For Immediate Release: March 21, 2022
For more information contact:
O: (816) 395-3711
KANSAS CITY, MO. (March 21, 2022)—Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) is proud to wear its heart on its sleeve in a bid to unite the region through support of “Parade of Hearts,” a citywide public art installation.
The initiative – which brings Kansas City’s “Heart of America” symbol to life – officially launched March 7, with 154 hearts now installed across the metro. Blue KC is a presenting sponsor of the initiative, in partnership with JE Dunn and nbkc bank. “Parade of Hearts” aims to energize the local economy, boost tourism and revitalize retail and service sectors.
“Seeing the Parade of Hearts come together with our partners has been a special experience. 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 impact of the last two years. Blue KC is proud to serve as a presenting sponsor and help strengthen our community through inspirational works of public art.”
From over 700 entries, an independent jury panel selected a diverse group of 123 artists to take part in the “Parade of Hearts.” Each chosen artist was invited to craft a truly unique work in the form of a five-foot-by-five-foot fiberglass heart. The artwork has been placed in prominent locations throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area and features a scannable QR code to learn more about the artist, their inspiration and the surrounding neighborhood. Blue KC sponsored eight hearts and chose their locations to bring attention to several of our community partners:
- “NUESTRO CORAZON”
- Artist: Andrea Cira
- Location: Vibrant Health – 21 North 12th Street
- “THE DARKNESS HIDES FROM LIGHT”
- Artist: Suze Ford
- Location: Harvesters – 3801 Topping Avenue
- “WE ARE THE HEART OF PIPER CREEK”
- Artist: Stacy Haworth with Piper Creek Elementary Students
- Location: Variety KC playground (located at Tiffany Hills Park)
- “SHIELD OF HEALTH”
- Artist: Blake Bryant
- Location: Swope Health – 3801 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
- “YOU ARE LOVED”
- Artist: Laura Patriquin AKA Roxi Quinn
- Location: KC Care Health Center – 4601 Independence Avenue
- “HOMES OF THE BRAVE”
- Artist: Kelly Seward and Veterans Community Project volunteers and veterans
- Location: Veterans Community Project – 8900 Troost Avenue
- “IT TAKES A VILLAGE”
- Artist: Laura Allinder
- Location: Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center – 825 Euclid Avenue
- Artist: Tracy Kapperman
- Location: Union Station – 30 West Pershing Road
“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 throughout the spring season, before being auctioned off in June. 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 www.theparadeofhearts.com; follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.