If you haven’t heard the buzz about a new arts project that is about to come to life in Bend, here’s the scoop. The project Tiny Hey, a brainchild of Angela Reid, is all about a little hello, a quick connection and a small reminder that we all have stories to tell. Tiny Hey is a progressive postcard-writing exchange between neighborhoods in Bend.
The distinctive mailbox stands at a local business each month, where community members can pick up a free postcard, write an anonymous letter on the current theme and drop it into the box. The following month, the mailbox will move to a new location and the postcards will be shared online.
Reid first developed the idea through her volunteer work at The Bethlehem Inn, a shelter that gives homeless individuals the opportunity to have a safe space to get back on their feet. Reid learned about the overall mission of this vital establishment within the community, and had a very eye opening experience. “There is a stereotype where we view homelessness as something that is scary and unlike us, where in reality, many stories I have heard hit very close to home,” says Reid. “People may have fallen behind on a mortgage, lost their source of income or perhaps a spouse. These are people who many times are invisible but have just as many stories as anyone else.”
It was with this realization that Reid moved forward on a project that would give everyone throughout the community the same opportunity to share their story anonymously with someone else. “Bend is a place where a lot of enriching, new ideas are openly embraced. My hope is that by providing a mailbox that changes locations each month, I will be able to reach out to people that I don’t know all across the city of Bend,” Reid adds. The connection would then be established for the entire community, rather than just a select few places downtown.
The storytelling aspect of this project is only half of the overall plan. Tiny Hey is reaching out to the art community as well, asking artists to submit artwork, no bigger than 11”x11”, that will be featured at a Tiny Art Show in October. The artwork will then be featured on the postcards for people to write their stories on. This combination of art and storytelling is what makes Tiny Hey truly unique. It is an art project that will also positively impact many people who choose to interact with it.
Reid’s short-term goal is to simply make Tiny Hey a reality. As it begins to grow, she hopes that the project will be a fun way for people to talk to each other. “Everyone should be heard, and this is a creative outlet that gives that opportunity to the whole community.”
Submit your artwork by September 11 for the Tiny Art Show on October 2.