Free performance to “turn up dream switches” in Thayer County

Blixt Locally Grown, Nebraska Community Foundation, Deshler Community Fund and Hebron Community Fund are asking community members to “turn up their dream switch” at a free public performance on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. just outside the Thayer County Activity Center. “The Dream Switch” is an original community concert event featuring live music, performed by Natalie McClure and a band of seven outstanding musicians. A candid, post-show conversation will center on welcoming, belonging and how Thayer County can further efforts to attract returners and newcomers, as well as retain those who currently call it home.

“The Dream Switch” is a live original song cycle (an album that tells a story consecutively through the composition and order of songs) written by the award-winning, Nebraska-based musical theatre team Becky Boesen and David von Kampen. The story revolves around a young woman from the sandhills who decides after her first year of college in Nebraska, that her happiness awaits elsewhere. “The Dream Switch” follows her journey as she leaves home, explores the world beyond and then comes to her own understanding that “everything I needed to be me, was around me.”

Following the performance, all audience members are invited to stay for a post-show community conversation reflecting on the show’s themes and how they apply to the Thayer County community.

“We see ‘The Dream Switch’ not only as a chance to enrich lives through a quality arts experience, but as an entry point and opportunity to have critical conversations about the future of our hometowns,” said Jeff Yost, president and CEO of Nebraska Community Foundation. “The performance will serve as a catalyst for honest dialogue about what makes Greater Nebraska special, what are our challenges and opportunities to grow, and how we can make our communities more inviting and welcoming places for those who have yet to discover them. We see ‘The Dream Switch’ not simply as a performance, but a platform for community development.”

In addition to the evening performance, attendees are invited to bring their lawn chairs and come out for the exciting pre-show activities starting at 11:30 a.m., including a free hamburger meal for the first 300 attendees, provided by Thayer County Health Services, arts exhibitions by Thayer County students and community members, as well as booths and activities for the whole family. Video interviews with Thayer County residents and a song performed by local students will also be featured in the concert.

“I think ‘The Dream Switch’ is an important first step in talking to our youth about their role in Thayer County’s future, said Rita Luongo of the Hebron Community Fund. “Our youth need to hear us say we want them to come home.”

“The Dream Switch” event follows a 2020 survey of the students from all three high schools in Thayer County: Bruning/Davenport, Thayer Central and Deshler Public. Over 200 surveys were returned and the results indicated three out of four students are interested in returning to their local community to live as adults. Other information gained from the survey will be presented during the event.

“The Dream Switch” is co-produced by Blixt Locally Grown and Nebraska Community Foundation with funding from the Peter Kiewit Foundation, Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. The Oct. 3 performance in Thayer County is supported by the Deshler Community Fund and the Hebron Community Fund Fund in partnership with Thayer County Health Services, LinPepCo – Hastings, Subway of Hebron and Casey General Store – Hebron.

Event Details

What: “The Dream Switch”
When: Sunday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.
Where: Thayer County Activities Center, Deshler

NOTE: The event is free and open to the public. No tickets needed!

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