NEWS

Announcing the 2018-’19 Citizen Artist Schools
May 23, 2018

For many New Yorkers, the Sing for Hope Pianos are synonymous with summer and coming together as a city to play, sing, and create together in our parks and public spaces. For 15,000 children across 50 NYC public schools, the 2018 Sing for Hope Pianos mean something even more: the Pianos are permanently placed catalysts for ongoing high-quality music education, and they mark the beginning of the students’ journeys as Citizen Artists.

In partnership with the NYC Department of Education, we selected these Citizen Artist Schools through a competitive RFP process to become permanent homes for the Sing for Hope Pianos featured each June. In addition to receiving a Sing for Hope Piano, each school also gets our Citizen Artist Curriculum, a program that helps teachers empower students to use creativity and the arts to enact positive social change. The curriculum includes a specially-curated Citizen Artist Opening Assembly featuring our roster of world-class Artist Partners; a monthly online teacher resource guide including articles, lesson plans, and student contests; and the opportunity to host additional free workshops led by SFH Artist Partners on a variety of art forms throughout the year.

The Sing for Hope Pianos will make a tremendous impact on the potential for ongoing, high-quality music education in the schools, which are often in low-income neighborhoods with extremely limited arts resources. Although there are infinite possibilities for the creative ways the new crop of schools will use their SFH Pianos, the Pianos we’ve already placed in schools tell a clear and compelling story:

153 arts programs have been created or expanded in NYC schools since the addition of the Sing for Hope Pianos—more than one new program per Citizen Artist School!
34,000 students use Sing for Hope Pianos in their schools during the year.
17,000 of those students use their pianos in their General Music Classes.
6,000 use the piano in Chorus, Band, or Dance.
2,500 use the piano in their School Musical.
There are 500 more young pianists in NYC thanks to piano lessons offered on Sing for Hope Pianos.

 

Schools receiving SFH Pianos in fall of 2018 include:

 

Bronx: The Family School, Lorraine Hansberry School, PS 18 John Peter Zenger, PS 21 The Philip H. Sheridan School, PS 30X The Wilton School, PS 314x Fairmont Neighborhood School, PS 596x, PS 63 Author’s Academy, South Bronx Academy for Applied Media, and Theater Arts Production Company High School

Brooklyn: 811K The Connie Lekas School, Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering, Acorn Community High School, The Benjamin Franklin Magnet School, Brooklyn’s Daily Discovery Pre-K, City Polytechnic High School, IS 285 Meyer Levin, John Wilson Intermediate School, Madiba Prep Middle School, The Mary McLeod Bethune School, PS 147, PS 230 Doris Cohen School, PS 262, PS 770, PS 81 Thaddeus Stevens, PS/IS 184 The Newport School, Ronald Edmonds Learning Center II, Science Skills Center High School for Science Technology and the Creative Arts, South Brooklyn Community HS, and West Brooklyn Community High School

Manhattan: Inwood Early College, John B. Russwurm Elementary School, Manhattan Hunter Science High School, PS 102 Jacques Cartier School, PS 194 Countee Cullen Academy for Scholars, Riverside School for Makers and Artists, Talent Unlimited HS, The Facing History School, Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS), and Child Zone at Mount Sinai

Queens: Flushing High School, IS 10Q Horace Greeley Intermediate School, Louis Armstrong Middle School, PS 64Q, PS 175Q Lynn Gross Discovery, PS 181 The Brookfield School, and PS 197Q The Ocean School

Staten Island: IS 72, PS 23, and PS 373 The Robert Randall School

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#DrivingHope with MINI USA
March 16, 2018

Already the country’s largest recurring public arts project, the Sing for Hope Pianos are revving up to be bigger and better than ever, thanks to a partnership made in creative heaven. MINI USA will join Sing for Hope for the 2018 SFH Pianos, motivated by both organizations’ shared passion for serving communities in need with creativity and compassion. The cornerstone of the partnership will be a mobile #MINIPiano inside a MINI Countryman, adding a fully mobile element and elevating the beloved installation that’s already innovative by design.

