Parade of Hearts KC is a public art experience celebrating diversity, uniting communities, and supporting nonprofits by placing beautifully designed hearts made by local artists throughout the Kansas City region. This year, forty “Heartists” were selected out of more than 500 concept submissions. Maliha Khan, Senior Content Strategist at EVERSANA INTOUCH, was among one of the artists chosen.
Maliha’s heart is named “Look, but only with love,” which is a translation of “dekh magar pyar se” (day-k ma-gur p-yar say), a famous saying in Pakistani culture. In essence, the phrase encourages onlookers to not be jealous but instead look on with a loving gaze.
Kansas City is a growing metropolis, and Maliha wanted her heart to send a message to the local community encouraging understanding and love. She hopes her heart will be a familiar sight to those who share her background, especially young people looking for representation, just as she used to seek as a child growing up in Kansas City.
“Pakistani truck art is a popular and distinctive form of folk art. You’ll often see bright colors, intricate patterns, and bold typography used to create visually stunning designs,” says Maliha. “Today, the popularity of truck art has extended well beyond Pakistan. Truck art has become a symbol of national pride and reflecting on Kansas City’s growth over the years brings me joy. With this design, I wanted to reflect my pride of being a Pakistani-American in Kansas City.”
If you live near Kansas City and want to view the hearts, mark your calendar for the hearts reveal kickoff event on April 15, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the American Royal Hale Arena located at 1701 American Royal Ct, Kansas City, MO 64102.
After the event, the hearts will be auctioned off to raise funds for selected charities. The hearts will be moved to locations around the city and be available for public viewing until July. Download the Parade of Hearts mobile app to be a part of a scavenger hunt, goodies from sponsors, and learn more about the story behind each heart.