MY REGION WINS! received its 501(c3) tax-exempt status.
Began sponsoring L.I.F.E. MINISTRIES SUMMER CAMP
Obtained the first vacant lot from KC Land Bank.
Sponsored Imagine That! Kansas City's B-Side Festival
Sponsored SiStar's of Maat 2nd Annual Baby Shower.
- Donated to Noble neighborhood from revenue generated at BOON AREA 1.
- Supported the Yan-Koloba Program led by Baraza African Cultures Center in partnership with
- Cultural Producer Grant recipient presented by the Charlotte Street Foundation
- Public Improvements Advisory Committee approved our request of a walking trail and the planting of native plants at Agnes Park. (PIAC Request No. 390129-District 5 Parks)
TRANSCEND EVERYDAY CHALLENGES, BY USING THE ARTS TO NURTURE CREATIVE & UNDEVELOPED IDEAS THAT SHAPE SOCIETY.
What does 'transcend' mean? It is said all the time. People transcending the game, fashion, technology, the industry. Why not transcend everyday challenges? To think bigger. To do better. Why not go bigger with the Arts & Nature in society? MRW! aims to influence responsible & nurturing relationships for one another & the earth we are gifted.
The environment needs us. We need the environment. We need each other.
It starts with us. First comes the want to. The desire to want better for the earth, humanity, & thyself, in that order.
FOR THE ARTS & NATURE TO HAVE A LARGER INFLUENCE IN SOCIETY.
Art & Nature is functional, interactive, impactful, encouraging, and empowering.
Image Art & Nature receiving the attention sports and entertainment do. Imagine multiple 24-hour Art & Nature channels on TV, multiple yearly televised Art & Nature Award Shows, and highly exposed Art & Nature contests; were the contestants' backstories are told and the winner wins millions of dollars and receives worldwide attention; while the other contestants get signed to multiyear multimillion dollar deals.
"Publicity builds pipelines. Public acknowledgement is empowering, not only for the one(s) doing the act but for the act that is being done." - Carl Stafford, Founder / Visionary
Born and raised on the west side of Kansas City’s 5th District, Carl Stafford has been a lifelong presence in his hometown’s cultural & artistic community. During his upbringing, Carl became enamored with the Arts as a means of social progression, & began to appreciate Kansas City as a vibrant metropolitan area, brimming with inspiration & potential. Carl’s journey as an Artist, environmental steward, & neighborhood lead led him to the vision he now holds for other neighborhoods, communities, his city & beyond.
While pursuing his dreams, Carl worked in & around the Kansas City metro; working particularly with the youth, he helped hundreds of children unlock their physical, intellectual, & creative potentials in a variety of capacities. As a teenager he worked as a martial arts instructor (Integrity Martial Arts Academy), veterinarian's assistant, groundskeeper, & shoe salesman. At 21, Carl became the youngest person to be hired to order supplies for Truman Medical Center's operating room. In his mid 20's Carl became heavily involved with youth athletic programs at the local YMCA, working as lifeguard, swim coach, & flag football referee. During this time, Carl was able to connect with the families of local neighborhoods & communities that had shaped him, & seeds of his vision for social justice & a sustainable inner-city environment for the next generation were sown.
At 29 Carl earned his bachelor’s degree in multimedia arts from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2006. While his original goal for attending art school was to write movie scripts & be a director, his creative muse didn’t find this path satisfactory. Carl was drawn to serving the interests of his 'new found Artist within' rather than ‘entertaining’ the masses. Concurrently at this time, he began work at the local Boys & Girls Club, leading a classroom of preteens creating books that ignited their own creative flames. He also took his first formal step into environmental conservation, working with Wayside Waifs, Kansas City’s foremost endangered species researchers. Carl’s experience micro-chipping & tracking various animals’ patterns made him keenly aware of the fragile ecosystem that the city balanced on. He incorporated this experience into a grander vision of environmental stewardship going forward.
For the next three years, Carl continued his passion for the Arts & education working with the Academic Resource Center at his alma mater, guiding students into various careers & pathways & serving as a point person for students’ artistic development. On the side during this time, he made his foray into the audible arts. He began making his rounds on the local hip-hop & spoken-word scene, as well as trying his hand at stand-up in the surrounding clubs of Kansas City. Carl’s experience with the city’s performing arts community connected him with a new generation of artists & neighborhood/community leaders, broadening the scope of his network of local advocates for change.
By 2014, Carl (now 36) was ready to take the next step. His vision of Kansas City as a new cultural epicenter that empowered & incentivize neighborhoods towards common-sense environmental stewardship needed a solid foundation. He established MY REGION WINS! (a rallying cry) Kansas City's creative non-profit organization dedicated to artistic advancement, creative problem-solving, municipal lobbying, neighborhood & community outreach. Carl created this organization as a resource for those with dreams of their own, who feel trapped by the rigors of a nine to five. Partnering strategically with local advocates, he was able to secure the funding necessary to make this dream a reality. He understood the need for structural change that starts within the most basic communities: the neighborhoods.
Since its founding, MRW!, has dedicated itself to empowering the neighborhoods of Kansas City towards self-sufficiency, natural stewardship, & grassroots pushes for socioeconomic change. Carl has dedicated his time through a variety of avenues, currently serving as acting president of his neighborhood’s association. He regularly attends municipal hearings & speaks on behalf of the people of his community.
In 2019, Carl became a certified community coach through the prestigious Fowler International Academy of Professional Coaching, further expanding his network of clients. His vision of a city that works for all, & emphasizes artistic advancement for local employees remains alive & well today. A contract with the local conservation group, the Heartland Conservation Alliance in 2020, elevated the environmental projects on MRW!’s agenda. In 2021, Carl (now 44) was named “Innovator to Watch” by Grinnell College, & is dedicated to the progression of his dream that has been decades in the making: a sustainable cultural future for Kansas City, & the world.
MY REGION WINS! is not only for dreams; it was founded by one. Being an Artist, a Creator, a Dreamer, & one who is environmentally conscious, Carl realized the importance of having access to resources & critiques. His dream is to be someone who was known for making an impact, by sparking amazing ideas that better life.
Keith McHudson * Joy Ellsworth * Robert Woods Jr. * Jim McGraw *
Beverly Watkins * Tarik Hopkins * Jessica Hays * Natasha Karsk
PAST BOARD MEMBERS
Kathy Cruz * Mike Walker *
Keyana Winston * Iscela Huntington * Debbie Fleetwood * Jayson Hill
RECEIVE A CUSTOM MRW! SHORT-SLEEVE T-SHIRT.
Design your custom MRW! t-shirt by choosing: (see examples here)
Email shirt style, color & size, the color of ink for the MRW! logo, & quantity of shirts to firstname.lastname@example.org. A mock design will be returned for your approval. Upon approval, you will be sent a link to pay for your order, once payment is received your shirt(s) will be made & mailed out if required. DISCOUNTS ON BULK ORDERS.
Please allow 4-weeks to print and ship or pick up shirt(s).
MRW! logo is see through.
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501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization
Tax ID # 46-5527680