On Monday, Jan. 11, Austin Woman magazine sat down with Amy Simmons of Amy’s Ice Creams and Andra Liemandt of The Kindness Campaign. The topic: a mural representing the word “kind.”
Andra Liemandt, founder and CEO of The Kindness Campaign and Amy Simmons of Amy’s Ice Creams have come together to create something truly special for the people of Austin. An artistic rendering of the word “kind.” The collaboration came as something of a whim. Liemandt is always on the lookout for the next opportunity to spread kindness. It’s the very foundation of her nonprofit, after all. A chance meeting in a meetup group for introverts. That’s where she crossed paths with Amy Simmons, founder of Amy’s Ice Creams.
From there an incredible relationship bloomed.
Liemandt has always had an interesting relationship with the word “kind.” Particularly with the emotional roller coaster of 2020. She was forced to really lean in to the word. All its meanings and how the word really impacted her life. “When I think about kindness, it’s almost something that’s physically emotional for me,” Liemandt says. “[It] just means being a friend to someone. And being you, knowing that you’re enough. All of that wrapped up together is kindness. Anything other than that is not being authentically you.”
Amy Simmons’ relationship with the word has also had to weather the storm of 2020. But on the other side of it came this brilliant idea. Allow people to define what kindness really means to them.
Liemandt was passionate about a project she’d visualized for years. A mural to represent what kindness means to the people of Austin. “Over the last year that question [what does kindness mean to you]is such an important question,” she says. “Really wanting to find a way to bring our community together as a whole. Really ask that question. This idea of how to do that and bring everyone together around that. Be[ing]able to showcase it in a way that people could feel good and come together around everyone’s words and letting them know they had impact.”
When approached about the idea of a mural to represent kindness being painted on her South Congress building, Simmons jumped at the opportunity. “When she told me that people pay rent to paint murals I was so surprised,” Simmons confesses. “I thought that’s such a gift to this city. Austin is still really know for its art and its music and its creativity.”
More than just an artist expression of the word, the KIND mural is a way to spread awareness about mental health. Particularly for school-aged children who have had an especially difficult time mentally adjusting to the isolation. People can participate in the mural. Visit The Kindness Campaign website to give your interpretation of the word “kindness.”
The KIND Mural is set to be revealed on Wednesday, Feb. 17. To find out more about the KIND mural visit tkckindness.org.