Sing for Hope

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Nadine Sierra, Laurel Harris, Mary-Louise Parker, Renee Fleming Attend Sing for Hope’s 11th Annual Gala

(Reprinted from Broadway World)

On Monday, October 16, Sing for Hope held its 11th annual Sing for Hope Gala, uniting New York’s philanthropic and cultural leaders for a magical evening in support of the organization’s programs and commitment to bring the arts to under-resourced areas at Tribeca Rooftop in downtown Manhattan. BroadwayWorld has photos from the evening below!

The gala was co-chaired by Linda E. Johnson, Muhammad Yunus and Ann Ziff and honored Dr. Joseph W. Polisi, President of the Juilliard School. Dr. Polisi was recognized for his ongoing philanthropic support of Sing for Hope and his dedicated service as a founding board member of the organization. He was introduced by Damian Woetzel, President-Designate of The Juilliard School and a Sing for Hope Board Member.

The evening featured special musical performances by renowned soprano and winner of the 2017 Richard Tucker Music Award Nadine Sierra, cast members from Beautiful: The Musical and the Lucky Chops Brass Band.

“We are proud to be celebrating eleven years of making the arts accessible to communities in need by harnessing the incredible power of our artist partners. Creativity is an endlessly renewable resource that inspires and heals, and the Sing for Hope Gala allows us a moment each year to unite our community of supporters and savor performances by some of the world-class artists who power our programs,” say Co-Founders Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora.

Sing for Hope’s 2017 Gala Host Committee was comprised of leading philanthropic, arts, and business leaders including Mike and Polly Brandmeyer, Kim Brizzolara, Lilia Marini-Calves and Guillermo Calves, Susan Davis and Claudia Slacik, Lili and Wilson Ervin, Ann Gottlieb, Eva and Yoel Haller, Ryan Harwood, Susie Hovsepian, Kurz Family Foundation, Billie Jean King, Kurz Family Foundation, Ellen F. Marcus, Michael and Julie Pitman, Elizabeth Sarquis, Carlo & Micòl Schejola Foundation, Seedlings Foundation, Laurie M. Tisch, Barry and Joan Tucker, Vartali Team and Weber, Shapiro & Co. LLP.

Since 2006, Sing for Hope’s arts outreach programs have brought hope and inspiration to thousands of individuals in under-resourced schools, public hospitals, hospices, veterans’ centers, after-school programs, neighborhood centers, nursing homes, and disability networks. The Sing for Hope Pianos, our flagship “art for all” program, places artist-designed pianos throughout the parks and public spaces of NYC’s 5 boroughs each summer for anyone and everyone to play. Through a special partnership with the NYC Department of Education, The Sing for Hope Pianos are then permanently placed in 50 city public schools, where they impact an estimated 16,000 kids annually. To date, Sing for Hope has teamed with over 250 nonprofit organizations, involved over 3,500 artists in community volunteerism, and placed over 400 Sing for Hope Pianos throughout New York City – a symbol and celebration of art for all.

Photo Credit: Gonzalo Marroquin / Patrick MacMullan Company

At 28 Liberty, a Mural Celebrates the Arts and Brightens Construction Site

(Reprinted from The Tribeca Trib)

Construction fences, those ubiquitous features of the Lower Manhattan streetscape, do nothing to please the eye.

Except for one.

Stretched along the shady eastern edge of the sprawling 28 Liberty Plaza (formerly One Chase Manhattan Plaza) is a 120-foot-long fence-turned-canvas for a mural of flowing shapes and vibrant colors. A collaborative work of artists Marc Evan and Chris Soria, it is the visual embodiment of Sing For Hope, the organization that each year brings unique, artist-painted pianos to public spaces around the city, then donates them to schools and organizations.

Artist collaborators Chris Soria, left, and Marc Evan with their creation, the Sing for Hope mural. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Artist collaborators Chris Soria, left, and Marc Evan with their creation, the Sing for Hope mural. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

“There’s this sense of joy and sweetness and connection that the painting brings to this corner of the plaza,” said Sing For Hope co-founder Camille Zamora as she surveyed the expansive mural. “Otherwise, it would just feel like construction.”

