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Over two years, we aim to make an additional 1000 of Studs Terkel's programs freely available for listening, exploring, and remixing.
Over two years, we aim to make an additional 1000 of Studs Terkel's programs freely available for listening, exploring, and remixing.
712 backers pledged $87,152 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$87,152

712

Thank you all!  We've made it to our goal and will be able to share 1000 more of Studs's interviews online for free!

Louis "Studs" Terkel was a Pulitzer Prize winning author, a ground-breaking oral historian, and the host of a radio show on Chicago's WFMT for nearly 50 years.  He was a Chicago icon, a man of the world, and a man ahead of his time.  To keep his legacy alive and growing - and to help new generations engage with Studs and explore the themes he celebrated - we founded the Studs Terkel Radio Archive at www.studsterkel.org.  There are thousands of amazing interviews waiting to be added to the Archive, and we need your support now to add these interviews to our free online collection.

Studs spoke honestly, listened respectfully, and responded without judgment.  In his words, we hear his commitment to equality, human rights, and education.  Through his guests, we learn about art and music, science and philosophy, feminism and civil rights, and the great varieties of human experience.  These conversations are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago, as we continue to explore what it means to be a good American and a good person.  We invite you to join us in bringing his words and his attitudes to life, and in introducing him to new generations of listeners, journalists, researchers, and audio artists.  

In partnership with the Chicago History Museum, we aim to create an online repository of all 5600 hours of Studs Terkel's WFMT radio programs.  The repository will be free, and the programs will be available for listening, creative reuse and transformation, classroom and educational purposes, and licensing. The goal of this campaign is to upload recordings and transcriptions for 1000 programs (about 20% of the entire collection), with an expected completion date of December 2017.   Click here to see a tiny sample of the interviews waiting to be added, along with a handy interactive filter for the topics covered in these shows.  You can also hear a program every Friday night on WFMT's "Best of Studs Terkel."

In addition, your support of this project will:

  • ensure proper curation and preservation of the Archive by allowing us to hire an Archive Manager and Archive Assistant for six months.  
  • help us to strengthen our technology partnerships by funding our collaborations with PopUp Archive, an online searchable and indexed transcription service; Hyperaudio, a browser-based audio remixing tool; Trint, a text-powered toolkit for searching, editing, and sharing media online; Vamonde's hyperlocal storytelling; and Starchive, a file management tool for use with digital archives.   It is through these partnerships that we are able to keep the interviews alive and thriving in the digital world where they can be explored and creatively transformed.  (You can learn more about our technology partners here).
  • cover the production and shipping costs for contribution incentives.

The Studs Terkel Radio Archive works in partnership with the Chicago History Museum, and the Library of Congress is funding the digitization of the program tapes. Over the past two years, we have also received grant funding from Hive Chicago and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Although these partnerships and grants gave us the opportunity to begin building the Archive, they cannot entirely fund the Archive's work. That is why we are turning to you for help.

Studs Terkel at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, December 1, 1957.  Credit: Chicago History Museum, ICHi-64029; Robert  McCollough, photographer
Studs Terkel at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, December 1, 1957. Credit: Chicago History Museum, ICHi-64029; Robert McCollough, photographer

What makes the Archive so vibrant, so relevant, and so exciting are the people Studs Terkel spoke with on his programs. As of this writing, we have over 400 programs digitized and available online, including conversations with Toni Morrison, Dr. Oliver Sacks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Betty Friedan, and Big Bill Broonzy.  Studs's guests weren't always celebrities.  He was interested in hearing and sharing the stories of "regular" people in their daily lives - members of a PFLAG group; a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing; female producers at the BBC (when that was very unusual); and schoolchildren at the unveiling of Chicago's Picasso sculpture. 

For students, teachers, and researchers, these programs are a powerful and unique collection of primary source material. For artists, journalists, and authors, the interviews can serve as inspiration and raw material for new and remixed works. (You can see some examples of that here.) 

Studs-inspired art drawn by a student participant in the New Voices on Studs workshop, available as an 11x17 print for $75 contributions.
Studs-inspired art drawn by a student participant in the New Voices on Studs workshop, available as an 11x17 print for $75 contributions.

