Economic momentum in the Kansas City region has never been stronger — no matter which side of the state line a business operates, Gerald Smith said. A colorful pair of murals now splash that reality across two of the veteran entrepreneur’s Plexpod locations.
Reflecting a border war “truce” — called in August between the governors of Missouri and Kansas — hoped to end decades of inter-state competition, the murals in KCMO’s River Market and Lenexa, Kansas, are part of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s #GreaterKC initiative and paid for by Plexpod.
“We hope that every time someone looks at the murals they make a connection to entrepreneurship,” Smith, founder and CEO of Plexpod, said of the opportunity which allowed Plexpod to play a role in highlighting the importance of entrepreneurship and its role in growing the Kansas City-region.
“When we set out to create Plexpod, it was all about exhibiting the best of Kansas City’s emerging companies and now, when you see the murals, you will also see Plexpod,” he continued.
Click here to read about the opening of Plexpod’s newest coworking hub in River Market.
A sign of state line collaboration, Missouri-based mural artist Phil “Sike Style” Shafer joined forces with Kansas-based artist JT Daniels to complete the project — which was highlighted during the KC Chamber’s 132nd annual dinner in November.
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I had an Awesome “Spur of the Moment” opportunity yesterday to capture some Images of Artists painting a mural in the River Market area commisioned by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.. Sike Style Industries has produced some of the most Iconic Street Murals for over 15yrs in the Kansas City area.. His most recent and popular work is the “Patrick Mahomes” mural on the Ale House building in Wesport. https://www.facebook.com/SikeStyleIndustries/ Thank you very much Sike, Holly, & J.T. for the service you do for our community and Beautifying Kansas City. “Like, Follow, & Share” Johnson’s Lifescape Photography https://www.facebook.com/Billyj1981/ #sikestyle #johnsonslifescapephotography @kcchamber #greaterkc #lifescapes #GoSeeTheBeauty #kcpride #kclife #kcartist #kc #murals #rivermarket #sikestyleindustries
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Feeling thankful for this past year’s business and art opportunities, and the people who help make it happen. Here’s us looking fancy at the @kcchamber dinner as guests of @plexpod The graphics for the event by @trozzolo incorporated designs by myself and @jtdaniels_art Good times for sure, more to share later. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. ✌🏼
The murals are displayed on sides of the Plexpod locations that face I-35 and I-70, sending a clear message to locals, commuters, and travelers that Kansas City is a two-state region, committed to collaboration, the Plexpod founder explained.
“Every citizen needs to know the importance of what we have in front of us; the ability to be the most entrepreneurial community in America,” Smith noted, adding the murals now serve as history pieces that showcase the idea there’s only “One KC.”
Beyond markers of history, the initiative’s rollout couldn’t have come at a better time, Smith said, noting the recent launch of Kansas City’s regional brand — the KC Heart, elevated by Charlie Hustle.
“It’s just a fabulous time to celebrate the momentum of the region. Yes, [we’re] multiple states and multiple cities, but we are all one #GreaterKC,” he said.
Click here to read more about the launch of KC Heartland and the work of the Kansas City Area Development Council.
Though the paint on each mural is sure to fade with time, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is eager to see the fruits of the border war truce — which he believes could hold influence beyond the region, he told a crowd gathered for the chamber’s dinner.
“Let me tell you something, Washington D.C. [should] take a look at me and [Kansas] Gov. [Laura] Kelley and see how a Democrat and a Republican can get along for the betterment of our states,” he said to applause.
The border war cost the states more than $330 million, Parson noted.
“[This] frees up money for education, workforce development, infrastructure, healthcare — things that are important to everyday people,” he said.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.