Carl Stafford will speak on innovative ways to change the game in sustainable living during his March 25 talk as part of the “Earth/Work: Artists & Sustainable Living” conversation series. 

Stafford is the founder of My Region Wins! and the creator of the award-winning Boon Area 1, which looks to take on environmental and social injustice issues using art and nature.

The Boon Area 1 project saw Stafford transform a blighted vacant lot purchased from the Land Bank of Kansas City into a nature-based functional and interactive art installation that generates revenue. 

Stafford is the second speaker at the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Earth/Work, which is a discussion series highlighting individuals who creatively approach sustainability by reimagining our connection to and utilization of the planet. 

Speakers in the series share personal stories about what motivated them to embark on their creative paths and the challenges they face. Audience participation, discussion, and questions are encouraged.

Born and raised on the west side of District 5 in KCMO, Stafford’s focus is on coaching, advocacy, and transforming blighted areas into vibrant native plant gardens. Stafford’s goal is to revive the west side of KC’s District 5 by using natural resources as assets to generate revenue and compensate residents, with the aim of creating self-sustaining economies within neighborhoods. 

His work on Boon Area 1, an environmental artwork installation that doubles as a community garden, received the Charlotte Street Foundation Cultural Producer Grant in 2022.

In 2021, Stafford was recognized by Grinnell College as an “Innovator to Watch” for his efforts to rectify the damage caused by redlining, systematic divesting, and environmental degradation in Kansas City. Stafford is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute in new media.

“Earth/Work: Artists & Sustainable Living” is organized by Elizabeth Stehling Snell in partnership with the Charlotte Street Foundation. The series will also feature Matthew and Tia Regier of Matfield Green, KS; Brooke Salvaggio of Urbavore Farm and Compost Collective; and Ryan Tenney of Sankara Farm.

The event will take place on Sat., March 25, from 2 to 3 p.m., at the Charlotte Street Kemper Library, 3333 Wyoming in Kansas City.