ITC Brings Back "Lifetimes" radio program

itc feat

ITC’s "Lifetimes" radio spots find a home on the net

Museum prepares Soundcloud profile with Texas-themed vignettes


Listen to Lifetimes on Soundcloud

SAN ANTONIO – From 1993 to 2000, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures took to the radio waves to tell the stories of Texas and Texans. "Lifetimes: The Texas Experience" was a series of vignettes on a broad range of Texas subjects, distributed to some 60 radio stations across the state. The museum is working to make Lifetimes collection of stories available to the public once again.
When museum media specialist Lloyd Swartz and volunteer Michael Sidoric discovered a cache of audio tapes and determined their content, they took their find to Lupita Barrera, ITC’s director of education and interpretation.
"It was like finding a goldmine," she said. "Technology has caught up with us and we have the capacity to make this treasure available once again, through SoundCloud, which makes it easy to listen to and share these stories."
In all, the museum produced 1,018 episodes over the seven-year run. The spots have been formatted into 36-minute sound files, each containing a month’s worth of two-minute stories. They are accessible at The first 10 episodes are currently available.
Award-winning professional storyteller and retired ITC employee Mary Grace Ketner produced the original scripts with the intent that they tell stories, rather than pay tribute to historic figures or recall famous events.
"The tales would remind listeners daily of yet another ethnic group or generation or region of Texas or settlement experience or wave of immigration, and they would display humor or irony or compassion or pathos," said Ketner, recalling the series. "Most importantly, they would be complete stories with a true setting and characters from our state’s vast history."
Lifetimes covers a diverse array of topics, such as early railroads, inventions, businesses, cultures, places and obscure Texas figures. Some stories cover topics that have passed into realm of myth and folklore, adding to Texas’ larger-than-life reputation.
"These are fascinating stories about everyday Texans, told from the perspective of everyday Texans," said Barrera. "It’s stories like these that add to the character and mythos of our state. We hope these stories entertain our listeners and give them a greater appreciation of the heritage and unique character of Texas."
The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit


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