In addition to the 50 pianos across the five boroughs, the #MINIPiano will act as a roving 51st piano, #DrivingHope to locations throughout the city and surprising and delighting New Yorkers with even more pop-up performances and musical opportunities. MINI is currently developing the custom modified MINI Countryman to create the #MINIPiano. Further details about the car’s design will be released soon.

“MINI is proud to support Sing for Hope and their mission to bring art and music to the streets of New York City through spontaneous musical moments that create a brighter urban life,” says Lee Nadler, Regional Marketing Manager, MINI USA. “Design and creativity are at the heart of our iconic brand and we look forward to utilizing our #MINIPiano to demonstrate more of what matters to the community here in New York City.”

“Sing for Hope and MINI USA both operate with creativity and innovation at their core, so the partnership is a natural fit,” say Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, Sing for Hope Co-Founders. “Just as Sing for Hope works each day to bring hope to communities that need it most, MINI invests in organizations that drive our world forward and make it a better place. We are honored to be #DrivingHope together.”

To date, Sing for Hope has placed 400+ artist-designed pianos throughout the parks and public spaces of NYC’s 5 boroughs each summer for anyone and everyone to play – a symbol and celebration of art for all. Each year has featured unique performances, locations, and piano designs, and this seventh year is sure to be one to remember. Stay tuned for more details on how Sing for Hope and MINI will be #DrivingHope this summer!

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David Beahm’s Riot of Color
March 13, 2018

From New York’s most talked-about galas to the Obama White House holiday decorations, David Beahm designs events that dazzle.

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of David Beahm Experiences, David is throwing a HUGE party benefiting Sing for Hope! The sure-to-be unforgettable evening takes place Thursday, March 22nd, at New York’s iconic IAC building, designed by legend Frank Gehry. The stunning, sleek building, featuring gracefully angled floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping views of NYC and the Hudson revere, will make the perfect backdrop for the evening’s festive dress code: a riot of color.

Guests will have access to an open bar, and will dine on exquisite food from over a dozen of NYC’s top caterers. The entertainment for the night will include show-stopping music, a live orchestra, and a phenomenal dance band. Featured performers include Piotr Beczala, Shayna Steele (courtesy of Greenberg Artists), Lester Lynch, John McVeigh, and Sing for Hope’s own Co-Founders and acclaimed sopranos Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora. As if that weren’t enough, David Beahm promises plenty of surprises along the way.

Some of the night’s special opportunities include the chance to win a luxury getaway to Morocco, simply by being a guest in attendance on March 22nd! The trip includes stays at two of the world’s top hotels, Royal Mansour, and Kasbah Tamadot, with airfare provided by Virgin Atlantic (arranged by Steele Travel).

100% of every ticket purchased goes to Sing for Hope, allowing us to bring the power of the arts to more and more people throughout NYC and the world. Purchase your tickets and join us for this magical evening, all while supporting Sing for Hope in the process! We are deeply grateful to David Beahm for generously underwriting this event and for his enduring commitment to arts education and to the communities we serve. Can’t wait to see you there!

Purchase tickets to David Beahm’s Riot of Color here!
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Citizen Artist Schools

There are currently 130 Sing for Hope Citizen Artist Schools in New York City. In partnership with the NYC Department of Education, we selected these schools through a competitive RFP process to become permanent homes for the Sing for Hope Pianos featured each June. In addition to receiving a Sing for Hope Piano, each school also gets our Citizen Artist Curriculum, a program that helps teachers empower students to use creativity and the arts to enact positive social change. The curriculum includes a specially-curated Citizen Artist Opening Assembly featuring our roster of world-class Artist Partners; a monthly online teacher resource guide including articles, lesson plans, and student contests; and the opportunity to host additional free workshops led by SFH Artist Partners on a variety of art forms throughout the year.

