Nebraskans are Invited to Meet Their “Dear Stranger” Through Letters

Humanities Nebraska (HN) has announced a special round of its letter-exchange program, “Dear Stranger.” Originally conceived by Oregon Humanities, “Dear Stranger” connects people from all over the state by inviting Nebraskans to write a letter to someone they’ve never met.

“This is a fun way to connect with others during the cold winter months,” said Mary Yager, associate director. “As we prepare to commemorate our 50th year of helping people explore what connects us and makes us human, we look forward to matching letter writers again.”

The premise is simple: Write a letter, get a letter, and make a new connection. Humanities Nebraska 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 15, 2023. Participants are encouraged to address the theme in any way they choose:

Write about a local or national public event from the last 50 years – a celebration, anniversary, or gathering that occurred between 1972 and 2022 – that was personally meaningful to you. Share how that experience felt, why you hold onto it, and how it affected you?

Letters can be as short or long as a writer likes (even a postcard) and can take any form and
include any enclosures that will fit in a first-class envelope. Participants should send their
letters to Humanities Nebraska along with a signed participation form, available online at
humanitiesnebraska.org. Letters should be addressed to Dear Stranger, c/o Humanities Nebraska, 215 Centennial Mall South Suite 330, Lincoln, NE, 68508. Questions about the program should be sent to dearstranger@humanitiesnebraska.org.

Celebrating its 50th year, Humanities Nebraska is a private nonprofit with a mission to help
people 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 (Ashland, Nebraska) and an anonymous donor.

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