Sing for Hope will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its legendary community arts program, The Sing for Hope Pianos, with a launch event at the iconic 28 Liberty Plaza on Monday, June 6th. To date, the Sing for Hope Pianos program has placed 286 public instruments throughout New York City, making the city host to more street pianos than any other in the world.
Sing for Hope Pianos come together for a day of free concerts to celebrate “Art for All” on the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center in New York, Sunday, June 16, 2013. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Sing for Hope)
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 two weeks during the summer. Anyone and everyone is invited 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 thousands of New York City school children. One piano, designed by Eric and Jessie James Decker, will be donated to one of the New York-area veterans’ care centers where Sing for Hope provides year-round arts programming.
“From the South Bronx and the Rockaways to Staten Island and Times Square, the Sing for Hope Pianos have become synonymous with summertime in New York City. We are thrilled to bring these pianos to life at 28 Liberty as we prepare to fill our city with music, art, and community for a fifth year,” said Sing for Hope Co-Founders Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora. “And we are delighted that, after their time in the parks, The 2016 Sing for Hope Pianos will go on to permanent homes in our city’s public schools, opening creative doorways for students for years to come.”
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. The 50 completed Sing for Hope Pianos will be unveiled on the 28 Liberty Plaza on Monday, June 6th in a free all-day Launch Event with special performances at 12noon & 5pm featuring international singing star and Tony Award winning actress Lea Salonga, iconic Late Night with David Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer, two-time Tony Award and Drama Desk nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega, the dynamic piano duo Anderson & Roe, cast members from On Site Opera‘s acclaimed Figaro Trilogy, saxophonist/composer Ted Nash/Presidential Suite, singer/songwriter Pete Muller, rising stars Jessica Fishenfeld & Stephanie Lauricella from Opera Diva Dress Collection, Manhattan Girls’ Chorus, and other leading players from the NYC music scene, including young musicians from Sing for Hope’s youth programs and our partner NYC public schools Special Music School. The 5pm concert will be kicked off by a special performance of Bach’s Prelude in C performed by 50 pianists on all 50 Sing for Hope Pianos.
This year, Sing for Hope will place its 336th Sing for Hope Piano in New York City since the project’s 2010 debut, making NYC host to more street pianos than any other in the world. One of the completed Sing for Hope Pianos will remain on the 28 Liberty Plaza for public use from June 9th to June 19th, while the other pianos will be available for use in other public spaces throughout the five boroughs before being placed in their permanent homes in public schools around New York City.
Pianos 2016, collage
As in previous years, celebrities are also contributing their energy, talent, and time to design The 2016 Sing for Hope Pianos, including singer Jessie James Decker and her husband, Eric Decker of the New York Jets, Nathan Sykes (formerly of The Wanted), singer Greyson Chance, renowned photographer Bruce Weber, the cast of hit Broadway show Fun Home, and haute couture designer Georges Chakra. Artists and celebrities who have previously donated their time and talent to create Sing for Hope Pianos include fashion designers John Varvatos, Isaac Mizrahi, Kate Spade, and Diane Von Furstenberg; visual artists Julian Schnabel and Scott Taylor; and media mogul Arianna Huffington.
Eva Petrič working
Eva Petrič, currently based in Vienna, is creating a luminous piano entitled “Etude ABOVE Ground Zero.” In her words, the piano artwork “transcribes the blue sky I experienced on 9/11, with lace representing clouds that transport memories and emotions, and help to transform trauma into something positive…”
“We are thrilled to support Sing for Hope through The Sing for Hope Pianos! Music is a huge part of our lives and we have been blessed with all the tools we need to create and enjoy music with our family and fans. We are designing a Sing for Hope Piano on behalf of our foundation, the Eric and Jessie Decker Foundation, to bring music to those who don’t readily have access to it. We are excited to support this worthwhile cause and to donate our piano to a veteran’s charity in need,” said Eric and Jessie Decker.
As part of the celebration on June 6th, Lea Salonga will be presented with the Sing for Hope “Art for All” Award for her dedication to inspiring young people with the gift of music throughout her career. Known across the world for her powerful voice and perfect pitch, Lea is best known for her Tony Award winning role in Miss Saigon, and can be recognized as the singing voice of Princess Jasmine from Aladdin and Fa Mulan from Mulan and Mulan II. Ms. Salonga is expected to perform upon her acceptance of the award. Previous recipients of the “Art for All” Award include Tony Bennett, Renée Fleming, Muhammad Yunus, Joe Flom, and Ann Ziff.
In time for the big reveal of the 2016 Sing for Hope Pianos, the world’s first-ever mobile app for street piano discovery and engagement will be available. The app will help people to discover, visit and play the pianos – and then share their experiences via social media. Now in its second year, the app will, for the first time, allow people to take curated tours of the pianos, discover special concerts by artists and performers taking place at the pianos, and compete to win “piano prizes.”
About Sing for Hope
Sing for Hope transforms lives throughout New York City by bringing the power of the arts to those who need it most. Through the volunteer service of dedicated artists – opera singers, jazz musicians, dancers, puppeteers, painters, and more – Sing for Hope provides dynamic arts outreach programming to under-resourced communities across NYC. Sing for Hope’s programs include collaborative concerts for hospital patients, after-school arts classes for NYC youth, and its flagship public art initiative: The Sing for Hope Pianos. A celebration of Sing for Hope’s vision of art for all, this beloved public art project reaches and estimated 2 million New Yorkers and visitors every year.