Record Your ‘Words to Give By’ in West Hartford

WNPR and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving are taking the community-wide storytelling project, ‘Words to Give By,’ to 15 towns in Central Connecticut including West Hartford.

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As part of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving’s 90th anniversary celebration, the Hartford Foundation is collaborating with Connecticut Public Broadcasting’s radio network, WNPR, to launch Words to Give By (www.wordstogiveby.org), a community-wide storytelling project to find, record and share the everyday acts of kindness that happen all around us but often go unheard.

WNPR is setting up a mobile recording studio at 15 locations throughout the Hartford region. In West Hartford, recording will take place at the American School for the Deaf, 139 North Main St., on Wednesday, March 12.

Additional sites include the Hartford Public Library, Little Theatre of Manchester at Cheney Hall, the Hill-Stead Museum and more. Registration will be available throughout the month of February 2015 and the recording sessions will begin in March. To find a time to record their story, residents can begin the scheduling process by signing up online at WordsToGiveBy.org or by contacting WNPR directly ([email protected]860-275-7550).

“We are trying to expand the understanding of the word ‘philanthropy’ through this project so individuals recognize better that they are all philanthropists and recipients of philanthropy – which, really, just means ‘love of humankind’,” said Linda J. Kelly, president of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. “The project seems a fitting way to mark 90 years of the Hartford Foundation’s work bringing together donors, non-profit agencies, professional advisors and community and business leaders to improve the quality of life in the region.”

In this innovative collaboration, Words to Give By will offer residents the chance to thank someone in their life for an act of kindness, celebrate an unsung hero or inspire us with his or her own story of giving. The Hartford Foundation and WNPR are encouraging everyone to think of someone they know whose story needs to be heard and encourage them to sign up for a recording session. Participants whose first language is not English are encouraged to bring a translator.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving on Words to Give By,” said Jerry Franklin, president and CEO of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, parent company of WNPR. “Our WNPR team will capture stories of everyday generosity from throughout our Hartford-area community, then bring those stories to our neighbors statewide through our airwaves. This project fits squarely within WNPR’s mission to engage with and give voice to our community.”

During their scheduled time block at their designated location, participants will record a 20-30 minute interview with WNPR producers. Along with the opportunity to participate in a community-wide storytelling project, participants will also walk away with the full version of the interview recorded during their session.

Some of those interviews, 29, will be edited into stories and then air on WNPR beginning in April. A total of 50 will be archived online at WordsToGiveBy.org and the original interviews will live on the Hartford Foundation’s website, www.hfpg.org.

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