PeaceWorks Kansas City

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PeaceWorks KC Local Art Fair is back, better than ever! 

By Mary Hladky

The PeaceWorks KC Local Art Fair was off and running at our new location, Theis Park, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25. Theis Park is our best location yet – it provided lots of trees, shade, more sidewalk, and plenty of space for 70+ artists and shoppers. The park provided a peaceful, relaxed setting. PeaceWorks has continued our outreach to the whole community, resulting in a more inclusive, diverse group of artists and a good crowd of shoppers. There was excitement in the air! People enjoyed the art, delicious Colombian food, sharing time with each other, and fantastic weather.

Ann Suellentrop holds toy bombs to toss in the toilet.

Peaceworks sold many of its soft, recycled cotton t-shirts, designed by PeaceWorks member and artist Leigh Woody. We were happy to see so many shoppers sporting their new gear – spreading the peace message while looking good!

PeaceWorks Board member Ann Suellentrop had a really fun game booth. Ann wanted to draw attention to the nuclear bomb plant here in KC. Her booth signs read, “What is Wasted with Nuclear Weapons & War? All Life on Earth and Trillions of $$$$.” Children and adults were eager to “throw a toy bomb in the toilet.” People nearby hooted and hollered when a bomb entered the toilet, and each player won a prize.

After the fair, Ann said, “The diversity of the artists and the patrons this year was noticeably increased. We had differently abled folks, LGBTQIA people, persons of color, people from the Muslim community, immigrants, all very peaceful and without incident. Fantastic!” She added that events like our art fair are “antidotes to hatred and making people into enemies, which is a prelude to wars. Our fair is part of Making Peace Work!”-

Hafsa, left, and Cigdem, in the middle—both of them string artists of the Kansas City Raindrop Foundation—stand with Tom Mountenay at their table.

Dave Pack, PeaceWorks treasurer, “Sales were about $43,500, a solid number given that the art fair had not been held in person since September 2019.” The vast majority of this money benefits the artists.

Visit our website for additional photos of the artists, their art, and general fun at the fair. A link to a podcast is at

—Mary Hladky is vice-chair of PeaceWorks KC.

© 2022, Mary Hladky, Dave Pack, Ann Suellentrop, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.

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Man hanging origame peace cranes.