The Dream Switch Project Comes to Thayer County
29 Sep 2021
“Most of us have a story to tell about how our dream switched to establish roots into the rural landscape of Thayer County.” – Carley Bruning, Executive Director Thayer County Economic Development Alliance
What is The Dream Switch Project?
The Dream Switch Project is a concert-and-conversation program. The songs are specific to Nebraska while the discussion is specific to each community where NCF hosts the production.
Part one is a performance of songs about a young person chasing a dream that switched to an unexpected reality. This journey touches on the following themes:
- Returning to one’s home
- Sense of place
- Intergenerational communication
- The complicated bonds between parents and their children
- Inclusion and belonging
- The power of invitation
- What it means to live in Nebraska
Part two is a community discussion about how the songs relate to the state of the community. From there, members build off of that discussion to plan a framework that will create a better future. A future encompassing youth returning as adults and welcoming new residents planting new roots.
Heroes Behind the Scenes
With the combined efforts of members from Hebron Community Fund, Deshler Community Fund and others, Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) is pleased to host The Dream Switch Project’s upcoming production in Thayer County. This two-part presentation will be held on October 3, 2021, at the Thayer County Activity Center in Deshler. With your attendance and participation, we will strategize for a future worth dreaming about!
I had the pleasure of interviewing some of the heroes behind the scenes that helped bring The Dream Switch Project to Thayer County. These heroes shared feelings regarding our youth, The Dream Switch Project’s impact, and community. Here are a few excerpts!
What positive information came from the youth survey that will be used in conjunction with The Dream Switch Project?
- “I think we need to use this event to address any barriers that might prevent our youth from coming home and find ways to be more inclusive when making decisions that affect them. We want them to know what they think matters and there is a place for them in Thayer County.” – Rita Luongo, Chairperson Hebron Community Fund
After working with The Dream Switch Project, what does it mean to you?
- “Every small town is a unique community made up of all ages and many differing ideas that need to be HEARD and VALUED. It is important to feel a WELCOMED part of any community and to realize that all contributions, large or small, help it grow as well as allow each person to realize personal potential. We must encourage our youth to return to keep our small towns vibrant and to flourish.” – Mary Jo Hofts, Chair of Deshler Community Fund
How do you see The Dream Switch Project after participating either in general or for Thayer County?
- “The Dream Switch Project touches people’s hearts with its beautiful, fun, and exciting music and lyrics, which pave the way for an awesome community conversation. From then, anything is possible!” – Petra Wahlqvist, BLIXT (co-producer of The Dream Switch Project)
- “The folks in Thayer County have been so thoughtful around the community and youth engagement surrounding The Dream Switch Project. … They have taken every opportunity to make deep and lasting connections that will extend far beyond the evening.” – Carrie Malek-Madani, Director of Marketing & Communications at Nebraska Community Foundation
- “The Dream Switch Project is a beginning and not an end to the conversation surrounding the role our youth play in Thayer County. Thayer County’s future is only limited by the power behind the dreams our youth have for it.” – Rita Luongo, Chairperson Hebron Community Fund
“Thayer County communities were founded by dreamers and now we are allowing the next dreamers to continue carrying the torch forward while building the tomorrow we want to see.” – Carley Bruning, Executive Director Thayer County Economic Development Alliance
Help our dreamers thrive by attending this event designed to bond and build the future of Thayer County.
Date: Sunday, October 3, 2021
11:00 a.m. – Doors open
11:30 a.m. – Free hamburger meal for the first 300 people
1:00 p.m. – The Dream Switch Concert followed by a candid community conversation