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Oral History and Audio Stories: An Introduction (St. Johnsbury)

  • Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium 1302 Main Street Saint Johnsbury, VT, 05819 United States (map)

Do you have an interview project in mind but don’t quite know where to begin or how to proceed? Presented in partnership with the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium in St. Johnsbury, this workshop is for anyone wanting to learn more about oral history and audio production with a focus on documenting culture, community and place. It will be accessible for people at all levels of technical knowledge from the complete beginner to the professional. A collaborative learning atmosphere will be encouraged. The VFC will provide audio equipment for those who need it but if you have your own gear you are encouraged to bring it. We will explore a full range of recording options including low-resource audio production tools such as cell phones or borrowed equipment from community media outlets. Feel free to come with a project in mind or simply attend with an exploratory spirit.

The day will begin with a brief introduction to the Vermont Folklife Center’s work, our approach to cultural research and an overview of the practices and purposes of oral history. Then we’ll explore the tools and techniques behind basic audio production and interviewing. You’ll witness a demo interview by VFC staff and also take part in hands on interview practice yourself (again, audio gear will be provided!) We’ll take advantage of our workshop setting in downtown St. Johnsbury by engaging with local voices and stories. By the end of the day you will have learned the basics of interviewing, audio recording and editing as well as ideas for how to share and distribute your audio. You will have a new set of skills and connections to bring to your personal or community projects. There will be space in the day to discuss your own projects (prospective or in progress) and the ways VFC staff and resources might offer support or guidance going forward.

Oral History and Audio Stories: An Introduction will be held at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury. Tuition is $95 ($55/students). You may also register by calling the Vermont Folklife Center at (802) 388-4964. If you have questions about financial aid email

If you cancel up to seven days before the event, we will issue a refund minus a $10 fee.

This workshop is a part of the Vermont Folklife Center’s Cultural Sustainability Institute series. Cultural Sustainability provides a framework for examining human experience in the present with an awareness of the past and a view toward the future.