Next week the 2018 Sing for Hope Pianos project comes to an end. Over 50 highly decorated pianos have been placed in high traffic areas around New York for the past three weeks. And on June 24, at the end of the project, the pianos will be collected up and delivered to NYC schools. For some of these establishment, this will be their first permanently placed musical instrument
This is the 7th Sing For Hope Pianos event. Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, both acclaimed opera singers, started this not-for-profit organization back in 2006. It has now become a major feature in New York City’s arts calendar.
As with other similar projects, unwanted pianos are donated, restored (where necessary), and then brightly decorated by local artists, celebrities and the casts from certain Broadway musicals. This year “Wicked”, “The Play that Goes Wrong” and “Kinky Boots” all got involved, their pianos capturing the magic of their respective shows.
All but one of the decorated pianos were placed around the city for anyone and everyone to play. In some instances the instruments are used for local concerts.
The MINI Piano
The aforementioned “one” is a special “roving” piano designed and built by MINI USA (the car people). MINI USA were one of this year’s corporate partners. They took a MINI Clubman and turned it into a mobile piano, which travelled to the various communities not served by the other instruments.
Do take a moment to visit the Sing for Hope website where you can find out everything you need to know about the various pianos and where they are located – here you’ll find a handy interactive map, and a lot of photos.
Since 2006 Sing for Hope has partnered with over 250 not-for-profit organizations, involved over 3,500 artists, and placed 400 of their Sing for Hope Pianos in public spaces for everyone to play. These pianos have also generated 153 arts programs across NYC schools, and 34,000 students utilise the Sing for Hope pianos in their schools each year.
There are many similar charitable “community piano” events around the world. The Play Me, I’m Yours concept has now become a global phenomenon. And why not, this is a great idea. The Sing for Hope project is arguably the biggest of its kind (for a single city), and possibly the first. I await to be corrected here.
Hopefully these events will continue for many years, and in turn benefit and entertain both the public and the various deprived schools and neighbourhoods to whom a musical instrument is such a scarce commodity.
This year’s Sing for Hope Pianos sponsors include: MINI USA, Fosun Group, 28 Liberty, The Arnold Foundation, The Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, The Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation, and Ann Ziff.
Other Similar Piano Projects…
Play Me, I’m Yours (worldwide)
Pianos for Peace (Atlanta, USA )
Pianos for People (St Louis, USA)
Piano. Push. Play. (Portland, OR, USA)
Pianos on the Street (Vancouver, Canada)
Keys to the Streets (Vancouver, Canada)
Glasgow Piano City (Glasgow, UK)
Please let me know if you’d like me to add your project to the list.
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