FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES "PLAY ME, I'M YOURS" INSTALLATION - FEATURING 60 PUBLIC PIANOS IN LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT ALL FIVE BOROUGHS - AND THE 4TH ANNUAL MAKE MUSIC NEW YORK FESTIVAL
Two Week Public Art Project Kicks Off on June 21 at the Make Music New York One-day Festival Featuring 1,000 Free Musical Performances throughout New York City
For Locations of Pianos and Performances and More Information, Call 311 or Visit NYC.gov
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Sing for Hope Co-Founding Director Camille Zamora and Make Music New York Founder Aaron Friedman today announced “Play Me, I’m Yours,” a two-week citywide music program that will feature 60 public pianos in public spaces throughout New York City. The program kicks off on June 21 at Make Music New York, a one-day festival featuring more than 1,000 free musical performances at locations in all five boroughs, and will run through July 5. The pianos are artworks as well as instruments and will be individually decorated by local artists, students and volunteers, and New Yorkers and visitors from around the world will be encouraged to play them. The “Play Me, I’m Yours” installation is presented by the nonprofit organization Sing for Hope, in partnership with Make Music New York and the City of New York. Joining Mayor Bloomberg at the announcement, held at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City where one of the pianos will be located, were Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin and the artist who conceived of the public piano installation Luke Jerram.
“Our Administration has facilitated dozens of public projects in all five boroughs to help make New York City an even more vibrant place to live and visit, and ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ will be the most interactive one yet,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “For two weeks starting Monday, 60 public pianos – painted by artists and community groups – will be installed in parks and plazas across the City for anyone to play. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a world-class virtuoso like Beethoven or a guy who took one year of lessons like Bloomberg, just sit down and let your fingers do the talking. It all starts on June 21 at the annual Make Music New York festival, which itself will feature 1,000 free performances throughout New York City.”
“Many people never touch a piano, so we are bringing pianos to the people,” says Sing for Hope Co-Founding Director Camille Zamora. “This large-scale project is made possible by Sing for Hope’s ‘artist peace corps’ – professional artists from New York’s leading companies who volunteer in Sing for Hope’s outreach programs.”
“This year, we are proud to offer more than 1,000 musical events, all free, in public spaces throughout the five boroughs of the city,” said Make Music New York Founder Aaron Friedman. “From well-known artists to amateur strummers, from rappers to opera singers, Make Music New York brings an unparalleled variety of musical offerings to our city's public spaces. You may encounter a community chorus, a gaggle of ukulele players, even a battle of the bands featuring hard-rocking corporate execs on their lunch break.”
“The fourth annual Make Music New York day is bigger than ever, presenting free live music to thousands of people in neighborhoods across the City," said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. "And this year, we are pleased that Sing for Hope’s “Play Me, I’m Yours” will offer New Yorkers in all five boroughs even more access to the cultural opportunities that are critical to this City’s quality of life.”
“This Citywide initiative is music to our ears,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “Community projects like this inspire everyone to not only make their own music but take enjoyment in the melodies as well.”
“One of the great joys of visiting a New York City park is attending one of the many concerts and musical performances that take place each summer,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Now in its fourth year, Make Music New York provides a unique festival on June 21 of free concerts in over 100 parks and community gardens, as well as countless other public spaces. With ‘Play Me, I’m Yours,’ 60 pianos are being brought to the public and we hope that New Yorkers take advantage of this unique opportunity to practice their chopsticks.”
“Gantry Plaza State Park is a wonderful oasis that is helping to revitalize the Queens waterfront – and what better way to add to the renaissance than by making a little music,” said New York State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash. “I am happy New York State Parks is able to collaborate with New York City and Sing for Hope to enrich Gantry Plaza and other parks with music from these public pianos.”
The “Play Me I’m Yours” installation is inspired by artist Luke Jerram’s similar 2009 installation in London that will occur again this summer and coincide with New York City’s installation. The pianos will be located in public plazas and parks, where ‘piano buddies’ from local community organizations and neighborhood parks have volunteered to take care of them during their two-week installation. The pianos will open by 9:00 AM each morning and the public is welcome to play them until 10:00 PM, except in a few more residential locations that will close at 8:00 PM. At the end of the project, the pianos will be donated by Sing for Hope to New York City schools and hospitals.
For further information about “Play Me, I’m Yours” or Make Music New York, New Yorkers and visitors can dial 311 or visit NYC.gov, SingForHope.org, or MakeMusicNY.org. The piano locations are below (R designates a residential location and 8:00 PM close time):
The Make Music New York festival returns for its fourth year of free concerts in public spaces throughout New York City, all on the first day of summer. On June 21, from 11:00 AM to10:00 PM, musicians of all ages and musical genres – from Hip-hop to opera, Latin jazz to punk rock – will perform on streets, sidewalks, stoops, plazas, parks and gardens. Highlights of this year’s line up include a Central Park celebration of visionary Greek composer Iannis Xenakis; the Corporate Challenge: guitar-slinging office workers from midtown Manhattan’s mightiest companies rock for glory in a battle of the corporate bands; A New Orleans-style “second line” jazz parade, featuring musicians from the Jazz Gallery, Jazzmobile, and other leading institutions, will wind its way from Soho to Lincoln Square up to Harlem; and Punk Island, returns on Sunday, June 20, with more than 100 of the city’s loudest bands, playing on Governors Island where there are no decibel restrictions. This year will also include a Funkfest in Williamsburg; Hardcore and Ska Bands at Wolfe’s Pond Park in Staten Island; a performance by Folklore Urbano at DreamYard Art Center in the Bronx; and a variety of family music programs at the Queens Children’s Center P.S. Q023.
Founded by opera singers with a desire to lift their voices for social change, Sing for Hope mobilizes more than 600 world-class artists – from classical musicians to photographers to Broadway performers – who donate time and talent in our volunteer service programs that benefit schools, hospitals and communities. Sing for Hope provides three programs: Art U! (dynamic arts and leadership education for under-resourced youth), Healing Arts (in-hospital performances and workshops that complement the healing process), and Community Arts (events that raise awareness and funds for humanitarian causes, and projects that dismantle barriers to arts accessibility).
Make Music New York was inspired by France’s Fête de la Musique, a celebration of music on the Summer Solstice that brings free concerts to 300 cities all day long. Last year Make Music New York presented 900 concerts with 4,000 musicians at 272 locations throughout all five boroughs of New York City.
Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Malia Simonds/Danai Pointer (Cultural Affairs) (212) 513-9322
Emily Walsh (Sing for Hope) (212) 966-5955
Steven Swartz (Make Music New York) (646) 206-3966
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