For the second year, the seven-year-old organization is being hosted by 28 Liberty. Fosun, part of a Chinese conglomerate, bought One Chase Manhattan Plaza in 2013 and is now reconstructing its plaza as part of a major overhaul of the property.

Zamora noted that the mural idea came from the owner. “They want to make sure that Lower Manhattan feels included in their plans and that this doesn’t feel like just one more construction project,” she said. A floor of the building is dedicated to Sing for Hope and its 60 pianos, now being reconditioned following a three-week stint in outdoor public spaces.

“We were trying to capture the vibe and the essence of Sing For Hope and the pianos project,” said Chris Soria, who often partners with Marc Evan on mural projects. (The artists, both 37 and teaching artists around the city, have been friends since age 12.) As muralists, Soria and Evan were selected to transform the fence from among the many artists who have painted Sing For Hope pianos over the years.

Blending into the waves of many shapes and colors are the figures of a sax player, a keyboardist and a paintbrush wielding artist. “There’s this magical realist vibe going on here,” Zamora said.


“It was our goal to activate the space using color and movement and figurative elements that emphasize the mission of Sing For Hope,” said Evan. “It was important to us to include figures that were engaging with the city, engaging with musical instruments.and with artistry.”

Evan said that he and Soria do much of their work in underserved communities, places where “bringing color to the neighborhoods is a fun challenge and experience.”

“Wall Street is a completely opposite end of the spectrum but it also suffers from a lack of vibrant colors,” he added. “And being able to bring a pop of color to this area, it’s cool.”

My Infinite Agenda Supports Sing for Hope with their “Product with Purpose”

Essentials for a Productive Morning: “My Infinite Agenda” in Midnight Blue, & Coffee (Photo by My Infinite Agenda)

Sing for Hope believes in the power of artistic inclination, and in putting creativity to use for the greater good. No one shares that belief more strongly than the visionary creators of My Infinite Agenda–an elegant vision-board planner designed to help you clarify and achieve your goals, with partial proceeds from all sales supporting charities with powerful visions and impacts to match. Sing for Hope is honored to be one of those beneficiaries.

Like Sing for Hope, My Infinite Agenda was founded by best-friend opera-singers, who wanted to harness the power of creativity to give back. Co-founders Raquel and Katie arrived in NYC ambitious and ready for graduate education. In the pursuit of their dreams, these two artists found success in the power of positive thinking, while keeping a daily focus on short-term & long-term goals, and wildest dreams.

Fast forward ten years, Raquel Suarez Groen & Katie Copland have brilliantly channeled their methodology into a dynamic tool that gives the power of goal actualization to both the user and the charity beneficiary. Using the expansive, functional writing space, My Infinite Agenda allows you to organize your daily schedule while simultaneously chronicling your highest ambitions and successes within the structure of simple guided sections.


Pictured: My Infinite Agenda Co-Founders Katie Copland (left), and Raquel Suarez Groen.

“We are extremely proud to partner with Sing for Hope. It is a privilege knowing that through the help of our donations, Sing for Hope is one step closer to accomplishing its dream of bringing the arts to all! Our mission is to help you build the life you want, while changing the life of another,” say Katie and Raquel.

Sing for Hope believes in adding art and inspiration to our lives wherever possible, and My Infinite Agenda is a work of art itself. “At SFH, we often say that access to the arts is so vital because it builds the imagination, and the first step to creating positive change is to imagine it. My Infinite Agenda helps you imagine, ideate, organize, and create! We are honored that the brilliant women behind My Infinite Agenda have chosen Sing for Hope as a charitable beneficiary,” say Sing for Hope Co-Founders Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus.

My Infinite Agenda (2018) comes in three color palettes, each supporting a different nonprofit: Days for Girls (blush cover), charity: water (black cover), and Sing for Hope (midnight blue). To support Sing for Hope through your purchase, choose My Infinite Agenda in midnight blue (pictured below).

