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Talk by StoryCorps Founder Dave Isay

September 19, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

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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, In Lipinsky Auditorium. No tickets are required.

Isay’s most recent book based on StoryCorps interviews, Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work, was 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.

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.

“We’re hoping that through the stories in the book, our incoming students will see many examples of people following their dreams, their passions – finding a way to do what they love,” said UNC Asheville Dean of Students Jackie McHargue. “There is so much financial pressure on young people – we want to give them encouragement to prepare to make their work more than simply making a living.”

“When students find the subject or the questions that fascinate them, they study more deeply and work that much harder because it feels less like work. It is the same in the workplace,” said UNC Asheville Assistant Professor of German Regine Criser, who together with McHargue led the committee that made the summer reading selection. “Not everyone ends up making a living doing what they love, but Isay’s book provides examples of people who are doing that, from all walks of life.”

Isay’s series of books based on StoryCorps interviews 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.

NOTE: A free livestream will be provided in the Highsmith Student Union Blue Ridge Room in the event that Lipinsky Auditorium is full.

Building accessibility information is available here.

Accessibility Contact: Highsmith Student Union, highsmithunion@unca.edu or 828.251.6990.

Visitor Parking on the UNC Asheville Campus – Visitors may park in faculty/staff and non-resident lots from 5:00 p.m. until 7:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, and on weekends, holidays, and campus breaks. Visitors are not permitted to park in resident student lots at any time.  



September 19, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Lipinsky Auditorium