As a perk for being one of five nationally-recognized museums, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will host StoryCorps, a renowned non-profit that records stories from ordinary Americans. Lewis Ginter wants to record your story pitches…and may even be featured on NPR.
Have an interesting story? Does it feature Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden? If so, your voice could be featured on StoryCorps.
In October 2011, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden won the National Medal for Museum and Library Science. The annual award–given to five museums and five libraries throughout the country–recognizes winners for services to their local communities. “We were one of the five museums that were chosen,” said Beth Monroe, Public Relations Director at Lewis Ginter. “It’s nice to know we’re making a difference.” Lewis Ginter is just the third botanical garden to receive the award.
As a benefit to each award winner, StoryCorps, a national non-profit organization devoted to recording audio stories, visits each recipient with the stated purpose of recording first-hand accounts. StoryCorps has recorded 30,000 stories since 2003, and millions listen to StoryCorp broadcasts weekly on NPR’s Morning Edition. Instead of relying solely on Lewis Ginter employees to do the talking, Monroe said “we wanted to open it up to the community.”
StoryCorps requires two people, who know one another, to share and reflect upon a shared story. Lewis Ginter, in particular, is looking for stories that focus on how the botanical garden has affected lives in the community. Monroe said that Lewis Ginter is collecting stories from eighteen pairs of people.
Richmonders are encouraged to submit their story in 500 words or less (along with their interview partner) by February 15th. A three-person committee will read through the entries, and winning entrants will be announced on February 22nd. Those elected will be notified and will visit Lewis Ginter between March 15th – 17th to record their story.
Although they’ve received entries, Beth Monroe hopes many in Richmond will still contribute. “We’re interested in getting more stories.”
photo by Spec-ta-cles