Make art for all possible: donate today
Join our community: become an artist partner

Sing for Hope Houston

Our thoughts are with all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Over the next year, Sing for Hope will be working with Houston-area artists to provide dynamic arts outreach programs in shelters and relief sites.

Sing for Hope traces its roots to Houston. When the promising young tenor Frank Logan passed away at Houston’s Omega House AIDS Hospice, a group of friends came together to sing for life, for hope, for a cure,” says Sing for Hope Co-Founder Camille Zamora, who graduated from Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

Continues Sing for Hope Co-Founder Monica Yunus: “As students at Juilliard, Camille and I continued to envision a go-to resource for arts service, uniting artists and communities in transformative ways. Today, our NYC-based organization serves countless New Yorkers and others across the country, but in many ways, our ethos is based on our early artist/charity partnership model pioneered in Houston.”

Established as an independent nonprofit in New York City in 2006, today Sing for Hope is an “artist peace corps” mobilizing artists in dynamic arts outreach programs in under-resourced schools, public hospitals, hospices, veterans’ centers, after-school programs, neighborhood centers, nursing homes, and disability networks. To date, Sing for Hope has partnered with over 250 nonprofit organizations, involved over 3,500 artists in community volunteerism, and placed over 400 artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos throughout NYC’s parks and public spaces for everyone to play – a symbol and celebration of art for all. Sing for Hope is grounded in the belief that the arts have a unique power to uplift, unite, and transform individuals and communities. We envision a world in which creativity is leveraged to facilitate healing and address society’s areas of greatest need.

Over the past 9 months, Sing for Hope has been developing a toolkit to facilitate national and international replication of our best-in-class model of artist-powered social change. With the guidance of our board member and Coda Societies Founder Garance Choko, we identified three US cities — Los Angeles, Houston, and Pittsburgh — and established contacts in each city to work with us over the next year in piloting the test of our Sing for Hope Toolkit.

In response to the current crisis in Houston, we are accelerating our timeline to immediately begin mobilizing artists in the Houston community to serve as a source of joy, resilience, and healing for the thousands of people whose lives have been uprooted due to Hurricane Harvey.

Sing for Hope Houston will be led by Mezzo-Soprano Abby Powell, (MM 2004, BM 2002, The Juilliard School), a Houston native and HSPVA grad who has previously worked with Sing for Hope in New York as Project Leader at Bailey-Holt House AIDS care facility and at Coler Hospital, an extended care public hospital serving patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Joining Abby as Co-Project Leader will be long-time Sing for Hope Artist Partner Ty Lerman.

The arts inspire resilience, unity, and hope where they are needed most. Help make the arts, and Houston’s rich community of world-class artists, part of the rebuilding of this great American city.

To join Abby as a Sing for Hope Artist Parter in Houston, please email volunteer@singforhope.org.

To make a special earmarked contribution to support Sing for Hope Houston, please click here.

#singforhope         #artforall         #singforhopehouston

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Sing for Hope Artist Partners performing at Hurricane Sandy relief shelters in Queens in 2012.

Left to right: Sing for Hope Artist Partners Paul Fraccalvieri, Markus Beam, Katie Zaffrann, Stephanie Martinez, Kannan Vasudevan, and Michael Caterisano share music with residents of a Hurricane Sandy shelter in Queens.

Left to right: Sing for Hope Artist Partners Markus Beam, Paul Fraccalvieri, Michael Caterisano, Katie Zaffrann, Kannan Vasudevan, and Stephanie Martinez work with youngsters in a Hurricane Sandy shelter in Queens.

Left to right: Sing for Hope Artist Partners Stephanie Martinez and Katie Zaffrann shares smiles and hope at a Hurricane Sandy shelter in Queens.

