Editor’s Note: With today’s release of the Dear World: Omaha photos, we’re also pleased to have the opportunity to share with you a letter from the startup’s founder, Robert X. Fogarty. As an organizer of Big Omaha, it was a pleasure to have Dear World involved in the event, and when I learned that Fogarty is an Omaha native, it made Dear World’s involvement even sweeter.
Fogarty (left, photo courtesy of Dear World) currently lives in New Orleans and serves as the founder and board president of the emergency preparedness non-profit, evacuteer.org.
Micah Baldwin – “Be Real.” Photo by Dear World: Omaha.
Dear Silicon Prairie News Readers,
Here is a secret that you may know. It’s one that others now tell. Omaha is a fly to—not over—place.
As a Nebraska native, I’m proud to announce Omaha, as the second Dear World city, and I am honored to kick it all off at Big Omaha 2011.
Dear World is a social venture startup that wants to build a beautiful, wonderful world, one photo at a time. It began as Dear New Orleans, in a strong city where people know what it’s like to nearly lose something they love.
We began, appropriately, at a party to mark the end of hurricane season in 2009 and asked people to write a “love note to the city” on their bodies.
That night changed my life. Our work is now an ongoing collection of these images seen 1.5 million times per month.
In 2010, the Haitian earthquake and the BP Oil Spill happened as Dear New Orleans grew in popularity. Relief effort event coordinators asked us to be at fundraising events.
I didn’t know it at the time, but Dear World began on a January night with a room full of Haitian New Orleanians.
Over the past year, we’ve photographed thousands of individuals with strong, passionate voices in times of great struggle. We’ve also photographed people’s biggest dreams and greatest ambitions. They’ve written and told us that our photos affirm their belief in themselves and remind them of the moments that matter.
Our ambition is to grow Dear World into a media platform that can be a vehicle through which we engage in celebration and happiness and in uncertainty and hardship, together.
Dear World’s vision is to employ photographers, designers, creatives and community-builders — from Sheboygan to Shanghai — who produce content towards a beautiful, wonderful world.
Dear World is a for-profit venture, but more importantly a not-just-for-profit venture. From day one, I commit that our revenue will be earned and spent in honest, transparent and net positive ways. We will contribute toward social good in the communities where we work.
Dear World will continue to smartly choose the people we want to do this work, we don’t just want photographers, but community leaders. People who live and breathe the place they live, who have the gumption and graciousness to provide a platform that helps uncover and express messages that people want to share.
We can only grow with your help, and the best way to do that is to share our story with others; “like” our Facebook page facebook.com/writeourfuture and follow our tweets @writeourfuture; and, most importantly, share your Dear World: Omaha story with your friends.
We’d love to spread the Dear World: Omaha message throughout the city and across the Silicon Prairie. If you’d be interested in hiring our Dear World: Omaha team for your next party, festival or gathering, contact us at @dearomaha or visit us at dearworld.me/omaha.
Thank you for contributing to the Dear World: Omaha experience, and please enjoy the beautiful vision you’ve written for our future. You can find all of the Dear World: Omaha photographs at: facebook.com/writeourfuture.
All My Best,
Robert X. Fogarty
Jennifer Pitts – “Failure is an event, not a person.” Photo by Dear World: Omaha.
Marc Eckō – “Work in progress.” Photo from Dear World: Omaha.
John Voner – “Unify us.” Photo by Dear World: Omaha.
David Spinks – “Bring people together.” Photo by Dear World: Omaha.
Dave and Sara Nelson – “Love one another.” Photo by Dear World: Omaha.
Jeff Pfaff – “Some day is not a day of the week.”. Photo by Dear World: Omaha.
Megan Hunt – “Make it pretty.” Photo by Dear World: Omaha.