Published February 27th, 2020 at 7:00 PM
More than 90 Kansas City area high school students are expressing kindness through art this week.
The SevenDays Kindness Art Show is at the Country Club Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library, 4801 Main St. The button design competition is a program of the Faith Always Wins Foundation, created in the wake of the 2014 hate crime murders of three people near the Jewish Community Campus and Village Shalom in Overland Park.
SevenDays seeks to encourage kindness through knowledge, mindset and behaviors. Artworks in this week’s show are based on SevenDays’ daily themes of “love, discover, others, connect, you, onward, and go.”
Mindy Corporon, co-founder and president of Faith Always Wins Foundation, hopes to bring people together and overcome differences after experiencing her own personal tragedy.
In 2014, Corporon’s 14-year-old son, Reat Underwood, and her father, Dr. William Corporon, were killed outside the Jewish Community Center. The assailant also killed Terri LaManno in an outburst of hate-inspired violence. The tragedy inspired her activism for acknowledging the importance of kindness, especially in younger generations.
“We must open the conversation to the generation we seek not only to offer guidance but to hear guidance from,” said Corporon, noting that our actions will not only affect today’s world, but ripple into the future. “Many students will live beyond my time, our world is ever changing – coming together, pushing apart, the ebb and flow of humanity, similar to an ocean full of chaotic waves.”
A touching piece of art in the show by Katie Ault was inspired by everyday actions.
“Being nice to others and treating them with respect, despite any differences, is what I think kindness is,” Ault said. “I have a brother with special needs and whenever I see people being kind to him and including him in things, it makes me feel really happy. Even showing someone a little bit of kindness like that can have a big impact. The hands holding a ball of light represents the ‘discover’ theme because everyone is able find the light within themselves to shine and be an example of kindness to others.”
Abby Farmer created an award-winning button design. She said her seven-ripple design signifies the seven themed days for the organization. Represented in the center, compassion and kindness is symbolized with the heart.
“Something I found really cool about SevenDays is that when something bad happens, you can turn it into something positive,” Farmer said. “The story of the Mindy Corporon showed a new perspective and represents this well.”
Following the library exhibit, the SevenDays art exhibit will travel throughout the community. The sixth annual SevenDays Make a Ripple, Change the World experience is scheduled for April 21-27. To learn more, go to the SevenDays website.
“We are thankful to have so many applicants for this competition,” Corporon said. “We believe this shows our deep connection with the belief that high school students are valued.”
Flatland intern Soon Jen Pak is a student at Park Hill High School.