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Taking note

Project mails postcards to candidates

Volunteers Quinn Hunter and Samantha Harrill prepare to type postcard messages from passersby in a New York City park last week. Image: I Wish to Say Project

Postcards help vacationers stay in touch with loved ones back home, but they’re also being used this year to deliver messages to the nation’s presidential candidates.

The messages are created through “I Wish to Say,” a traveling art project. Volunteers station themselves in parks and other public spaces, where they solicit messages from passersby that are typed onto postcards and mailed to the candidates.

About 100 volunteers typed messages at an event in New York City last week, NPR reported.

“Keep embracing diversity and support those with special needs,” one participant, Gus Kiljak, dictated to a typist.

“I Wish to Say” was started in 2004 by Sheryl Oring, an art professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This year, for the first time, the postcards are actually being mailed.

The use of old-fashioned typewriters helps make the project unique, Oring wrote in a recent San Francisco Chronicle essay.

“The act of typing gives [people] a chance to do what people tend to do less of these days — talk to each other,” she wrote. “[T]he result is an actual message printed on paper. Nothing is instant, or lost with the swipe of a finger.”

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