How Parade of Hearts Moved Our Community into Connection

Guests: Jenn Nussbeck and Eileen Weir | Season 10, Ep. 426

“This is something that connected our region like never before.”- Eileen Weir

There’s a famous saying that goes, “It only takes one tree to start a forest, one smile to begin a friendship… one thought to change the world” and that’s exactly what happened in the Kansas City community through the Parade of Hearts that began from one drawing on a napkin. During its last auction in 2022, it raised more than $2 million for Kansas City charities. During today’s episode, Dr. Michelle invites Jenn Nussbeck and Eileen Weir to share how this project began, the doors that it opened in our community, and the opportunity it provided to build connections with people in different neighborhoods across the metro. They also explain why public art has become a crucial piece to our community’s well-being and why it evoked certain senses for the people who live here. Jenn will also tell a moving story about two people who met at one of the hearts and how that location formed their new friendship. At the end of the episode, they will give listeners an exclusive update about what’s next for the Parade of Hearts in Kansas City, which means you will be the first to hear it on this episode!

About Today’s Guests:

Jenn Nussbeck is the Parade of Hearts Executive Director. She has served on numerous public charity boards as well as dedicated the last 15 years supporting organizations throughout communities in Kansas City. Assisting those navigating the philanthropy and civic channels is not only her work, but her passion. Jenn was born in San Diego but raised in Kansas City. She comes from a large Irish family. Her great uncle (Pat O’Neill Sr.) started the Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade with Mike Murphy.

Eileen Weir was elected Mayor of the City of Independence, Missouri, in 2014. Prior to her election, she served on the Independence City Council representing the city’s 4th District from 2012 to 2014. She began her career in communications and public relations with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1992, acting as the team’s Manager of Public Information and Media Services. She served as the Chiefs Charity Game Coordinator from 2009 to 2013 for the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City. Eileen and her husband Tom live in southwestern Independence with their twins, John and Nora.


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