Become a Storycatcher: 2011 Workshop

By: Kelly Sturgeon
The field of oral history has undergone a renaissance-like change that has lifted it out of the academic world and into communities throughout the country.  StoryCorps is a terrific example of this infusion of energy into the field, as their services broaden the opportunity for stories to be recorded and preserved (  The 2011 Oral History Education Workshop on November 5th focuses on training, so that more "storycatchers" can be inspired and prepared to record the stories of ordinary people.  As the architect and coordinator of the workshop, I get excited about the topics we cover during this full day of learning.  These topics include:  Interviewing techniques, recording skills, interpretive approaches, and collection management.  I am also committed to helping organizations and individuals to fulfill their visions so that their oral history projects are successful.  This year, I am applying my experience in the field working with the Marin History Museum, the Journeys of Reconciliation project, and the Vietnam Veterans of California.  These projects include oral history interviews with a diverse range of people, including human rights leaders in the U.S. and South Africa, California leaders in farming and agriculture, and Vietnam War veterans who led the way to heal themselves and their communities.
The workshop takes place from 9 am to 4 pm at the Sonoma Sheraton, 745 Baywood Drive, Petaluma, CA.  The cost is $70, however WestMuse members and their friends get a 15% discount! The discount code is:  story
All participants will receive a CD with a complete set of oral history forms, and will have ongoing free access to tools and tips as they move forward on their projects. To learn more about the workshop and to register, please visit the Workshop 2011 page at, or send an email to  You can follow us on Facebook or in the news at:
Kelly Sturgeon
Creative and Education Director



Keni delighted you posted this opportunity to our members and only wished I could have sent some of my staff to attend (we'll have a similar workshop in Qatar in the spring for our new Qatari staff as part of the National Museum of Qatar). Would love to hear more info post-workshop, whether there is a follow up, and a possible proposal a 2012 session for Palm Springs? It's especially interesting to note how museums (all types and sizes) are using oral history more as part of their research, programming, and exhibition design. For instance, NMoQ has a new Oral History and Intangible Cultural Heritage program we've begun to capture content for our archive, exhibitions, and public programs for when we open in 2014 - and in many ways functions as our first foray into public programming within the community. There are some fantastic examples from local history museums, libraries, and international museums such as the Singapore Museum, where the oral history program is an integral component of interpretation and programming. It would be fascinating to hear what the trends and paradigm shifts are that may inspire us! Let me know if you want to collaborate on a proposal.

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Just want to see if you are a robot.