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NOTE TO ARTISTS AFFECTED BY HARVEY: 
Our friends at The Actors Fund and AGMA may have additional emergency funds available for storm-affected artists. 
Details at www.musicalartists.org and www.actorsfund.org.
(Texas residents contact the LA Actors Fund office at 888.825.0911.) 
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Nathan Sykes Sings for Hope

Join Nathan Sykes and help raise funds for music programs for children in need.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

Sing for Hope is honored to have Nathan Sykes join us in our efforts to bring art and music to NYC’s neediest kids.

“I think it’s incredibly important to bring music to kids. It encourages creativity, and it’s important that children are made to feel like they have a gift.”
— Nathan Sykes

Nathan designed a gorgeous Sing for Hope Piano that spent its summer days at Little Red Square in the West Village and will continue to inspire kids for years to come at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics. He designed the piano in monochrome black and white (notice the black and white keys are reversed) “because music brings color to the world.”

Thanks to Nathan for taking a stand for arts education and believing, as we do, in art for all!

Won’t you please join Nathan in helping us bring 50 Sing for Hope Pianos to 50 public schools? Every penny of the $100,000 we must raise by July 31st goes to bring the gift of creativity to underserved schools. Click here to give now.

Dazzling New Crop of Sing for Hope Pianos Unveiled at 28 Liberty

New York City’s Largest Annual Public Art Program Unveiled 60 Pianos on 28 Liberty Plaza on June 5th

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 05: Jon Batiste performs at the 6th Annual Sing for Hope Pianos Kickoff Event At 28 Liberty Plaza on June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Sing For Hope)

Sing for Hope unveiled 60 new artist-designed pianos, marking the sixth year of its legendary Sing for Hope Pianos program, at a special, free event at the iconic 28 Liberty Plaza on Monday, June 5th. Renowned Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader and Sing for Hope Board Member Jon Batiste kicked off the performances at 12noon, followed by a special performance of Bach’s Prelude in C performed by 45 pianists simultaneously on 30 Sing for Hope Pianos. Other performances included renowned pianist Michael Fennelly, who played Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

(See below for some of the amazing news coverage we got!)

Each year, Sing for Hope selects local and international artists to create unique piano artworks that are placed in parks and other public spaces for anyone and everyone to play. This year, through a special partnership with the New York City Department of Education, Sing for Hope will place all of the Sing for Hope Pianos in permanent homes in NYC public schools after the pianos’ time on the streets, benefiting an estimated 15,000 New York City school children.

“We started Sing for Hope with the core belief that the arts should be accessible to all. Now, more than ever, we believe that the arts can truly transform and uplift not only individuals but entire communities,” said Sing for Hope Co-Founders Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora. “We can’t wait to not only bring these playable masterpieces to all five boroughs for three weeks this June, but to also bring our mission full circle by delivering each piano to a New York City public school, giving the next generation of artists the opportunity to bloom.”

This summer marks the placement of the 400th Sing for Hope Piano to date, making NYC host to more street pianos than any other city in the world.

An icon of Lower Manhattan, 28 Liberty, a Fosun Property Holdings building, has provided a full 34,000-square-foot floor to serve as a communal studio for the artists designing the pianos.  To commemorate Sing for Hope’s 10th anniversary and as a special thank you to Fosun Group, ten pianos will remain at 28 Liberty Plaza during the 3-week installation, while the other pianos are available in other public spaces throughout the five boroughs before being placed in their permanent homes in public schools around New York City. “It is an honor to support Sing for Hope for a second year, as it fulfills its mission to provide arts resources and programming to underserved neighborhoods in New York City,” said Bo Wei, chief executive representative of Fosun Group in the U.S. and Vice President of Fosun Property Holdings. “We are thrilled to be able to provide the space that enables these pianos to come to life and our collaboration with Sing for Hope ensures that 28 Liberty will continue to play a vital role in the culture of Lower Manhattan.”

