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'Parade of Hearts' looking for designs from artists for community initiative

Selected artists will receive a $2,000 stipend
Parade of Hearts
Posted at 8:04 AM, Aug 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 23:43:03-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Parade of Hearts is putting a call out to artists, looking for designs for their new community art initiative.

“We are engaging artists to create these beautiful hearts," Mary Woolridge, co-director of Parade of Hearts said.

There is a chance for artists to make their mark in the Kansas City area.

“It will be distributed all over the region, not just in KC," Woolridge said. "But Overland Park, North KC, KCK [and] Independence."

The new community wide public art initiative is looking for designs to go on 100 to 200 fiberglass hearts in 2021. 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.

This is an example of a heart that will be displayed in KC.

"We get to have a platform to show our work in a cheerful, happy way," Ada Koch, a local artist said. "Also, an opportunity for people who've never done public art to be able to do that."

The heart has been part of the city's history dating back as early as 1919, when the KC-based railroad workers wore pins with the iconic heart symbol to show where they called home.

Pin worn in the early 1900s

More than 100 years later, it's making a bigger impact on the community. The fiberglass hearts will be auctioned off when the parade is over and the money raised will be donated.

"This will help people who have been affected by COVID, including kids with education issues [and] parents," Woolridge said.

Eventually, the hearts will be auctioned off to benefit the project’s non profit 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 non profits 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.

The deadline to submit designs is Saturday, Sept. 4th.

People interested in learning more about the project can visit the Parade of Hearts website.

There will be a information session for artists via Zoom on Aug. 18 at 6:30 p.m. People who wish to attend the session can visit this link.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Ada Koch's last name. It has since been corrected.