Make. Believe.
Change the World.


There’s a power in creativity. A power to change someone’s day. Discover how the things we make can make the world a better place.


8–9AM Coffee and check-in
Or check in the day before at Hallmark. 
Details to come.

9–4:30PM Speakers throughout the day
Lunch provided

4:30–6:30PM Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment




1601 Broadway Blvd
Kansas City, MO 64108


Free parking is available in the Arts District Garage, directly below the Kauffman Center. Parking is limited. Please consider carpooling, and be sure to arrive early.






Grace Byers’ perspective on the world started by experiencing a world few people will ever experience. As a multiracial child with deaf parents, Grace grew up being continually confronted by bullying and prejudice. And while these experiences had a profound influence on her, it’s what she’s using those experiences to do that are defining her as someone who believes in the power of good. Her success playing Anika Calhoun on Fox’s smash hit series Empire has given her the platform to speak out against the prejudices she’s faced throughout her life and her career. I Am Enough, her New York Times best-selling children’s book, is a lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others and being kind to one another. And it’s through this work that Grace is teaching little girls how to confront and overcome the negative effects of bullying—to not only change the way they face each day but to change their world.





Tim Riley understands a thing or two about having vision. As the senior director of experience design for Warby Parker, he isn’t just focused on sharing the story of how the stylish and affordable eyeware brand is making the world a better place through their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, he’s also been helping customers experience a new way to think about glasses since the company first began. From an innovative online user experience all the way to the point-of-sale, Tim is helping people see the joy that purchasing a new pair of glasses can bring. His unique ideas have turned what was once a costly and dreaded task into something that people come back to experience day after day, knowing that with every pair they add to their collection, they’re bringing good into
the world.





The best inspiration comes from experiences. And for Hallmarkers Marn Jensen and Andy Newcom, the experiences of generations before them have been an immense creative inspiration and a life-changing experience. As the 2017 Barbara Marshall Award co-winners, Marn and Andy interviewed more than 70 elderly people and gathered their stories and wishes for the world to use as inspiration for a series of art pieces. With a goal of conveying these wishes in a memorable way, these two friends, who have been collaborating together for more than 30 years, hope their interpretations will serve as a conduit for these stories to be heard and as an inspiration for others to find new ways they can live life with a greater purpose and vision for making the world a better place. Their artwork will be featured in an exhibit at Hallmark starting on May 11.





To capture someone’s imagination is to inspire them. And that’s exactly what Ron Clements has done as a director for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Ron grew up creating his own animation shorts and developing his cartooning skills—even animating commercials for his local TV station—but it was what he learned from some of the original animation experts at Disney that taught him how animation could truly tell a story. It was also at Disney that he paired up with fellow director John Musker to collaborate on beloved classics such as The Little MermaidAladdin and their newest soon-to-be-classic, Moana. Their success in animated films is due, in part, to their belief in the medium itself and to their understanding of the power of a great story. And it’s the stories they create that have inspired generations of not only fans…but of believers.





Without question, art can change the world. It can open your eyes to new perspectives and fill your mind with new ideas. And it was with this idea in mind that Mica Thomas and Anthony Magliano introduced the world to Quixotic. This much-lauded performance experience blends dance, music, aerial acrobatics, projection mapping and a host of other acts to create a truly innovative reinvention of the circus ensemble. Through Quixotic, Mica and Anthony are blurring the lines between technology, performance and visual arts to give the world a new perspective on what art can be and an appreciation for how it can bring joy, surprise and inspiration at any moment. The group has performed across the world and has earned the respect of publications as renowned as The New York Times, been applauded by the likes of a Cirque Du Soleil director and earned an unofficial stamp of genius when they were invited to perform at the 2012 global TEDGlobal Conference.





There’s a power in the written word—a unique ability to capture someone’s imagination unlike any other format. And Ashley Ford is using that platform to help others open their minds, take on problems with a new perspective and face each day with a better sense of understanding. She uses her words to face tough situations with honesty and dignity, then uses those words as a means to help others heal and reflect on their own lives. Her newest book, a memoir titled Somebody’s Daughter, will be published through Flatiron Books under the imprint An Oprah Book. Ashley hosts the successful podcast 112BK and has contributed to a number of other podcasts and publications, all with the purpose of helping others find their own way to bring good into the world. She has been named among Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Media and was one of 2017’s New Yorkers of the Year named by Time Out New York. But mostly she spends her days writing, helping people find joy and good in their life one word at a time.





To change the world you need inspiration. You need an energy and an excitement about your ideas. As one of the design world’s most respected lettering artists, Jessica Hische is a conduit for that enthusiasm, using the creative world that inspires her to inspire others. With a client list that includes Wes Anderson, the U.S. Postal Service, The New York Times and a host of others, Jessica has been recognized by publications like Print and Forbes. But it’s her continuous enthusiasm for the design world and her ideas about creativity that have earned her followers across the world. Her unique views on building, finding and maintaining success as a creative person are inspiring others to take a look at their own processes and to find ways to create things that inspire others to make the world a more beautiful and visual place.





Acclaimed filmmaker Barry Jenkins didn’t just set out to create movies. He wanted to make the kind of films he hadn’t seen. And by doing just that, he’s shown the world what’s truly possible. His film Moonlight wasn’t just the 2017 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, it was the first in history to win Best Picture with an all-black cast. The first LGBT film to be so honored. The first film to be nominated for editing from a black woman. And the first film to honor a Muslim with an Oscar for acting. Barry himself has won numerous awards worldwide for his work in film, creating the kind of work that can make the world work toward being more inclusive and understanding. This has earned him a place as one of TIME magazine’s Most Influential People of 2017. His newest projects include an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground Railroad and a film based on the life of the first American female Olympic boxing champion. It’s projects like these that shine a light not only on Barry’s desire to tell the kinds of stories he thinks can change the film world but also on his ability to impact the world as a whole





Sometimes, changing the world starts with having a unique perspective. And the one seen through Jeremy Cowart’s camera lens has inspired people across the world to give back to others. Through his global photography movement, Help-Portrait, Jeremy has given creative minds an outlet for bringing joy, hope and help to those who need it most. And with his latest project, The Purpose Hotel—which he developed through his years of travel—he is hoping to create a global for-profit hotel chain where every item and amenity is created by, and used to improve, the lives of people around the world who are struggling. While his experience photographing celebrities, the beauty of nature and the world he travels has earned the respect of many, it’s Jeremy’s reputation as someone who explores the intersection of creativity and empathy that has shown us all what it means to use your talents to change the world.



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