From the Heart: Blue KC Loves Kansas City

Summer Issue

Don’t Miss Out: Hearts On Display Until the End of May

They don’t call it “The Heartland” for nothing. Geographically speaking, Kansas City is located smack dab in the middle of the United States. If you want to get technical about it, the exact center of the contiguous 48 states is located about two miles northwest of Lebanon, Kansas. That said, our city serves as the symbolic heart of the country. The tie between East and West.

Kansas City has been known to wear its heart on its sleeve, quite literally. Chances are, you own a Charlie Hustle t-shirt emblazoned with a KC heart. But did you know the iconic KC heart symbol originated with the Kansas City Monarchs? Satchel Paige, Buck O’Neil, and other Negro Leagues stars proudly wore the KC heart patch – stitched onto the left sleeve of their uniforms – as they won the 1942 Negro Leagues World Series.

And speaking of winning, KC certainly has the heart of a champion. Between the Chiefs, Royals, Sporting Kansas City, the KC Comets, and the KC Current, the city of fountains has been awash in victories in recent years.

But at the heart of things, what really makes Kansas City special is our collective care for each other. We support our communities, our local businesses, and our artistic institutions. And with the recent launch of “Parade of Hearts” – a philanthropic public art installation – Kansas City is doing just that.

The region-wide initiative officially launched on March 7, with 154 hearts installed across the metro. “Parade of Hearts” aims to energize the local economy, boost tourism, and revitalize retail and service sectors.

Blue KC is a presenting sponsor of the project, in partnership with JE Dunn and nbkc bank.

“Seeing the Parade of Hearts come together has been a special experience with our partners. When Kansas City puts its heart into something, we accomplish great things,” said Erin Stucky, President and CEO, Blue KC. “The funding generated from the Parade of Hearts will go a long way in helping our city recover from the impacts of the last two years and Blue KC is pleased to serve as a presenting sponsor. I can’t wait to see all these beautiful works of art throughout our community.”

Selecting the participants was no easy task. An independent jury panel reviewed over 700 entries before choosing a diverse group of 123 artists to take part in “Parade of Hearts,” each crafting a truly unique work in the form of a five-foot-by-five-foot fiberglass heart. The artwork is placed in prominent locations throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. For those who venture out to see these spectacular symbols in person, be sure to find the scannable QR code placed on each sculpture, which provides detailed information about the artist, their inspiration, and the surrounding neighborhood.

Blue KC was honored to choose eight hearts’ locations to bring attention to several of our community partners.


  • Artist: Andrea Cira
  • Location: Vibrant Health – 21 North 12th Street in Kansas City, KS
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Parade of Hearts Artwork: Nuestro Corazon


  • Artist: Suze Ford
  • Location: Harvesters – 3801 Topping Avenue
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Parade of Hearts Artwork: The Darkness Hides from Light


  • Artist: Stacy Haworth with Piper Creek Elementary Students
  • Location: Variety KC playground (located at Tiffany Hills Park)
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Parade of Hearts Artwork: We are the Heart of Piper Creek


  • Artist: Blake Bryant
  • Location: Swope Health – 3801 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
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Parade of Hearts Artwork: Shield of Health


  • Artist: Laura Patriquin AKA Roxi Quinn
  • Location: KC Care Health Center – 4601 Independence Avenue
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Parade of Hearts Artwork: You are Loved


  • Artist: Kelly Seward and Veterans Community Project volunteers and veterans
  • Location: Veterans Community Project – 8900 Troost Avenue
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Parade of Hearts Artwork: Homes of the Brave


  • Artist: Laura Allinder
  • Location: Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center – 825 Euclid Avenue
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Parade of Hearts Artwork: It Takes a Village


  • Artist: Tracy Kapperman
  • Location: Union Station – 30 West Pershing Road
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Parade of Hearts Artwork: Home

“Celebrating regional unity through public art is something Union Station is thrilled to support,” George Guastello, Union Station President and CEO, said. “The fact that we’re able to host the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City heart is a further honor. Placed on our East Transit Plaza, this impressive creation will be enjoyed by tens of thousands of guests as it sits between our two iconic buildings. This is a truly meaningful partnership and philanthropic project.”

The hearts will be on display through the end of May, before being auctioned off in June, when members of the community will have the opportunity to place their bid. Funds raised will be distributed to four area organizations: Alt-Cap – who will award minority-owned business grants, the Mid-America Regional Council – tasked with funding the reopening of childcare facilities and early childhood education digital needs, The University of Kansas Health System – to help support COVID-19 patients that have long-term lingering effects on the heart, and the Visit KC Foundation – backing locally owned business grants in the hospitality and tourism industries. Each participating artist also received a $2,000 stipend for their work.

For more information related to the program, including the location of each heart, participating artists and organizations, program merchandise, details related to the “Parade of Hearts” app, and other pertinent information, visit