One key to this rich and successful partnership? It’s not only between the adults. When we meet the young new owners of the Sing for Hope Pianos at their Citizen Artist Opening Assembly, we tell them the story of their piano and the meaning behind the project. We end by giving the students a charge. “Do you promise to be your Sing for Hope Piano’s buddy, keeping it safe and in good playing condition? Do you promise to be your Piano’s musician, playing it, singing to it, and using it with other instruments? Do you promise to be a Citizen Artist, using your piano and your creativity for a greater purpose that even we can’t predict?”

We are asking them to love and protect the Piano, to use it well, and to use the arts to give back. That’s a tall order. Luckily, they have their teachers to support them, and resources provided by Sing for Hope. In its inaugural year, the Citizen Artist Curriculum is the cornerstone of that package. That curriculum includes resources for teachers to integrate into their regular programming: full, dynamic lessons that teach students about using art to give back to the community. The most recent module features lessons on Citizen Artistry through music, dance, and theater. The curriculum also provides opportunities for engagement beyond the school community, including student contests and opportunities for workshops with Sing for Hope staff and Artist Partners.

These interactive artistic workshops cover diverse art forms, but all have the underlying theme of Citizen Artistry. One of the most popular offerings is Sing for Hope’s West African Dance Workshop, led by Sing for Hope Program Manager Frank Malloy. To date, over 600 students across 20+ schools have participated in the workshop with “Mr. Frank,” who has performed all his life, including as the Musical Director of his parents’ performing company Harambee Dance Company.

Frank and the Sing for Hope team adapt the fun and challenging workshop to fit the unique needs of each age group. No matter how complex the particular dance moves, or how many minutes the group spends clapping rhythms to Frank’s drum, one clear theme emerges: pure joy.

Students explore the history, movements, and drumbeats of a traditional Malian/Guinean dance. All throughout the workshop, as students learn the components of each movement and become more comfortable with the physical execution of the dance, they return to that central idea of Citizen Artistry: the power to communicate, and for the dance (or for art of any kind) to have a greater meaning.

Our Citizen Artist Schools will have many more opportunities to expose their students to new art forms in our upcoming singing, improv, and visual arts workshops.

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Sing for Hope Celebrates Black History Month

During the evening rush hour commute on February 23rd, Port Authority Bus Terminal commuters paused from looking ahead to their destinations to look up (literally, at the Sing for Hope stage), and to look back, in a powerful, musical tribute to Black History.

Featuring diverse musical stylings including jazz, world music, opera, and spoken word, the program began with a moving “Ancestor Veneration” tribute to the known and unknown black heroes of the past. Sing for Hope Artist Partner Joseph Hill’s rich tenor echoed throughout the terminal as he opened the musical portion of the program with “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black National Anthem.

A jazz combo featured the pure trumpet of Panamanian Aquiles Navarro, who trained at New England Conservatory and will soon appear in the Kennedy Center’s Direct Current Series, an innovative two-week celebration of contemporary culture. Sing for Hope Program Manager Frank Malloy set Navarro’s trumpet to a rich and driving drum beat. A pianist and composer with an impressive array of international performance experience in his young career, NYU and New England Conservatory-trained Zack Clarke rounded out the jazz combo on the Sing for Hope Piano keys.

All throughout the program, commuters gathered at the upper-level railings facing the Sing for Hope stage, lingering until the last possible minute before they boarded their buses. Commuters passing through the terminal on the lower level shouted up words of encouragement, adding affirmations to the rich, jazz combo-powered soundtrack of Terry Lovette’s spoken word.

Lovette has a powerful command of both the written and performative aspects of spoken word, and she matches that power with a dedication to training others in the art and impact of spoken word. On March 16th, Lovette will lead a group of women in Sing for Hope’s Women’s History Month program at the Sing for Hope Port Authority Stage, and she will lead the aspiring young artists of Arts Week in a spoken word workshop over Spring Break.

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