Pianos in the Parks program wins statewide award

The Pianos in the Park recently recognized by the Washington Recreation and Park Association. Photo provided by Laird Norton Wealth Management.

The Washington Recreation and Park Association awarded the Pianos in the Parks program a Spotlight Award in Arts and Culture at a statewide Parks conference on April 30.

In July 2014, Seattle Parks partnered with Laird Norton Wealth Management, King County Parks and local arts organizations to launch the Pianos in the Parks campaign. The campaign placed 20 decorated pianos in Seattle parks, King County parks, Seattle Center and City Hall Plaza to encourage residents to explore green and open spaces and to share and enjoy each other’s art.

The pianos were donated by Classic Pianos and were stationed in the parks until Aug. 17. People were invited to play the pianos and were encouraged to upload videos of their park performances to a Facebook page for a chance to play at KEXP’s and Seattle Center’s “Concerts at the Mural.” The Facebook entries that received the highest number of “Likes” were judged by a community panel.

At the end of the campaign, the pianos were sold to the highest bidder in an online auction. Proceeds from the pianos sales benefitted art and community organizations.

The Pianos in the Parks campaign was designed to foster a sense of community, break down class and racial divides and to make summer safer by activating neighborhood parks. More than 150 people submitted online contest videos. Additionally, the campaign was featured in approximately 100 media stories.

Seattle Parks heard many stories of families and individuals who made it their summer goals to find every piano. In fact, one Seattleite completed a 59-mile urban hike over one weekend to visit all 20 pianos.

For more information on the program, please visit http://pianosintheparks.com/.