 Most importantly, this collection of conversations offers a rare glimpse into the personal worlds of all kinds of people - from those who shaped the 20th century to those who shaped their communities.  We at the Studs Terkel Radio Archive believe in this project because it embodies so much of what Studs believed in - education, creativity, journalistic freedom and integrity, and the opportunity to try something new. Please join us in embracing those values and bringing this collection into the 21st century.

Students preparing for and presenting the show “New Voices on Studs”.
Students preparing for and presenting the show “New Voices on Studs”.

A note on the sponsorship rewards (categories and programs): We do our best to retain programs in their entirety, however programs featuring readings or performances of copyrighted works may be edited and content may be removed. Generally, if an artist is reading or performing his or her work live on the show, this will be retained. If Studs plays a recording of a reading or performance, that generally must be edited out. Programs featuring readings and/or performances will be uploaded later than other programs because they must be vetted for copyrighted material and possibly edited. 

Rewards for the program sponsorship at level 2 will be given on a first come, first served basis. 

For category sponsors: Your name will be featured on the acknowledgments page of our website as (one of) the sponsor(s) of this category. Your contribution will also be noted on the category page once it has been created. You may choose to sponsor in honor or in memory of someone, in which case that name will be featured.

Project photograph credit: Chicago History Museum, ICHi-25638; Stephen Deutch, photographer.

Archival video footage of Studs Terkel courtesy of mediaburn.org.

Risks and challenges

Copyright:
To upload programs containing recorded music or spoken word, we will need to either obtain permission, or more likely, edit out the recorded portion. This may delay their posting date.

Although we do not foresee this possibility, interviewees or their estates may object to the publication, dissemination, and/or remix of their interviews, even though they do not hold the copyright to the program. If this situation were to arise, Studs Terkel Radio Archive, in conjunction with Chicago History Museum, would work closely with the interviewee/estate to try to reach a compromise that satisfies both parties. Studs Terkel Radio Archive has access to a copyright lawyer who is able to assist us in these matters.

Workload:
It is going to take at least 10,000 person hours to upload 1000 recordings and perfect the transcripts. Currently, Studs Terkel Radio Archive is relying on teams of graduate student interns from a local library & information science graduate program to support us in this work. If our campaign is successful, it is possible that we will not have enough students working on the project to complete it in time. As a preventive step, Studs Terkel Radio Archive may reach out to other LIS programs and offer transcription/metadata work as an internship opportunity. We may also train select community volunteers on the transcription process.

External tech partners:
Although we have close relationships with our web developers and audio hosting sites, it is always possible that one of these partners may encounter their own difficulties, considering that we are using new and beta technologies. We have not yet encountered anything that has put our project on hold for a long period of time; if that were to happen, we would collaborate with the partner to find an alternate solution, and be candid with our donors about the situation.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    Share a cigar with Studs: Studs loved his cigars (in fact, you can often hear him light up in the midst of an interview). Have a "smoke" in his honor with three chocolate cigars, wrapped in foil and sporting an STRA label.

    And, your name will be added to the acknowledgements page on our website!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Show your Studs pride with this set of three 1" buttons, each with a different STRA related image.

    And, your name will be added to the acknowledgements page on our website!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    "Studs Terkel: Montage of a Life": With this pledge, you'll receive a digital copy of the radio documentary "Studs Terkel: Montage of a Life", produced by WFMT 98.7 in Chicago. This documentary won a Gold World Medal and a special Grand Award at the New York Festivals in 2009.

    And, your name will be added on the acknowledgments page of our website!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Sponsor a Program Level 1: Your name will be included on the acknowledgements page of our website as an “Sponsor a Program Level 1” backer. Pledges may be made in honor or in memory, in which case that person’s name will appear on the page instead of the backer’s name. At this level, backers are not able to select a specific program to sponsor. If you would like to do that, please choose Sponsor a Program Level 2.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Take a Studs-inspired tour of Chicago from the comfort of your own home: A Chicago historian and close friend of Studs will record a virtual "tour" of Studs' Chicago (60-90 minutes in length) highlighting and discussing important Chicago landmarks in Studs' history and career. It is available as a CD or as a digital download.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Poster of original artwork: Bianca, a high school freshman, participated in the very first “New Voices on Studs” art and audio workshops in Chicago. She sketched this image as a way to explore and react to what she was hearing in the interviews, and it ended up as part of the students’ final show at the Chicago Art Department gallery. (You can see the image in our story, to the left.) Bianca has generously donated her image to our campaign so that you can enjoy her tribute to Studs in your home as an 11x17 print.

