Humanities Nebraska (HN) has announced another round of its letter-exchange program, “Dear Stranger.” Originally conceived by Oregon Humanities, “Dear Stranger” connect people from all over the state by inviting Nebraskans to write a letter to someone they’ve never met.
“Dear Stranger received such positive feedback, we hope to expand the number of participants this time,” said Mary L. Yager, associate director. “With the pandemic still limiting activities, Nebraskans are craving opportunities to connect with people of different backgrounds and experiences to share their thoughts, stories, and memories.”
The premise is simple: Write a letter, get a letter, and make a new connection. Humanities Nebraska staff and volunteers will match each letter received with a counterpart from a different part of the state. After the first anonymous exchange, each pair of letter writers is free to share contact information to continue the conversation.
For letter writers who are interested, HN has offered the following prompt for this round of letters, which must be postmarked by February 28, 2021. The theme for this round is place.
Participants are encouraged to address the theme in any way they choose: In this time of social distancing, some of us have longed to go places or have reminisced about places we’ve been. Perhaps you are proud of the place you live or the place your family
came from, or are drawn to a place you often visit or hope to visit in the future. Interpret the theme as broadly as you are inspired to do. Because place is often about experiencing a location, consider sharing a postcard, photo, or artistic expression of the place you write about with your letter.
Letters can be as short or long as a writer likes (even a postcard) and can take any form that will fit in a first-class envelope. Participants should send their letters to Humanities Nebraska along with a signed participation form, available at humanitiesnebraska.org. Letters should be addressed to Dear Stranger, c/o Humanities Nebraska, 215 Centennial Mall South Suite 330, Lincoln, NE, 68508.
Questions should be sent to email@example.com.
Humanities Nebraska is a private nonprofit with a mission to help Nebraskans explore what connects us and makes us human. HN is funded in part by the NEH, an appropriation from the Nebraska Legislature, private donations, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, a public-private partnership with state dollars matching private dollars to benefit the arts and humanities in Nebraska. Additional support for Dear Stranger has been provided by Postscript