HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– We saw a lot of red hearts in windows over the past year, a nod to the healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. Now you can prepare to see larger hearts with specific messages on the State Capitol lawn.
Words of inspiration like healing, unity, together, strength, amor. You may have seen hearts like this before. The First Lady put them on the White House lawn for Valentine’s Day. But just as fast as they went up…they came down.
“That kind of made me sad in a little way because I loved it and I wanted to see it prolonged,” said Jazna Stannard.
Jazna Stannard relocated to Hartford two months ago for a new job with an innovation hub. That’s how she got connected to MakerspaceCT. And the idea for “Capitol Hearts” was born.
“She says, ‘I need somebody to cut these big 8-foot by 8-foot hearts and I’m going to put them on the Capitol lawn,'” said Emma Russell, Chief Administrator, MakerspaceCT.
In a matter of weeks, Stannard’s vision came together in this nonprofit space where visions come to life. The hearts will leave here and head to the Capitol lawn on Thursday to mark National Nurses Day. They’ll stay there through May 17.
These hearts haven’t even gone up on the Capitol lawn yet and they’ve already been claimed by local businesses and organizations like Hartford Hospital and the United Way.
“It’s also a nod to essential workers who gave their time, their love to fight COVID-19. Also, to remember those who passed on too soon. Also, the words of inspiration to try to unify our community and our country in these turbulent times,” said Stannard.
Saturday May 15 the display will culminate in a family-friendly event where people can also get vaccinated. And it’s possible Stannard started a hashtag #CapitolHearts movement. There’s already interest from other state capitols. She just hopes the inspiration lasts beyond the exhibit.
“To see a sea of hearts and remember the love of those who have passed on. I think will be very empowering,” said Stannard.