    And, your name will be added to the acknowledgments page of our website!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Sponsor a Program Level 2: Your name will be included on the acknowledgements page of our website as an “Sponsor a Program Level 2” backer, associated with the specific program you have adopted. Pledges may be made in honor or in memory, in which case that person’s name will appear on the page instead of the backer’s name. After you choose this reward, you'll be contacted for your chosen program. Please visit the link below to see the selection of programs.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1krSdg5FWJA9RTmTglzOkH5YYX92-H_2162McwOHPCG8/edit?usp=sharing

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About $250

    An Excursion Through Studs Terkel's Chicago: Take part in a trek to various locales around the city where Studs and his friends lived, worked, and celebrated life, social struggles and art. A tour guide (either someone who knew Studs or who was strongly influenced by him) will take you from the hotel where Studs grew up in the 1920s and 30s; to the former sites of Studs' radio and television careers; to his beloved free-speech park, Bughouse Square; and other related sites.

    Tour participants will be walking and riding the CTA buses and/or trains.

    Tour Dates: Saturday, August 20, 2016; Saturday, September 10, 2016; Saturday, October 1, 2016.

    Backers will be contacted about their preferred tour date.

    And, your name will be added to the acknowledgments page of our website!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    An Excursion Through Studs Terkel's Chicago AND Audio Tour: Go on the Studs-themed walking tour, and get a copy of the virtual tour recorded by a Chicago historian and friend of Studs (CD or digital download).

    Tour participants will be walking and riding the CTA buses and/or trains.

    Tour Dates: Saturday, August 20, 2016; Saturday, September 10, 2016; Saturday, October 1, 2016.

    Backers will be contacted about their preferred tour date.

    And, your name will be added to the acknowledgments page of our website!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    "Best of Studs" Behind the Scenes: Spend an hour in the WFMT editing suite with Louise Frank, award-winning Curating Producer of "Best of Studs Terkel", as she sifts through the archive, listens to selections, and plans the week's show. This opportunity takes place at the WFMT 98.7 station in Chicago. Dates will be determined jointly by backers and Ms. Frank and must take place during 2016.

    Check out the "Best of Studs Terkel" site here: http://www.wfmt.com/main.taf?p=1,1,41,31

    And, your name will be added on the acknowledgments page of our website!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    "Best of Studs" Behind the Scenes: Spend an hour in the WFMT editing suite with Louise Frank, award-winning Curating Producer of "Best of Studs Terkel", as she sifts through the archive, listens to selections, and plans the week's show. This opportunity takes place at the WFMT 98.7 station in Chicago. Dates will be determined jointly by backers and Ms. Frank and must take place by 12/31/2018.

    Check out the "Best of Studs Terkel" site here: http://www.wfmt.com/main.taf?p=1,1,41,31

    And, your name will be added on the acknowledgments page of our website!

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    Pledge US$ 750 or more About $750

    Studs Terkel Curated Listening Party: A member of the Archive staff will put together a selection of excerpts from the Archive based on your areas of interest and/or favorite people featured in the Archive. Two Studs Terkel Radio Archive staff members will spend two hours in your home or a site of your choosing playing the audio clips and answering questions about the Archive. Listening parties must take place in the Chicago area; space must be provided by backer; guest list is limited to 19 (20 people including backer). Dates will be determined jointly by backers and Archive staff and must take place during October or November 2016 (except October 1 and 2, and November 23-27), or January - April 2017.

    And, your name will be added on the acknowledgments page of our website!

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About $1,000

    A Podcast with Studs: As a guest on a "Terkelogue" podcast, you will work with a member of the Archive staff to select a program that interests you. After you've listened to it, you will be interviewed by an Archive staff member or a WFMT producer. (Depending on your location, the interview may be done over the phone). This interview and the original program are combined to create a 10-15 minute Terkelogue podcast that will be featured on our website and on our SoundCloud page. Dates will be determined jointly by backers and producers and must take place during 2016.

    Listen to previous Terkelogues: https://soundcloud.com/studsterkel-radio-archive/susan-final-2015-11-12

    https://soundcloud.com/studsterkel-radio-archive/matti-bunzl-reflects-on-studss-interview-with-margaret-mead

    And, your name will be added on the acknowledgments page of our website!

