NEWS

#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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The Impact of Sing for Hope Pianos in Schools
March 12, 2018

SURVEY SAYS…

When NYC public schools are chosen to receive a Sing for Hope Piano, they enter into a partnership that will serve as a catalyst for future programming. We want to know the particular impact the SFH Pianos have in each school. To that end, we surveyed our partner schools, and there’s good news: 153 arts programs have been created or expanded since the addition of the Sing for Hope Pianos—more than one new program per school!

The Sing for Hope Pianos, and the schools who house them, are up to some big things:

  • 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.

Some of that expanded programming made possible by the SFH Pianos includes the ability to reach new groups of students. PS 120’s Serena Forzaglia says, “Our Sing for Hope Piano has helped us develop a music program for our youngest scholars, as our Pre-K and Kindergarten students receive music instruction each day using it!  We are so grateful to have this beautiful instrument.”

For some, the Sing for Hope Piano provides some much-needed inspiration. “There is a student in our school who commutes from the Bronx all the way to deep Brooklyn. It is very difficult for him to get to school and once he is here, he struggles to remain engaged. The sole reason he finds the motivation to come to school is to play the piano. His attendance has gone up and he is more focused and patient in class knowing that he will get to play the piano for staying on task and doing his best work.”

Students aren’t the only ones using our Sing for Hope Pianos in schools: 24,000 community members use or benefit from the piano throughout the year. Combined with the 34,000 students, that’s 58,000 people who benefit from our Sing for Hope Pianos in schools. We are so grateful to our Citizen Artist Schools for their very important half of this partnership.

There’s even more good news: we have 50 new Sing for Hope Pianos poised to enter the school district and the city this year and add to those numbers. While we’re buoyed by the impact we already see, one thing is clear: this is just the beginning.

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