As in previous years, celebrities are also contributing their energy, talent, and time to design The 2017 Sing for Hope Pianos, including Emmy Award winning actress Kate McKinnon, Grammy Award winning singer Roberta Flack, internationally renowned visual artist Billy the Artist, and the Broadway casts of Aladdin, Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Waitress, and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Left to right: Jon Batiste, Camille Zamora, Commissioner Silver, and Monica Yunus

As part of the celebration on June 5th, NYC Parks Sing for Hope presented Commissioner Mitchell Silver with the Sing for Hope “Art for All” Award for the department’s strong partnership with Sing for Hope and commitment to bringing the power of the arts to the public spaces of NYC. Previous recipients of the “Art for All” Award include Lea Salonga, Tony Bennett, Paul Shaffer, Renée Fleming, Muhammad Yunus, Joe Flom, and Ann Ziff.

In time for the big reveal of the 2017 Sing for Hope Pianos, the world’s first-ever mobile app for street piano discovery and engagement is now available. The app helps people to discover, visit and play the pianos – and then share their experiences via social media. Now in its third year, the app will allow people to take curated tours of the pianos, discover special concerts by artists and performers taking place at the pianos, and sign up to give their own pop-up performances on the pianos. The app, designed and developed by Craver Inc., is free to download and available in the app store.

The 2017 Sing for Hope Pianos are made possible in part by the support of Fosun International and 28 Liberty, and by Sing for Hope’s Founders’ Circle, including The Arnhold Foundation in loving memory of Sissy Arnhold, The Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, The Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundationand Ann Ziff, and the generosity of donors like you.

Select SING FOR HOPE Media Coverage:

ABC News   WABC-TV

   WCBS-TV

   WNBC-TV

   NY1

   Associated Press

   People Magazine

   WCBS-AM Radio

   El Diario

Visit the Sing for Hope Pianos Page

Sing For Hope Pianos Return June 5-25

Sing For Hope Pianos are Back this Summer – June 5-25
Sixth Anniversary of the Largest Annual Public Arts Project in the United States

Kick-off Event to Unveil all 60 Pianos — Monday, June 5 at 28 Liberty Plaza

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 06: An aerial view of the pianos in Liberty Plaza during The 2016 Sing For Hope Pianos launch event on June 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Sing for Hope Pianos )

Sing for Hope is bringing its renowned Sing for Hope Pianos back to the streets of New York City this summer. From June 5-25, as a celebration of the work Sing for Hope does in communities year-round, 60 Sing for Hope Pianos will be placed in parks and public spaces in high traffic locations across all five boroughs in New York for anyone and everyone to play.

The 2017 Sing for Hope Pianos have been designed by artists including Kate McKinnon, Roberta Flack, Billy the Artist, the Broadway casts of Aladdin, Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Waitress, and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 — and many more. This summer will mark the sixth anniversary of the Sing for Hope Pianos with the placement of the 400th artist-designed piano to date, making NYC host to more street pianos than any other city in the world.

A special public unveiling of all pianos will take place on June 5th at 28 Liberty Plaza with a special performance at noon by Jon Batiste, Sing for Hope Board Member and bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Additional popup performances from Sing for Hope artists will take place throughout the day-long event. At 12:30pm, all 60 Sing for Hope Pianos will be played in unison, led by Jon Batiste. To sign up to be one of the lucky 60, click here.

Fosun Group has donated a full 34,000-square-foot floor in 28 Liberty, a landmarked, iconic office tower in Lower Manhattan, to serve as a communal studio for the artists designing the pianos. To commemorate Sing for Hope’s 10th anniversary and as a special thank you to Fosun Group, ten pianos will remain at 28 Liberty Plaza during the 3-week installation, while the other pianos will be available in other public spaces throughout the five boroughs.

“We started Sing for Hope with the core belief that the arts should be accessible to all. Now, more than ever, we believe that the arts can truly transform and uplift not only individuals but entire communities,” said Sing for Hope Co-Founders Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora. “We can’t wait to not only bring these playable masterpieces to all five boroughs for three weeks this June, but to also bring our mission full circle by delivering each piano to a New York City public school, giving the next generation of artists the opportunity to bloom.”

