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Ferguson, Missouri, Experience Inspires Marketer to be ‘Incubator’ for Creatives  KC Changemakers

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Above image credit: Daniel Gilmore plans to start a nonprofit marketing agency, Chosen Creative Concepts, to link people of color with a network of resources and opportunities. (Ji Stribling | Flatland)
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2 minute read

As a teenager, Daniel Gilmore watched Ferguson, Missouri, burn in the riots that followed the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown. 

The tragedy and its aftermath started the St. Louis native, and son of two pastors, on a path that ignited a passion to foster creativity in children of color in Kansas City. After graduating from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, he knew he had a mission to fulfill.

Gilmore’s parents instilled Christian values in him from a young age that developed the philanthropic essence that propels him today.

Gilmore, a communications and social media manager at Swope Health, wants to launch a nonprofit to use those gifts. He is motivated by his own experiences related to the Brown shooting when, at age 17, he appeared on the cover of an edition of MTV Magazine.

Changemakers: Daniel Gilmore

The opportunity arose from Gilmore’s proximity to the events following the Brown shooting. Gilmore attended Lutheran North High School, only blocks away from the incident. 

Gilmore and a couple of his friends noticed the riots had destroyed black businesses in the area, and they hatched a plan to help one of them rebuild. They believed the affected business could make money by selling lunches at school. The group approached the high school principal with their plan, which ended up garnering coverage from media outlets like NBC and the BBC. 

The experience introduced Gilmore to media training, leveraging influence to prompt change, and helping other people’s dreams come to fruition. He experienced the power of mass media, igniting a passion to make it his life’s work. 

Gilmore values the creative process because “everything you see, hear, and touch, had to at some point been created,” he said. There is a level of innovation found in creativity that has the potential to alter the trajectory of the world as we know it.

Changemakers in Kansas City

Changemakers is a series spotlighting emerging nonprofit leaders within our community. Flatland is publishing the stories on Mondays between Nov. 7 and Jan. 9. The videos will also air frequently between shows on Kansas City PBS. Changemakers is a partnership between Kansas City PBS, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and Network Connectors, a nonprofit based in Kansas City, Missouri. You can learn more about Network Connectors at

Gilmore is the father of 2-year-old twin boys. He sees in them the same curiosity, creativity and lack of limitations that he possessed as a youth.

Too often minorities, such as those in inner-city Kansas City, Missouri, lack access to innovative solutions, Gilmore said. He wants to provide resources to unlock their world-changing potential.

“I want to be a conduit,” he said, “an incubator to truly help people bring their ideas to life.”

That’s why Gilmore plans to start a nonprofit marketing agency, Chosen Creative Concepts. He aims to link people of color to a network of resources and opportunities. 

Gilmore’s priorities include obtaining office space to house startup businesses created by members of the organization. He envisions a large studio space for branding and marketing services as well as camera equipment.

Gilmore plans no age restrictions. He believes that good ideas and innovative solutions can come from the minds of people of all ages.

“For me, it’s very, very important that there is not a line of demarcation where creatives stop and start,” he said. People need to understand that “a creative can be everybody — that everybody has ideas, and I think the more we give people resources, the less dormant ideas become, and the more evolved we become as a community.”

Aubrey Hughes is a reporter for the Kansas City Call. John McGrath is a video producer for Kansas City PBS.

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