The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes proudly announces the CD release of the podcast series, Tales from Agnes, produced by Trevor Worthey and Connie Sullivan-Blum. The CDs are for sale at The ARTS Council, 32 West Market Street Corning, NY.
Tales from Agnes: 1972 Flooding in the Chemung Valley is a podcast series presenting local stories about the Hurricane Agnes Flood. When the Chemung River overwhelmed the regional floodwalls, it took eighteen lives, swept away whole homes, and destroyed millions of dollars of property. Despite the tragedy it caused, the Flood was also a turning point for the area. The stories for Tales from Agnes were collected using a digital voice mail service. They were shaped into brief, thematic episodes without any sound effects or music. They are memories that come directly from the people most affected by the storm in their own words and their own voices.
The series consists of five episodes ranging from nine to seventeen minutes long:
1) Premonitions and Propaganda examines the days preceding the Flood by contrasting assurances received from governmental officials with some people's instinctual foreboding. The storytellers include: Barbara Dick, Lisa Tober, Linda Howell, Bill Earl, Tom DeWolf, Linda Peterson, and Darby Webster.
2) Danger and Devastation describes the bizarre experiences and sense of isolation related by witnesses of the flooding. This episode includes: Dan Rinker, Tom DeWolf, David Forrest, Mary Alice Chase, Barbara Dick and Darby Webster.
3) Strandedness and Salvation tells of people taking risks to help each other in the midst of the Flood. It describes community members trying to rescue stranded possessions and people; some were saved and some were not. Storytellers include: Beth Walter Honadle, Jane Spillman, William Misnick, Sr., Susan Harris, and Mary Alice Chase.
4) Anecdotes from Agnes explores the lighter side of Agnes. Most of the stories recounted from the Flood are harrowing tales of courage, loss and rebuilding, but out of the devastation, people also shared humorous and ironic tales. These include stories from: Connie Sullivan-Blum, Kasey Cox, Betty Arcangeli, Ruth Atkinson, David Higgins, and Bill Whitmore.
5) Ruin and Renewal focuses on the aftermath of the Flood and the monumental recovery effort that eventually restored the Twin Tiers. Storytellers are: Scott Kirk, Gina Buckley, Donna Kerr-Nowlan, Rita Kautz, Lee Schaeffer, Jane Spillman, David Dowler, Bart Curtis, Ruth Atkinson, and selections from Amory Houghton's radio address read by Trevor Worthey.
The impetus for Tales from Agnes began when The ARTS Council, in partnership with The Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, brought StoryCorps, the national oral history project, to Elmira and Corning. StoryCorps was only able to record eighteen interviews in each city. The ARTS Council and the Community Foundation discussed using a digital voice mail service as a way to include more voices from the community. All of the stories collected by The ARTS Council since 2009, including those from StoryCorps, the digital voice mail service, and those recorded in face-to-face interviews, will be archived at the Steele Memorial and Southeast Steuben County Libraries, as well as the Corning-Painted Post and Chemung Valley Historical Societies.
To add your story to the archive call 1-866-598-7273.
To purchase a $12 CD of Tales from Agnes, contact The ARTS Council at 607-962-5871 or stop in at 32 West Market Street Corning NY.
This project was made possible by funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Inc.
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