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Kansas City auction way for owners to emotionally let go of possessions

An older women with hands clasped behind her standing in front of and looking down at a large-sized brown teddy bear seated in a wooden chair and holding an 8 by 11 sheet of typewritten paper.  The angle of the bear makes it seem as if it is looking directly at the woman's face.
Adriane Herman
Courtesy of Adriane Herman
An emotional release auction allows owners to part with items by revealing the meaning the object holds for them.

The 'emotional value' auction hosted by the Charlotte Street Foundation, is a new form of sale that does not involve money.

For art professor Adriane Herman, the idea came to her in a flash while talking with the Yarmouth Historical Center in Maine. The center kept getting offers of objects from local residents who didn't want to throw away or donate their things to strangers, but that the center didn't have the capacity to accept.

Herman's idea was an auction where the objects are displayed along with their stories as written by the owner. Bidders have to write why they want an item. All bids are given to the owner, who decides which bidder wins.

In Herman's eyes, a number of positives come from these emotional value auctions: The seller is able to let go of an object by expressing the feelings attached to it, items remain within their communities, and they open paths of communication that can extend beyond the auction.

The Emotional Value Auction takes place from 1:00–5:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 16 as part of the Charlotte Street 25th Anniversary Block Party at the Charlotte Street Foundation, 3333 Wyoming St., Kansas City, Missouri 64111. RSVP requested through the Charlotte Street website.

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