Music often has the power to unite communities across many racial, cultural, economic and political divides. When it is part of a public art installation, it has even greater potential. In the moments the music is unfolding, barriers are falling and people begin to realize there is more that unites them than divides them. The Street pianos New York at SingforHope.org project has been a model for unity across the five diverse boroughs of the city. Eighty-eight pianos, one for each of the keys on a piano, is installed in public spaces and then both amateurs and artists give impromptu concerts. This part of the installation lasts for two weeks. Afterwards, the pianos are donated to schools, community centers and other worthy venues.
The thing about this project and others like it that keeps is so memorable is that the music does not end. As long as the pianos exist, the music they generate will enrich lives. There is a unique opportunity in each borough to generate something organic that will not be duplicated anywhere else. There is pride and pleasure in such an experience for all age groups. Younger attendees get a warm introduction to something that will stay with them for life.
Elders who participate are in a position to contribute something meaningful based on the wealth of experiences they have already had. Best friends Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus started the SingforHope project in 2006. Despite its huge success with music, the primary focus for this project is arts volunteerism. Projects like this one show that when people come together for the cause of art expecting nothing, they can take home anything wonderful they are able to grasp.
Photo credit: http://singforhope.org/
Street Pianos New York at Sing for Hope | Know the Essence of this Project