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Regional early learning programs are getting a boost of love through the Parade of Hearts.

The Parade of Hearts is a public arts experience in the Kansas City region. Original heart sculptures, 154 in total, were designed around the historical and iconic KC heart. They have been placed throughout the Kansas City region as an example of unification and to make our communities stronger. The hearts will be on display until June 1. After that, the sculptures will be auctioned for charity.

The Parade of Hearts aims to strengthen the region by providing grants to organizations that help those greatly affected by the events of the last few years and today. The beneficiaries are:

  • AltCap, providing direct grants and business advisory services for minority and women-owned small businesses.
  • Visit KC Foundation, providing locally owned business grants in the hospitality and tourism industries.
  • The University of Kansas Health System, supporting patients with COVID-19 who have effects on the heart.
  • MARC, supporting the reopening and expansion of child care facilities.
  • The local and regional artist community, supporting arts and culture.

“MARC is honored to be one of the recipients of the Parade of Hearts,” said Jovanna Rohs, director of Early Learning at MARC. “Over the course of the past two years, our region has seen more than 5,000 child care slots disappear due to program closure, both temporary and permanent. It is imperative that rebuilding and expanding available child care slots be included as part of the COVID-19 recovery response. MARC will utilize funds generated through the  Parade of Hearts to award small grants to nonprofit early childhood centers, serving low- to moderate-income families, with the tools they need to reopen, continue or expand services successfully.”

Pictures of the hearts can be found online – you can also read about the designs, the artists and the locations. Show your love for the artists and share your visits to the hearts via the Parade of Hearts social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.