We’ve spent 3 days in a different time zone, travelled nearly 900 miles, and have met people from 7 different states – all without leaving Nebraska.
We’re here to update you on our experiences on the Good Living Tour, a project produced by Hear Nebraska that we are thrilled to co-sponsor. The Good Living Tour is a 9-day, 9-community tour that is traversing Greater Nebraska. Each stop is bringing 3 diverse, Nebraska-based bands to its audience. It’s also a community storytelling project, highlighting young professionals sharing their stories of why they have decided to make their life in a smaller town.
Thinking about all that we’ve experienced so far, it’s hard to say what I’m enjoying most. I can, without a doubt, say that my least favorite is rushing to get ready for the next show. Handing out CFRA fliers to people who are new to the Center and our work is fun – they could be our next supporters. What’s becoming even more obvious to me is that rural people care about their communities and want them to thrive.
In the speech I give each night, there are a few sentences that always seem to capture people's attention:
“Our rural communities are worth investing in and celebrating.”
“We’ve had a part in starting over 1,000 businesses across the state – probably a few you’ve been to.”
“Family farms and ranches are essential to preserving Nebraska’s way of life.”
Last night, I found myself getting interrupted by applause for the Center. To me, what I was describing was just another day’s work. It’s what the Center does. These people care about our work and mission, and didn’t even know that we existed an hour before they set their beers down to clap.
Here’s what else we’re finding:
- Nebraska has a seriously talented pool of musicians. I don’t think I’ve seen a group I haven’t liked.
- The rural “brain drain” is coming up against a fierce and motivated opponent: Young people who want to make a life, and a difference, in their communities.
- People from all walks of life are relating to our work. From a doctor in North Dakota, to a Farm Service Representative in Imperial, and a few travelling musicians – these people recognize the need for, and want to become, rural advocates.
As I write, the Sandhills roll to our east and west, guiding us along Highway 83 to the next stop in North Platte. We have 5 days and 532 miles to go, and countless new supporters to meet.
If you’re in Kearney, West Point, Nebraska City, or Grand Island, click here for more details about the upcoming shows. Plus, you can sign-in to get a preview of the bands you’ll be hearing.
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