PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University’s Northwest Public Radio will celebrate the arrival of StoryCorps, a national initiative to document everyday history and the unique stories of America, when it arrives in Moscow, Idaho, Aug. 25  to collect the stories of Palouse residents as part of the program’s cross-country tour.

The specially-outfitted StoryCorps Airstream MobileBooth will be parked on Main Street from Aug. 25 through Sept. 5. Opening day will include a celebration from 5-6:30 p.m. and will feature the music of Tendekai Kuture and his Moscow marimba band, Sesitshaya, in Friendship Square.

Deena Heath, Moscow Arts Commission director, said that the StoryCorps celebration will coincide with the reopening of Friendship Square, located in the center of downtown Moscow on the 400 block of Main Street.

“Were so pleased to celebrate the refurbishing of Friendship Square with this important community endeavor,” she said. “It’s an apt christening to the centerpiece of downtown Moscow—a place where people have gathered for many years.”

The music of Kuture and Sesitshaya runs the gamut from the music of Zimbabwe to jazz standards and traditional tunes. The band will headline the Tumbleweed Music Festival in Richland and recently played a sold-out Appreciation Concert in Moscow for Kuture, who will be returning to Zimbabwe at the end of the summer, making this one of his last appearances on the Palouse. 

The members of Sesitshaya include Sue Byrnes, Kathy Dawes, Mary Donahoe, Joanne Evans, Kirstin Malm, Elinor Michels, Mimi Pengilly, Tom Richardson and Diane Walker. 

StoryCorps opened its first StoryBooth, a freestanding soundproof recording studio, in New York City‘s Grand Central Terminal in October 2003, and in June 2005, opened its second StoryBooth at the site of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. Over the course of the 10-year project, StoryCorps plans to open StoryBooths, both mobile and stationary, across the country.

At the MobileBooth, people participate in pairs–oftentimes friends or loved ones–one interviewing the other. A trained facilitator guides the participants through the interview process and handles the technical aspects of the recording. At the end of a 40-minute session, the participants walk away with a CD of their interview. With their permission, copies will be archived at Latah County and Whitman County historical societies and at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. With permission, excerpts will also be broadcast on NPR news magazines. To make reservations, call (800) 850-4406 or visit www.nwpr.org. 

This project is sponsored by Northwest Public Radio, the city of Moscow, NPR, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Saturn automobile company.