Carl Stafford is the founder/visionary of MY REGION WINS! (MRW!) Kansas City’s creative nonprofit organization, established in 2014. Carl was born and raised on the west side of District 5 in Kansas City, Mo. Graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a bachelor’s in fine arts in 2006. Carl was recognized by Grinnell College as their ‘2021 Innovator to Watch’, in 2022 Carl was elected by Councilman Lee Barnes to receive the ‘816 Day Community Award’, for the 5th District, and in 2023 MRW! received the ‘Sustainable Community IMPACT Award’ given by the South KC Chambers of Commerce. Carl is a two-time recipient of the Cultural Producer grant given by Charlotte Street.
In 2016 MRW! obtained a 4,000sqft. blighted/vacant property owned by Land Bank (who own nearly 3,000 vacant properties all on the east side of Troost) in a disinvested business zone on the west side of District 5 and turned it into a contemporary community garden. In 2020, after planting native plants such as Buffalo grass, little blue stem, blazing star and other native plants, there has not been a need to cut the grass, therefore there has been no gas-powered lawnmower. Since 2021 MRW! has been able to give Noble neighborhood (where BOON AREA 1 is located) a check from a portion of the revenue generated at 2nd Sundays, a social-networking gathering held at BOON AREA 1.
Carl’s mission is to address J.C. Nichols’ 100-year plan that was started in 1945 (we are currently in year 78 of J.C.’s plan).