The Hearts of The City
Story & Photo by Abble Langle- Editor-in-Chief
The famous logo is synonymous with Kansas City. A big, bright heart with the block letters “KC” right in the middle. Labeling all things from t-shirts to coffee mugs, it has become just as much a part of KC culture as the Chiefs, Royals, and barbecue. Now this famous marker has inspired a new art campaign across the city. “The Parade of Hearts” is an art experience taking place all across the Kansas City Metro. It includes 154 5-foot tall heart sculptures that all have different and unique designs made by local artists.
The hearts truly are all over the Kansas City area. They are located in all sorts of neighborhoods and suburbs from Weston to Martin City, Bonner Springs to Blue Springs, and everywhere in between. Some ambitious sight-seers have the goal of seeing all of them, or at least as many as they can.
The Parade of Hearts organizers have a detailed map on their website to help people find where the sculptures are located. They also have developed an app that can help locate all of the hearts. Users of the app can “check-in” and can see how many others have visited the hearts they are at. When they check-in they can keep track of which hearts they have seen and make wish lists of the ones they want to check out.
“I really want to see the ‘Buzzworthy’ one because it is super cool the way the artist designed it and I like all the elements in it and the way it all goes together,” Ashley Paul, senior, said.
Many believe that the hearts have just become popular in the metro over the last few years, however hearts have been an iconic symbol in Kansas City for a long time. Sometimes known as the “Heart of America”, the logo just makes sense for the city. Its long history started with the Kansas City Monarchs in the 1940s and continued when the Country Club Plaza engraved the design into its light poles in the 50s and 60s. Eventually, the KC hearts found themselves on the famous Charlie Hustle shirts we all know. This art installation is just the next chapter in its long and exciting history.
Due to the individuality of each heart, crowds have been driving all across the city and swarming to see them all. Of the 154 hearts, five are located here in Lee’s Summit.
“I’ve seen some of the hearts they have around Lee’s Summit but I haven’t seen anymore out of Lee’s Summit. My goal is to see at least four,” Paul said.
You can see these unique hearts until the end of May. After that the public will be able to bid on the hearts they want to keep and display. So if you are looking for a heart to put in your yard, you better start saving your money.