Knight grant to StoryCorps will fuel app upgrades, community engagement

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A $600,000 grant to StoryCorps will support upgrades to the oral history project’s mobile app, which allows users to record interviews on their smartphones.

The grant will help the app integrate into “existing StoryCorps programs and services,” according to a press release. In addition, the funds may also support technological improvements such as tablet and Skype support, social network sharing and improved navigation for searching and browsing interviews.

StoryCorps will also consider other community-engagement projects — such as its push to get people to interview their moms on Mother’s Day — and ways in which the collected stories could help researchers.

“New support will allow StoryCorps to realize the full potential of this powerful tool and to advance our vision to help create a world where we listen closely to each other and recognize the beauty, grace and poetry in the lives and stories we find all around us,” StoryCorps founder Dave Isay said in a press release.

The app, which helps guide users through an interview process to capture a story as audio, has been downloaded more than 220,000 times, and almost 8,000 stories have been recorded since it launched in March, Isay said in a blog post for Knight. Stories recorded with the app can also be contributed to a Library of Congress archive.

StoryCorps originally received a Knight Foundation Prototype Fund grant to develop the app in 2014.