WUNC Launches 'Storymakers: Durham'

Nov 2, 2015

North Carolina Public Radio WUNC
Credit Charlie Shelton / WUNC

The Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) announced Monday that North Carolina Public Radio has been selected as one of 15 stations across the country to be a part of a new storytelling initiative "Localore: Finding America."

The national program brings together gifted producers and forward-thinking stations in the industry to invent new media models for storytelling and enrich the founding vision of a public broadcasting service for “all of the people.”

WUNC's collaborative project "Storymakers: Durham" will empower community members to tell their stories and help public media spark a community-wide conversation about the things that pull us together or push us apart.

It is a partnership between WUNC and local independent producer John Biewen from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke.

“This project seemed the best way imaginable to take the kind of work I’ve long tried to do and to push it into new, more collaborative territory," said Biewen. "Localore provided a way to do all this in one project: Tell stories about deeply important issues in the town where I live and with the station I listen to; use my teaching experience to bring new voices into public media; and contribute to innovation in the field that alters and upends the relationship between public media and its 'audience.'"

The project will begin with a series of Story Circles. These well-publicized conversations will take place in community centers, schools, churches and other places people gather to build community, raising questions such as:

  • How do we encounter one another across lines of race and class , or are we not comfortable crossing those lines? 
  • What path led me to where I am today? How is it different to the paths I believe are available to people on the “other side of town?”

From the relationships built during these Story Circles, WUNC and CDS will recruit individuals who will be trained to shape and produce stories that address these fundamental questions about who we are as a community.

"We at WUNC are interested in reaching deep into the communities we serve and empower our neighbors to tell their own stories and lead rich conversations about issues that matter,” said WUNC Program Director David Brower.  “When it's all over we're hopeful that we'll have a new mechanism to convene meaningful conversations and reflect them back to North Carolina."

Productions for "Storymakers: Durham" will run through July 30, 2016.

For a closer look at WUNC and the stories the station tells, check out the video below: