these 36 participants—ranging from Bok alumni and Southwark students and parents to civic association leaders, longtime residents and multi-ethnic community activists—recorded and shared stories from their lives. The audio record of these storytelling sessions were shared with the participants and then, with their permission, sent to the Library of Congress and Storycorps archives. Some may ultimately be featured on National Public Radio (NPR) or on local radio stations.
The StoryCorps sessions represent the first piece of our South Philly Stoop project, which was named one of 32 Knight Cities Challenge winners in March. The Knight Cities Challenge seeks to fund creative and engaging ideas from civic innovators and those who are working to make cities “more vibrant places to live and work.”
These South Philadelphia voices will play an integral role in both preserving individual histories and shaping a collective narrative, one that is comprised not just of one story or one neighborhood, but is in fact layered with multiple stories and timelines, reflecting the diversity, complexity, and dynamism of the people and communities who call South Philly home.
“I'm so excited and honored to host StoryCorps here at Bok,” said Lily Goodspeed, our Outreach Coordinator here at Scout. “As we work to build Bok into a new space for community members and creatives, we want to celebrate those who have worked to make this neighborhood great for years, and we also want to celebrate students who learned and grew within these walls while Bok was a technical and vocational high school. I think StoryCorps is a great way to honor these voices, and a great first project for us as we move towards engaging the community in other creative ways."
This project and partnership was made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.