With the warm weather this year will come an artistic addition to New York streets: outdoor pianos. Eighty-eight pianos fixed up by the group, Sing for Hope Pianos, will be given to artists and school children to decorate and design with bright colors. The pianos will then be placed on city streets for anyone to play for two weeks.
The project has been around since 2010 but has had trouble with funding. This year, it received a major donation from Chobani, allowing it to once again make its way to the streets of NYC. The project was put together by Sing for Hope, which is a group of artists striving to make art accessible to all.
The donated and refurbished pianos will be placed in locations like Times Square, Central Park, Staten Island, the Far Rockaways, and more. Everyone—children, the elderly, underserved neighborhoods, hospitals—will have a little color and a lot of music brought into their lives for two weeks. At the end of the festival, the pianos will be donated to local organizations where artists volunteer. This will continue the tradition of bringing arts to the community through concerts, workshops, and more.
Camille Zamora calls Sing for Hope an “artists’ Peace Corp,” adding that “some people don’t get a chance necessarily to have access to great art, like hospitals and the elderly. There are children in our city who do not have regular arts education.”
New Yorkers can expect to see the pianos beginning on June 1st, when the weather’s sure to be warm. But the program is already well in motion, as the organization must find people to look after the pianos, keep them tuned, and transfer them to warehouses to be transformed by artists.
Artists wishing to decorate one of the 88 pianos must apply to do so; students to professionals are welcome. The message, Sing for Hope says, is that “Everyone belongs. Everyone’s invited. Everyone can play.”