Dave Isay

Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps and author of five books, will give a free public talk at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. No tickets are required.

Isay, a radio producer, began what grew into StoryCorps in 2003 with a story recording booth in New York City. StoryCorps, with a mission “to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world,” now has story booths in different cities and mobile story booths that travel the country. In the StoryCorps process, two people who know each other engage in an interview, guided by a facilitator.

A weekly edited StoryCorps segment is broadcast every Friday morning as part of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. Many more StoryCorps interviews are recorded than are used on the radio – the complete interviews are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Isay’s most recent book, Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work, was the summer reading for first-year UNC Asheville students, and the book’s themes were discussed in small faculty-led groups at the start of fall semester.

Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work is based on StoryCorps interviews – a series that began in 2007 with Listening is an Act of Love. Isay and StoryCorps have received two Peabody Awards, a TED Prize, and a MacArthur Fellowship, commonly called the “Genius Grant.”

UNC Asheville summer reading selections in recent years have been The Other Wes Moore, by Wes Moore; Make Your Home Among Strangers, by Jennine Capó Crucet; and How to Fly a Horse, by Kevin Ashton.

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