“It is an honor to support Sing For Hope for a second year, as it fulfills its mission to provide arts resources and programming to underserved neighborhoods in New York City,” said Bo Wei, chief executive representative of Fosun Group in the U.S. and Vice President of Fosun Property Holdings. “We are thrilled to be able to provide the space that enables these pianos to come to life and our collaboration with Sing For Hope ensures that 28 Liberty will continue to play a vital role in the culture of Lower Manhattan.”

After the public installation concludes on June 25, 50 of the 2017 Sing for Hope Pianos will be placed in permanent homes in New York City Schools. This partnership with the New York City Department of Education benefits an estimated 15,000 school children. In the fall of 2016, 50 of the 2016 Sing for Hope Pianos were placed in schools throughout the five boroughs. Each piano is delivered to its school with great fanfare, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebratory concerts from Sing for Hope Artist Partners and students within the schools. Schools interested in applying to receive a Sing for Hope Piano may do so at this link by June 1, 2017.

The 2017 Sing for Hope Pianos are made possible by the support of Fosun Group, 28 Liberty, and the Sing for Hope’s Founders’ Circle, including The Arnhold Foundation in loving memory of Sissy Arnhold, The Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, The Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation, and Ann Ziff.

To download hi-res images, please visit www.SingforHope.org/2017media.

Make art for all possible: donate today
Join our community: become an artist partner

Work with Sing for Hope as a NYC Civic Corps Member

Hello! For those that we haven’t met yet, we’re Emi and Eric! We’ve been working at Sing for Hope as part of a 10-month AmeriCorps program called NYC Civic Corps. (Emi, native of Arkansas, graduated from Rhodes College in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Psychology. Eric, originally from Long Island, graduated in 2016 from Dartmouth with a degree in Art History.) After college, we were both looking for a way to do some good in the community and explore New York City. We applied to Civic Corps, went through a few rounds of interviews with NYC Service, and then eventually interviewed with Sing for Hope. We both fell in love with the organization (and vice versa!), and were each offered the position shortly after. It’s no coincidence that we both play piano and love art – looking back, Sing for Hope seems like the only logical choice for each of us.


We were brought on to Sing for Hope to help with recruiting and managing volunteers at a crucial time of growth in the organization, and along the way we’ve gotten to experience so much more. We’ve represented Sing for Hope at street fairs and colleges all around the city, led new volunteer orientations, spoken with arts groups in all 5 boroughs, and interacted with countless talented artists. Beyond those duties, we were able to help with Sing for Hope Arts Week (a free arts camp for high school students), and even got to be involved with prepping the
Sing for Hope Pianos before their time on the streets this June. While all of the work has always been varied, interesting, and rewarding, what we’ve enjoyed the most has been getting to know the volunteers of Sing for Hope. We’ve met so many wonderful artists, and we’re so grateful for everything they do. From performing for veterans, children, and hospital patients, to painting pianos and Project Leading, our volunteers do it all. We have learned so much from everyone, and we’ll carry these lessons with us as we move forward from Sing for Hope.


We would both highly recommend Civic Corps if someone has the desire and interest to better New York City and themselves. Not only did we gain professional skills and expand our networks, but we got to work with talented musicians and artists every day. We saw the benefits of music and art first hand, and it has defined and made our service incredibly worthwhile. We’ve been fortunate to have a very positive experience these past months, and we’ve heard these feelings echoed among many other Civic Corps members.

The application to become a 2017-2018 Civic Corps member is open (click here) and and we encourage anyone interested to apply! This is a full-time, paying position. Sing for Hope will be looking for two new Civic Corps members in the coming months, so feel free to contact us or the SFH office if you’re interested in working with the organization as an AmeriCorps Member!

Make art for all possible: donate today
Join our community: become an artist partner

SFH Board Member Woetzel named Juilliard President


Which Sing for Hope board member:

• has been known to execute more flawless mid-air turns than the average person?
• led the entire 2013 Sing for Hope Gala audience in the opening of Balanchine’s Sérénade?
• has been a member of the Sing for Hope board since 2013 and our Programming Committee Chair since 2014?
• is, as of this week, the newly named President of The Juilliard School?

