Inspired by Peter Kageyama’s book “For the Love of Cities,” a group of Kauffman Foundation interns launched the KC Rose Project to spark and celebrate love for Kansas City, Missouri. It’s a simple concept: Introduce yourself to people around town, share what you love about KC and present the person with a rose with a note that reads:
“Amazing people like you make KC an amazing place.
Please give this rose to another amazing person in KC.”
—Love, Kansas City
Throughout one week in July, Carlos Cubas, Devan Belt, John Beutner, Talicia Black, Tyler Riley, Vanessa Rodriquez and Alonis Solomon presented 250 roses to inspire people to think about why they love Kansas City and to share that love with others. “The love of the city has to be established by the people,” Riley says. “If the people of the city love each other, the love for the city will grow.”
The KC Rose Project crew felt that with each rose it presented. “A guy told us to give a young lady sitting at a bus stop a rose from him,” Solomon says. “It was fun finding her based on his description to hand a rose to her. It just showed how easy it was to spread the love around KC through a rose.”
Some of the rose presentations were shared on the KC Rose Project’s Instagram page.
“I am hoping that the people that we were able to connect with will remember the moment we handed them the rose and continue to pay it forward,” intern Talicia Black says. “Maybe our small gesture will inspire someone to create their own way to celebrate and love Kansas City and the people who make it.”
She hopes the project itself will last much longer than its roses, and that next year’s interns might make it an annual event.
Until then, Kansas Citians can keep the love coming by sharing a rose or what they love about Kansas City using #KCRoseProject.
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