Feature Story: a couple of 830 mile long conversations: Small Town, Small Talk, Statewide Impact

In August, 2015, Stuart Chittenden set off across Nebraska in an RV, in search of cultures, conversations and community.  a couple of 830 mile long conversations is a long hello to and from Nebraska. One mile at a time, one conversation at a time, this project is about exploring and building connections in the state.

Stuart set up a public conversation space in towns on the route and talked with residents about their lives, their cultures and their stories. In these conversations, he hopes to discover people and, in so doing, reveal Nebraska to ourselves.

Ways to Connect

Stuart Chittenden

In a couple of 830 mile long conversations, Stuart Chittenden discovered that not everyone is willing to converse with a stranger, even on fairly simple terms.  From those who would sit and chat with him, Stuart encountered curiosity, empathy, courage and a willing candor.

What is Community?

Nov 18, 2015
Stuart Chittenden

"Is community organic or something that happens to a place? Is it a deliberate intention or almost accidental? What is it about certain towns I visited that gave me a palpable sense of momentum compared with those that seemed uncertain or paralyzed?" Those questions and much more in Stuart Chittenden's latest dispatch.

Stuart Chittenden

Stuart Chittenden's insights on Nebraska's diverse people and how they view themselves and each other. Listen to more reports every Wednesday in November at 8:45 a.m.

Stuart Chittenden

In this first of four reflections on a Couple of 830 Mile Long Conversations, Stuart Chittenden considers our relationship with the land through conversations with Nebraskans across the state. Listen to more reports every Wednesday in November at 8:45 a.m.

Our Pioneering Spirit

Sep 9, 2015
Stuart Chittenden

In this final dispatch from the road, Stuart Chittenden finds a reminder of his Neolithic ancestors and meets some modern pioneers.

Echoes of the Past and Some Big New Ideas

Sep 2, 2015
Stuart Chittenden

Although he's primarily focused on personal conversation, Stuart Chittenden says our relationship with the land remains a dynamic factor in our sense and articulation of community. In western Nebraska, he finds a confluence of themes that produce a narrative extending beyond the state.


Aug 27, 2015
Stuart Chittenden

A dark and stormy entry into a small Nebraska town eases into a morning of song, leg-extending laughter and a culinary adventure for Stuart Chittenden. In the Danish capitol of Nebraska, he dips his toe into “community,” and is pulled into the water.


Aug 18, 2015

Neligh has had its share of demographic shifts while striving for the kind of development that will secure the town’s future. And it has its occasional hiccups! In this dispatch from the road, Stuart Chittenden talks about his conversations in Neligh.