Sing us a song, you’re the piano man! Sing us a song tonight! Well we’re all in the mood for a melody. And we’ve put pianos in parks.
It may not be quite the scene Billy Joel described in his famous lyrics, but the message is the same. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, everyone can unite around music.
On July 17, Laird Norton Wealth Management partnered with Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks and local arts and business organizations to launch Pianos in the Parks. The Pianos in the Parks campaign placed 20 decorated pianos in Seattle parks, King County parks, Seattle Center and City Hall Plaza hoping to encourage residents to explore green and open spaces and to share and enjoy each other’s art.
“We are thrilled to host this positive and innovative way to bring more people into our parks and to listen to music for all to enjoy,” said Christopher Williams, Acting Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation.
The first piano was unveiled at an event in Othello Park. The other Seattle Parks locations include Cal Anderson Park, Denny Park, Hing Hay Park, Ballard Commons Park, Green Lake Park, Alki Beach Park, Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, Pier 62/63, Sam Smith Park, Rainier Beach Plaza, Volunteer Park and Westlake Park.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he’s excited about the campaign because it fosters a sense of community, breaks down class and racial divides and makes summer safer by helping to activate neighborhood parks.
Other partners include Seattle Symphony, KEXP, Gage Academy of Art, City of Music and Classic Pianos.
The pianos were procured and donated by Classic Pianos and will be available in the parks until Aug. 17. Members of the public are invited to play the pianos and can upload videos of their park performances to the Pianos in the Parks Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pianosintheparks) for a chance to play at KEXP’s and Seattle Center’s “Concerts at the Mural” on Friday, Aug. 22. The Facebook entries that receive the highest number of “likes” will be judged by a community panel and a winner will be selected.
“This is an epic finale for these pianos,” Classic Pianos Sales Manager Ben Klinger said. “We’re giving people from all walks of life the chance to enjoy these instruments in a public setting. I can’t wait to see how the community engages with Pianos in the Parks.”
At the end of the campaign, the pianos will be sold to the highest bidder in an online auction on www.pianosintheparks.com. Proceeds from the pianos sales will benefit Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP and Gage Academy of Art.
For more information about Pianos in the Parks scheduled activities, participating parks/open spaces and full contest information, please visit: www.pianosintheparks.com. To tag contest entries, pictures and experiences, use the hashtag #PianosintheParks and send your photos to @seattleparks on Twitter.