Noticing Neighbors Parade of Hearts


Jamie Appelbaum's daughters visiting the KC Soul Heart. in Lee's Summit,

This spring we have had the most fantastic parade happening in Kansas City, and it is giving us so much goodness to Notice.


The Parade of Hearts has brought the heartland to life with beautiful heart sculptures all across the city. There are 156 individual hearts, across 2 states, in 30 cities, and the hearts are definitely bringing people together.


The hearts will remain throughout the city until the first week of June at which time they will be collected and then auctioned to raise money for several Kansas City benefactors.





It has been so great to witness the joy that these hearts have brought to so many. Just scrolling through my feed I see so many pictures of friends visiting hearts. One of those friends is Jamie Appelbaum. Jamie and her daughters, and their friends have visited many of the hearts.

You can click on the image below to see a slideshow of many of their Parade of Heart experiences.



I recently got a chance to visit with Jamie to hear first hand about their experience.


Amy

Thanks for sharing your perspective with me Jamie. Can you tell me more about why and how you and your girls have connected with the Parade of Hearts?


Jamie

I love things that connect people & I love the heart. My kids got really excited that their art teacher, Ivy Zoller got selected as one of the local artists to paint a heart.




Amy

That is fantastic! I love that the name of Ivy's piece is "What Do You Do If You Don't Have Lemons?" Where is Ivy's heart currently on display?


Jamie

It is in downtown Kansas City. We visited it and then many more. Some of the hearts we've gone to purposefully and some we've stumbled upon.


Amy

What are some of your favorites?


Jamie

All of these hearts represent something different. Some of our favorites include the animal advocacy heart at the KC ZOO, the agriculture heart at Wonderscope, and certainly the COVID memorial in Prairie Village.



Amy

Will you try to see more hearts between now and the first week in June when the hearts are collected for auction?


Jamie

We will. My kids remind me to use the app so hopefully we will get to see several more.



Parade of Hearts has given us so much goodness to Notice from the 123 diverse, local Kansas City artists who actually created the hearts, to the designers of the app who make learning about the artists and the community so easy. There is so much to celebrate about his project. I just had to learn more so I went to the source.


Jenn Nussbeck is one of the original organizers of this inspiring project and I am so grateful that she shared her time and perspective with me. I learned so much!


Amy

Jenn, I can just hear you light up when you talk about The Parade of Hearts bringing people together. You've talked about this project being unifying and how it has brought our two states together. Can you share more about that?


Jenn

Absolutely! There is definitely a community education component. The Sike Style - KC Soul heart is a great example of that! Local Artist, Sike Style created a heart that honors the late Marva Whitney who is a soul icon from the area of Kansas City, KS. People have asked why the heart was placed in Lee's Summit, Mo. It was a perfectly imperfect placement so that we can learn about each other's communities.


It was placed in a neighborhood outside of KCK to bring people from other communities. As people visit this heart they not only learn about Lee's Summit, they also learn about this particular jazz singer.



Amy

As with all projects of this magnitude and impact I can't even imagine all of the people -- all of the effort -- that has gone into making this project a success. Can you share a bit about that?


Jenn

This is a heartfelt and intentional group of Kansas City leaders. I am in awe, but not surprised how many people and contributors came together. It is enormous! There were 100's of people that played a small or significant role that made this happen.


Especially in light of the events of the past 2 years our mission is to bring unity; to set a national example.


Amy

I understand that the hearts are only going to be on display until the first of June. Is that right???


Jenn

Yes, the hearts will be collected during the first week of June to prepare them to be auctioned.


Amy

The Hearts are such a gift to the city in and of themselves and the fact that they will be auctioned to raise money to support so many programs and projects in Kansas City is phenomenal!! I'd love to know more about that, too.


Jenn

There are 5 beneficiaries and all funds raised will stay in our area and go towards Education (MARC), Arts & Culture (Local & Regional Artist community), Small Minority-owned and Women-owned Businesses (AltCap), Health & Wellness (University of Kansas Health System), and Hospitality & Tourism (Visit KC Foundation). And though it would be amazing for the hearts to stay out, the beneficiaries need the money. The details of the auction will be released online on the 1st of June.


Amy

We'll be looking for those details on June 1st for sure!



I personally have really enjoyed getting to experience the hearts throughout Kansas City -- that's what inspired me to want to write this story.


I was able to attend the Lee's Summit Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting for Beth Martin's Downtown Time Heart and it was so inspiring to see the community come out to celebrate! It was delightful to get to visit with Beth at the event. She spoke of what an honor it has been to get to be a part of this project, and how much she loves art and the community. Seriously, I love everything about this!!



There is a little over a week left to get out and see the hearts throughout the city and I definitely hope to see a few more! I think I'll jump on the app and see what else I can learn about this great city of ours and all of the goodness that we have to Notice. There is also still time to get involved, get some merch, and donate to support these important efforts.


I am always saying that we are joined by our mission to Notice goodness and that is what makes us The Noticed Network! The Parade of Hearts gives me that same vibe. We are connected by goodness and it's impossible not to Notice it.