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Sponsor the Classical Music & Opera Category: Studs loved to host musical guests, including classical musicians and opera singers. Your contribution will help us upload audio and transcriptions of interviews with a great collection of musicians and singers, including Rachel Barton, Placido Domingo, and the Kronos Quartet. Please visit the link below to see the full list.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mqtaLfUHQ3gzOi17_7OStfelbfJLnIX12ZIn6ouzE40/edit?usp=sharing

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About $2,000

    Sponsor the Feminism, Women, and Women's Studies Category: Studs believed in equal rights for everyone, no matter their race, creed, or sex; and he saw feminists as part of the grand spectrum of people working to improve human rights. The sponsor of the this category will allow us to upload audio and transcriptions so that these interviews can continue to inspire and make a difference. Highlights include Alix Kates Shulman and Gloria Steinem. To see the entire list, please visit the link below.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CfrmcsTGzO-YdTkxXoP_V71zF05jlXmm55QR91aCHWE/edit?usp=sharing

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About $2,000

    Sponsor the Journalism & Broadcasting Category: Studs Terkel was strongly committed to free speech and journalistic integrity. Journalists who call Chicago home dealt then (as now) with “the machine,” labor disputes, violent crime, and corruption; but their conversations with Studs often reveal a love of this city. Studs spoke with journalists and broadcasters from other cities as well, always wanting to hear a fresh point of view. The sponsor of the Journalism & Broadcasting category will help to continue to Studs’s mission of telling the most important stories by allowing us to upload audio and transcriptions of interviews with Marshall MacLuhan, Garrison Keillor, Mike Royko, and others. To see the entire list, please visit the link below.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vqBFEcPpz5N-7MumlifTer6rx0fUqf0Bhqe9ONhVxuo/edit?usp=sharing

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    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About $2,000

    Sponsor the Medicine & Psychiatry/Psychology/Mental Health Category: Studs was fascinated by science and by the human experience, so naturally he would have a strong interest in where these fields intersected: medicine and psychology. He spoke with doctors (and others) in a variety of fields who practiced all over the world. The sponsors of the Medicine & Psychiatry/Psychology category will allow us to upload audio and transcriptions of these relevant conversations about health and healing. To see the entire list, please visit the link below.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hn19GK-6_WHNd3VwHRsKFY7cWRqc7swsz288cFMkoO8/edit?usp=sharing

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Sponsor the Theater Category: As a veteran of the theater himself, and a resident of such a vibrant theater city, Studs was always interested in speaking with actors, playwrights, and directors. By sponsoring this category, you'll allow us to upload audio and transcriptions of luminaries in the field, such as Bertolt Brecht, Rita Moreno, and Peter Ustinov. To see the entire list, please visit the link below.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tOqGOTBifpEsVvp4PZc10bXT-uv2GB0NU86uoGQVDpQ/edit?usp=sharing

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Sponsor the Travel Sampler Category: A Danish poet, a British baritone, a German historian... Studs traveled all over the world with his recording equipment. By sponsoring this category, you'll give us the opportunity to upload and transcribe audio that will bring voices and experiences from Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, and South Africa to light. To see the entire list, please visit the link below.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QI5T9y8sM0GCjX-K7tfCfaWwabgqYKHornhCwevTBxA/edit?usp=sharing

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Sponsor the Visual Arts Category: "I love artists; I love gifted people." Your sponsorship of this category will allow us to upload and transcribe interviews with artists such as sculptor Harry Jackson, and cartoonist Bill Maudlin; and authors, such as Mary Lynn Kotz, who wrote about Robert Rauschenberg, and David Duncan, who wrote about Picasso. To see the entire list, please visit the link below.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zQSDSMgAd5kRHjAVMVKPgE9wtCMAl_Br2oJIHT7V7WQ/edit?usp=sharing

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Sponsor the Environment & Ecology category: One of the many ways Studs was ahead of his time was in his interest in the environment and our impact on it. Your sponsorship will allow us to upload the audio and transcriptions of conversations with Harvard professor of Biology Dr. George Wald, conservationist Paul Watson, and author Dr. Barry Commoner, among others. Please visit the link below to see the entire list.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rKFpo9HNdZdApCAifOFwG46v0vCAZ3Sa51XugQnks1Q/edit?usp=sharing

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Featured

Funding period

- (35 days)