Bringing together the visual arts, live music, and an engaged community is often easier said than done, but a new fundraising and musical outreach program called Pop-Up Pianos is about to fill Seminole County with sweet sights and sounds courtesy of some of the area’s best artists and musicians, all to help raise money for local charities and arts groups.
Similar to popular programs in New York City, Miami, and other chic locales, the Pop-Up Pianos project will place hand-painted baby-grand and upright pianos in public places throughout Seminole, each with an open invitation for passers-by to sit down and tickle the ivories. Decorated by a talented cadre of local artists, each piano will be more visually spectacular than the next, and sponsors are encouraged to schedule a variety of professional performances around the pianos to bring live music to the people.
After a few weeks “on the street” in May, the pianos will be auctioned off with all proceeds from the auction and the piano sponsorships going to support the Seminole County Cultural Arts Council, the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, and the Steinway Society of Central Florida.
“We want piano music to be accessible and fun for everyone in Seminole,” says Gary Grimes, president of the Central Florida chapter of the Steinway Society. “These instruments will give players of all ages and ability levels a chance to explore and share their talent at the keys. When the project is done, there’s no better way to purchase a one-of-a-kind instrument for your home than by buying one of these works of art at auction. We’re also hoping local philanthropists or community-minded businesses might purchase a piano and turn right around and donate it to a local charity or school who could use a beautiful piano.”
Sponsors are already lining up to secure one of the instruments. Several local cities are on board with plans to place them in parks and other public spaces. Florida Hospital will be sponsoring a piano for placement in the Altamonte Mall. More pianos are available for sponsorship with $500 earning a hand-painted upright and $2,500 netting a baby grand to be placed at the sponsor’s discretion.
At events scheduled during the month of April, artists will gather in Sanford to paint and unveil the pianos; the instruments will be available for public viewing beginning on Mother’s Day, May 13.
This article was originally published in the March/April issue of Lake Mary Life Magazine. Lake Mary Life Magazine is the premier lifestyle publication in the Lake Mary area, dedicated to publishing positive and uplifting stories about our community. Lake Mary Life is a partner of GalTime Orlando.