Gathering together, reckoning with others, and committing to live like citizens are key ways to build civic muscle in America, especially at a time of anxiety and polarization. That’s why Civic Nebraska hosts Civic Saturday in Lincoln – a national phenomenon inspiring Americans to become more powerful and active citizens.
The city’s first Civic Saturday of 2023 will be from 11 a.m. to noon CST on Feb. 18 at the Nebraska History Museum, 131 Centennial Mall North in Lincoln. The free, public gatherings, which began in Seattle in 2016 and have since spread to more than 120 cities across the United States, feature music, poetry, and readings of civic texts, as well as a “civic sermon.” Civic Saturdays also provide opportunities for participants to engage in small-group discussions if they wish.
Titled “In Good Faith,” the gathering is co-hosted by History Nebraska and the Nebraska History Museum in celebration of the museum’s newest exhibition, “American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith.” The exhibition opens on Feb. 9.
On Feb. 18, Civic Saturday will focus on why the imagination, confidence, and resolve of everyday citizens are especially valuable in difficult times. Live music will be provided by Jack Rodenburg; original poetry will be performed by Shelby Martinez; and civic readings will be led by Kim Morrow and Astrid Munn. Steve Smith, a writer, mentor, and community advocate, will deliver the “civic sermon.” Smith, director of communications at Civic Nebraska, is a national Civic Saturday Fellow via Citizen University, which started the gatherings seven years ago.
“Civic Saturdays are often described as a civic analog to a faith gathering, but they are not meant to replace faith traditions,” Smith said. “Instead, they serve as an opportunity for citizens to nurture a spirit of shared purpose, to wrestle with moral questions, and to develop a sense of civic character.”
For more information and/or to RSVP, please visit https://bitly.com/CivSatNeb.