New York City’s Largest Annual Public Art Program Unveiled 60 Pianos on 28 Liberty Plaza on June 5th
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.
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 Foundation, and Ann Ziff, and the generosity of donors like you.