Months ago I wrote about the Sing for Hope Pianos project - 88 donated pianos, repaired, tuned, transformed by artists, and then finally delivered to 88 outdoor locations across the five boroughs of NYC. Then, over the last few weeks I showed you photographs of the artists painting the pianos in the super secret Sing for Hope piano studio. That process was so fun and amazing that I was kind of sad when the artists were finished. I liked visiting the studio and photographing all those colorful works of art under one roof.
Now those pianos are all out on the NYC streets. They have been since June 1st. And man have I been busy. 88 pianos spread over Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Locations also include Randall's Island, Roosevelt Island, and Governor's Island. Since June 1st my unlimited Metrocard has rarely rested, I've climbed more subway steps than I care to count, and I've walked dozens of miles to document this project.
At each piano I take some time to walk around it and see how it fits into the environment. Usually there will be someone playing it, sometimes not. If no one is playing, I wait. Only twice has the piano gone unplayed while I was there. I always introduce myself and ask them if they've heard about the piano project and Sing for Hope. If they haven't, I tell them a little about the project and introduce myself as a Sing for Hope photographer. I get them to sign a media release on my iPhone and then take some photographs while they play. I've met some amazing people. Just yesterday I struck up a conversation in a Brooklyn park with a man celebrating his 69th birthday by feeding the squirrels. He's come to that park almost every day for over 45 years and has loved having the piano in the park over the last few days.
Another wonderful thing that's come out of this project is the partnership of Sing for Hope and Chobani yogurt. On a whim, our co-founder Camille called up Chobani after noticing that they give part of their profits to charities and non-profits. Chobani jumped at the chance to help and they have been an active and enthusiastic partner from day one.
Here are some random shots from the last five days.