If you guessed Damian Woetzel, you are correct!

At Sing for Hope, our treasure lies in our trove of talent: our 2,000+ Artist Partners who power our year-round arts outreach programs, our Community Partners who facilitate our creative community-building work, our donors whose generosity builds our capacity, and our Board of Directors who steer our ship.

Among Sing for Hope’s most passionate and involved board members is Damian Woetzel, Chair of our Programming Committee and a member of the board since 2013. The much-anticipated announcement last week of Damian’s appointment as the seventh President of The Juilliard School was met with excitement from all sides, and nowhere more so than in Sing for Hope’s brightly colored midtown offices, where we know firsthand his inimitable blend of wit and wisdom, intellect and insight, pragmatism and idealism. Those qualities were palpable at one of Damian’s recent Citizen Artist discussions at Steinway Hall, and they are hallmarks of his work both on and off the stage.

To quote this week’s announcement in The New York Times:

Mr. Woetzel’s path to becoming a college president was an unusual one: His father, a professor, had been surprised when he decided to forgo college to dance ballet. Mr. Woetzel recalled a visit from his father to see him take a class at the School of American Ballet. “As we left he said to me, ‘Do you know, it’s a beautiful world that you’re entering,’” he recalled. “And I knew what he was talking about because we were walking by open rooms with music going on, and it was just that art of the possible existing in one place.”

Damian, we are thrilled about this brilliant match of visionary leader to vital institution, and we can’t think of anyone more perfectly suited to build upon the legacy of retiring Juilliard President and pioneering citizen artist Joseph Polisi, himself a founding board member of Sing for Hope. The Juilliard School is, in many ways, a bellwether for our sector, and your charting the next stage of the school’s journey will have far-reaching effects for all of us. (Juilliard was also the lab in which Sing for Hope was incubated by co-founders Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus in 2004.) We can’t wait to watch you lead our Alma Mater into its next chapter, and we know that this is a role you were born to play!

Artist Partner Spotlight: Jia Jung

“Music and creativity are still central to my life, and it is a desire to enjoy and foster these elements within a community. It was only natural that I would gravitate towards this kind of opportunity,” says Jia Jung, who has served as a dedicated Piano Buddy each year of the project since 2013.  


It was in spring of 2013 that Jia was surfing the pages of Time Out Magazine where she found an article about The Sing for Hope Pianos and information on how to get involved. After filling out an application, she soon became the Buddy at Prospect Park – Grand Army Plaza and has been ever since.

Tasks of a Sing for Hope Piano Buddy are simple, yet an absolutely essential part of the project. Community members, like Jia, commit to uncovering the piano each morning, covering it at night, and making sure the piano is cared for (especially in the unfortunate case of inclement weather). In the few years of the project, Jia sometimes found that when it unexpectedly began to rain in the middle of the day and she bolted outside to cover her instrument, other concerned community members had already neatly placed the tarp (or “rain jacket” as Jia likes to call it!) over the piano. It’s always comforting to know the entire community can rally around these beautiful instruments and ensure they go on to live lives in their permanent homes after their time on the streets.”

Some of Jia’s favorite perks of this job are that she gets to play her piano every morning before work, every evening after work, and meet all the amazing people that stop by. She’s made friends in her neighborhood and from around the world. She’s seen boys play in tuxes on their way to prom, students patiently practicing their sonatas, and composers diligently writing into the night. When asked about the most rewarding part of being a Piano Buddy, Jia states, “meeting people and observing their interactions with the piano are the very best parts of being a Piano Buddy. As a sort of guard of the instrument, you feel an extra special connection to it all.”


Jia even went above and beyond to create blogs each year of the project, detailing her amazing experiences. To view Jia’s blogs from each year of the project, please visit her website for
2013, 2015, 2016, and soon-to-be-updated 2017.

And to join her in ensuring our pianos safely make it to their forever homes, please send an email to pianos@singforhope.org

Make art for all possible: donate today
Join our community: become an artist partner