Independence Announces Public Video Contest to Share Stories about the

Community’s Rich History

Independence, MO - The vibrant city of Independence is proud to unveil its latest initiative aimed at celebrating its rich history through a dynamic medium – video. The "I Love Independence" video contest invites participants of all ages to explore the narratives, people, and events that have shaped Independence, Missouri, into the thriving community it is today.

Organized by the Independence Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the City of Independence and esteemed community partners, this innovative contest seeks to engage both residents and visitors in commemorating the city's remarkable heritage.

Mayor Rory Rowland, a passionate advocate for preserving local history, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, "The stories in our community are extraordinary, some truly well-known and others waiting to be shared. There are so many stories deserving to be shared through short videos which can be easily disseminated." 

The contest, which officially opens for submissions on April 2nd and concludes on July 4th, invites participants across three distinct age categories: high school, college, and adults 25+. Entrants will have the opportunity to compete for cash prizes and scholarships totaling $2,000 for the top video in each category, alongside recognition from a distinguished jury comprising of local historians, filmmakers, and community members.

In addition to celebrating the city's past, the contest seeks to address contemporary themes, with special award categories recognizing:
  • international submissions
  • stories promoting racial diversity
  • videos showcasing the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in content creation 
The contest will also feature two additional components:
  • People's Choice: allowing the public to cast their votes for their favorite videos in each age category
  • I Love Independence: encouraging participants to share their affection for the city in 30-second videos unrelated to history 
The goals of the "I Love Independence" video contest includes:
  • Raise: awareness of the city's historical significance
  • Encourage:  videographers to showcase their creativity and passion for history
  • Foster:  community and civic engagement in the city’s historical heritage
  • Connect:  facilitating connections between residents and cultural landmarks
A dedicated website has been launched to provide comprehensive information on contest rules, suggested topics, and historical resources to aid participants in their creative endeavors. The platform will also serve as a hub for video submissions and community engagement.

Initial financial support for the contest has been generously provided by the Missouri Humanities Council and the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, emphasizing the widespread recognition of the contest's importance in preserving and promoting Independence's rich cultural heritage.

A press conference will be held on Thursday, February 29th, at 10:30 AM at the Independence Chamber of Commerce located at 210 W. Truman Road. This event is open to all media outlets, offering an opportunity to learn more about the contest, its goals, and how to get involved, with Mayor Rory Rowland delivering the information.  For media inquiries, interviews, or further information, please contact Mikealene Evans at the information below.

For further information and to submit entries, please visit

­­­Media Contact: 
Mikealene Evans
Director of Marketing & Communications
Independence Chamber of Commerce
About Independence Chamber of Commerce: 
The Independence Chamber of Commerce has been serving local businesses and the community for more than 100 years.  Our goal is to help increase the profitability of local businesses, support workforce development, and improve the prosperity of Independence.  We are a membership organization that consists of small and large businesses who are committed to making a difference in the Independence community.  We always welcome new members and are eager to assist them in expanding their leadership and vision.  We take interest in our community very seriously and are proud of the partnerships that have been built with our members in providing job opportunities, arts, culture, and other initiatives that help Independence continue to thrive.  For more information please call (816) 252-4745, visit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram
About the Missouri Humanities Council:
The Missouri Committee for the Humanities was formed in 1971 and originally set up to serve as a grant maker to humanist and cultural institutions in Missouri. Malcolm Van Deursen, Assistant Dean of the School of Continuing Education at Washington University, and Robert Walrond, Acting Dean of the Metropolitan College at Saint Louis University, were among the committee’s founders and first executive directors. For more information please visit--
About the Truman Heartland Community Foundation:
The Independence Community Foundation was founded in 1982 by ten philanthropically minded residents who wanted to create positive change in their local community. Over time, the foundation and the communities served grew, achieving regional prominence and serving all of Eastern Jackson County and other contiguous counties. In 1996, the Foundation's name was changed to more accurately reflect its Missouri heritage and impact on our current geographic service area. Today, Truman Heartland Community Foundation serves suburban Eastern Jackson, Cass, and Lafayette Counties with assets of nearly $80 million and annual grants and scholarships surpassing $5.9 million. For more information please visit--