Singer-songwriter Neil Davis performs at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to debut the Sing for Hope Piano at Port Authority.
SING FOR HOPE PIANO BRINGS INSPIRATION TO PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL COMMUTERS
A pleasant tune – in fact, many tunes – are now being heard among the steady buzz of thousands of hurried commuters at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. A unique, hand-painted piano—the 338th public piano that Sing for Hope has placed throughout the five boroughs of New York City, out of a total of 400 Sing for Hope Pianos to date—was unveiled November 16 at the largest bus terminal in the nation and the busiest in the world, bringing inspiration to rush-hour commuters.
The Sing for Hope Pianos is America’s largest annual public arts project, reaching over one million New Yorkers and visitors ever year since its 2010 launch. Each summer, Sing for Hope places 50 artist-designed hand-painted pianos throughout the parks and public spaces of New York City’s five boroughs each summer for anyone and everyone to play. After the public installation, the Sing for Hope Pianos are placed in permanent homes in under-resourced schools, healthcare facilities, veterans homes, community-based organizations and other places. In 2016, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, all 50 Sing for Hope Pianos were permanently placed in public schools throughout the five boroughs, bringing the joy of music to an estimated 16,000 students per year.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey partnered with Sing for Hope to bring the piano to the midtown bus terminal as part of its “Quality of Commute” program to enhance the customer experience. The piano is located in the Bus Terminal’s new “Performing Arts Stage” which is located in the second level of the south wing and projects above the first floor’s main circulation area. The performance space is visible from surrounding areas in the first and second levels.
Performances will initially be scheduled for Wednesdays and Fridays at the start of the evening rush hour, continuing at least through the holiday season and remainder of the year.
With 232,000 passenger trips each weekday, the Port Authority Bus Terminal is an ideal location for this piano and its music, striking both an unexpected and noteworthy chord, said Sing for Hope co-founders Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus.
“Sing for Hope Pianos are symbolic of our mission of ‘art for all,’” said the co-founders. “These pianos break down barriers between New Yorkers who normally wouldn’t stop and engage with one another. People stop, listen and share, and they start to engage with one another in very meaningful ways – just because of the piano. We are delighted that this special piano will be housed at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, where it will bring the gift of music to millions in an unconventional space.”
Diannae Ehler, General Manager of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, said, “Through our Quality of Commute program we have partnered with bus carriers to improve the reliable, on-time arrival of buses. We are investing $90 million on improved amenities such as renovated restrooms, new entrance doors and improved cellular service. And now, at no cost, we are proud to partner with Sing for Hope to uplift the customer experience through music. We hope this will inspire commuters at the end of their working day.”
Following the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, talented Sing for Hope Volunteer Artists Michael Fennelly, Monique McDonald, Jae Han, Neil Davis, and Adrian Untermyer christened the piano with inaugural performances. Performers for this event, and for the dynamic rush-hour performances that will follow, are drawn from Sing for Hope’s roster of 2,000 volunteer artists. These artists hail from many of New York City’s top companies—from the Metropolitan Opera to the Broadway stage to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and beyond—and are united by their desire to share their art to uplift and transform communities.
This Sing for Hope Piano was designed and hand-painted by Volunteer Artist Patrick Freeman, a noted visual artist and graphic designer whose clients have included Janet Jackson, Neiman Marcus and Virgin Records. Pianist Adrian Untermyer, a Sing for Hope Volunteer, spearheaded the placement of the Port Authority piano after passing the empty space where the piano now stands. The baby grand piano was donated by Nancy and Allen Feldman of Manhattan.
The 2016 Sing for Hope Pianos are made possible by the support of Fosun International and The Sing for Hope Founders’ Circle (The Arnhold Foundation in loving memory of Sissy Arnhold, The Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation, and Ann Ziff).
The Port Authority and Sing for Hope also will recruit artists and members of the public to volunteer their talents by performing at the piano. Anyone interested should sign up here to become a Sing for Hope Volunteer Artist.
Check out ABC7’s terrific coverage of The Sing for Hope Piano at Port Authority below: