We’re so thrilled with the response to the Sing for Hope Pianos that we’re issuing a new challenge. Can you help us reach a new goal of $25,000 by the campaign deadline? The more money we raise, the more pianos we can include to make an impact throughout NYC’s communities. Donate today to ensure that everyone—from the Bronx to the southern tip of Staten Island—has access to the arts this summer!
WHAT ARE THE SING FOR HOPE PIANOS?
The Sing for Hope Pianos is a beloved public art installation that brings brightly colored pianos to the parks and public spaces of NYC’s five boroughs for anyone and everyone to play. For two weeks in the summer, the pianos — each a unique art piece created by a different artist or designer — serve as gathering places in their communities, hosting impromptu concerts by professionals and amateurs alike in an open festival of music for all of New York City.
After the two-week public exhibition, Sing for Hope — a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the arts to the people who need them most — donates the instruments to the NYC organizations we serve year round, allowing the pianos to enrich lives for years to come. While their time on the streets is a joyful event for our city, the Sing for Hope Pianos’ true impact lies in their service as ongoing cornerstones of arts access for communities and individuals in need. As NYC’s largest public art project, the Sing for Hope Pianos impacts an estimated 2 million New Yorkers and visitors each year.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
After successful installations in 2010, 2011, and 2013, Sing for Hope is working hard to bring the Pianos back to NYC in 2015, but we need some passionate supporters who believe in the power of the arts to help make it happen.
Just as the Sing for Hope Pianos help create community, bringing neighbors together in a common experience of art and music, it is only through a community effort that the Pianos installation can come to fruition for everyone to enjoy.
A street pianos initiative is an enormous undertaking with considerable costs involved. To execute the project, we must budget for:
- Piano moving - by far our biggest expense!
- Piano technicians - to keep the pianos in playable condition throughout the project
- Materials - paint, art supplies, tools, & hardware...not to mention the pianos themselves!
- Marketing/promotions - we want everyone to know the Pianos are out there for them to enjoy!
- Insurance/permits - to ensure that the project is safe for everyone involved, including our municipal partners
- Additional project staff - extra pianos require extra hands!
Thanks to several generous individuals, we’ve raised a substantial percentage of the amount required to carry out this year’s project, but we still need help to make the installation a reality. The more funds we raise, the more pianos we can include in this year’s exhibition, and every contribution will help get us closer to ensuring that the Pianos can return to NYC in 2015.
HOW IT WORKS
Even though the pianos only spend two weeks outdoors, the planning of this thrilling event is a yearlong undertaking for Sing for Hope. We start by acquiring the instruments and selecting via an application process the artists who will turn them into beautiful works of art. Once accepted, the piano artists have 6-8 weeks in our open, communal studio space to implement their designs.
In the meantime, our staff is hard at work scouting locations throughout the city for the pianos to live during the installation. Once those sites are chosen (in partnership with the City of New York and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation), we recruit a volunteer “Piano Buddy” in each neighborhood to help watch over the instrument while it’s outdoors.
Finally, the pianos make their way to their public locations with an attached tarp and bench in tow. After two weeks of art, music, and community, we bring the pianos back to our studio, give them some TLC, and move them once more: to their permanent homes at NYC organizations in need.
Risks and challenges
Putting pianos outside in a densely populated urban environment involves a lot of variables. The weather can be unpredictable, and heavy foot traffic can take their toll on the instruments, even if people do not intend to do them harm.
With three previous Pianos installations under our belts, we’ve learned a lot about the challenges a public art project of this scope entails. We try to anticipate as many scenarios as possible: each piano is outfitted with an attached tarp in case of inclement weather, local Piano Buddies help look after specific pianos during the two weeks, and a mobile team of volunteer staff members and piano technicians constantly checks on the instruments throughout the installation.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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