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'Parade of Hearts' initiative to place hundreds of heart sculptures across Kansas City area

Parade of Hearts sculpture
Posted at 11:29 AM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 12:55:33-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — More than a dozen Kansas City-area businesses and nonprofits are joining efforts for a new community-wide public art initiative.

Dubbed Parade of Hearts, the project aims to promote unity through art and hopes to raise funds “for the sectors most impacted by the events of 2020 and 2021.”

Between 100 to 200 KC Heart fiberglass sculptures will be distributed across the Kansas City area.

“Kansas City has long been known as the ‘heart of America,’” Jenn Nussbeck, co-chair for Parade of Hearts, said in a statement. “After the difficulties of 2020 and into 2021, this is an opportunity to heal our local communities, have productive conversations about equity and inclusivity, while lending assistance to those deeply affected by the events of the last year and a half.”

Artists are invited to design a heart and there will be a selection process in the fall. The hearts will be placed across the region beginning next March.

A Parade of Hearts mobile app and website will be available to allow people to search for the heart installations.

Eventually, the hearts will be auctioned off to benefit the project’s nonprofit partner.

Five beneficiary pillars were established as part of the efforts.

Those include health and wellness, education, small and minority owned businesses, hospitality and tourism, and the arts community.

They'll be tasked with deciding how to designate the proceeds of the sculptures to help communities who were hurt by the pandemic.

The University of Kansas Health System will focus its efforts on helping COVID-19 patients known as "long haulers."

The Mid America Regional Council will be in charge of offering grants to child care facilities or nonprofits who assist with child care efforts, particularly those who help in low income areas.

VisitKC will use proceeds to help local hospitality and tourism workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

“A project of this scope takes incredible partners,” Mary Wooldridge, co-chair for Parade of Hearts, said in a statement. “Thankfully, we’re lucky enough to have the support of The University of Kansas Health System, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Charlie Hustle Clothing Co. and Dimensional Innovations — just to name a few.”

Anyone interested in applying to design a KC Heart sculpture can apply at theparadeofhearts.com.