Learn more about Pianos in the Parks
About Pianos in the Parks
Pianos in the Parks encourages you to discover your local parks, your musical talent, your inner performer and your community.
Visit each of the uniquely designed pianos on our map, play a tune and explore new parks or trails.
Submit video to our website and encourage people to vote by August 16. Winner has a chance to perform at KEXP and Seattle Center's Concert the Mural, Aug. 21.
It’s easy! Go to our Contest page. Look and Listen to the video entries. Vote for your faves.
One of the 22 head-turning pianos could be yours! Bid until August 13 to become the proud owner one-of-a-kind, well-loved piano.
Pianos in the Parks is a true public-private partnership, involving many of our area’s leading music and arts organizations. The idea came out of this question: “What can we do that is fun, connects our community, and provides a platform for discovering the great things going on in our local parks?”
The Pianos in the Parks campaign combines the great talents, missions and efforts of the Seattle Symphony, KEXP, Gage Academy of Art, City of Music, Classic Pianos, PlayNetwork, Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Bellevue Parks, Kirkland Parks, City of Mercer Island Parks, City of Bellevue Arts, Seattle, MICA, Classical King FM, Port of Seattle and KCTS 9 and is made possible by Laird Norton Wealth Management.
In addition to the primary partners, Pianos in the Parks has received generous support from local artists, musicians, companies and community organizations – making Pianos in the Parks a truly collaborative effort aimed at discovering local parks.More About Our Partners
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Artist Spotlight – George Jennings!
When asked about his inspiration for “Sketchbook”, George shared, “I don’t always have ‘inspirations’ for each one of my paintings because I typically will either have a simple thought, an idea, or even see a simple image in my mind that l use to create my vision in a painting. “I do have influences from other great artists in history or an amazing style of art that can be seen in parts of my work. What I always try to do in my work is express the sense of peace that I experienced while creating it. I hope that when viewing any of my work it will cause a person to connect with the piece because it brings up a positive memory that brings them joy.” See his piano at Ballard Commons. Listen to Classical KING FM’s interview with George.
Artist Spotlight – Arica Schuett!
Artist: Arica Schuett at unveiling at Lake Union Park
When asked about her inspiration for her piano design, Arica shared, “This heavy piano is my homage to the summer, when time moves so fast but it also moves so slow. It evokes the hours spent playing in streets with whatever kids I could find to play with. It speaks to the foggy memory of being too small to undo the door latch to go play outside, needing the help of an adult to let me outside. This is dedicated to the adults who let me play on the street as long as I could be seen from the house and the memories I have of being lost in play.”
On why she choose to design the piano at Occidental Square Park, she commented, “I love Occidental Park, across the street from where I work. Pioneer Square is largely free from vandalism and there is always a large presence of other things like food trucks and dance classes that take place in the park on weekdays and weekends. When there are Sounders games a brass band plays in the square before marching to the stadium. It’s a beautiful and the most rustic square in town.”
The Marathon Man of Pianos in the Parks
What’s it like to walk 76 miles in 2 days to visit all 22 pianos in the parks? Jason Barber took on that challenge last weekend, even buying a one-way plane ticket so he could get to the piano in the Sea-Tac departures terminal! Now that’s determination. We just had to learn more about this guy.
Jason, why this past weekend – one of the hottest on record – to walk to pianos?
JB: It was just bad luck that this turned out to be the two hottest days of the year! But I wanted to do this early on, so as to not miss any of the pianos. And it was very much worth it!
JB: This is the longest I’ve ever spent walking continuously – about 14 hours each day, I walked close to 38 miles – and it’s always satisfying when you can achieve a new level like that.
What was going on around the pianos?
JB: A lot. About 75% of the pianos were being played as I made my usual 5-15 minute stops.
Usually, I just eavesdropped as people chatted around the pianos, and the things I heard about Pianos in the Parks were unequivocally positive. I actually came across another “piano hunter” trying to see as many of the pianos as possible, but not all on foot.
What about on the way to the pianos?
JB: I went by the Float Dodger 5K in West Seattle and the SeaFair Pirates getting ready for the parade. Then oddly this happened: after 22 miles of walking, I ran into my boss and her family next to Lake Union. But that didn’t stop them from getting me to help load four kayaks onto their car! On Sunday, I was all of sudden part of the Uncorked Festival in Kirkland’s Marina Park, as I tried to figure out which of the many white tents the piano was under!
Any advice for people who want to follow in your footsteps?
JB: Urban walking is the opposite of backcountry hiking, in that water and food are generally plentiful but restrooms are scarce. So know the water and restroom options well ahead. I’d also wear shorts with plenty of pockets for all the essentials, such as a smart phone with an extra battery.
See Jason’s walking map below:
Why are you so keen on urban walks?
JB: I’m a Seattle native, for the last 17 years working as a biostatistician in Neurological Surgery at Harborview Medical Center. While I’ve been a hiker and backpacker for a long time, it’s only in the last few years I’ve discovered urban walking as a great way to explore a city I’ve lived in nearly my entire life.
Check out his fitbit postings for Day 1 and Day 2:
Listen to Classical KING FM talk to artist, Larine Chung
“Each day our lives are mingled tightly with social media. It’s fair to say most of us have a form of virtual life and the events happens online causes emotional response. But just how real is the reality in the virtual world? I have always been interested in the notion of reality and illusion. I want to provoke thought about social phenomena and online behaviors with the cute, seemingly innocent emoticons on Facebook. They all seem ridiculously happy and positive, but what message do they carry? Do they express have serious meaning or is it just something completely causal like saying hi? I want to investigate what people think on how real is the reality posted on Facebook”.
Listen to Classical KING FM’s interview with Larine.
Dave Terry and Aqueduct
Dave Terry has been a friend of Pianos in the Parks since last summer, through his connection to KEXP. And this year, we loved that he came back to perform at the Pianos in the Parks 2015 launch celebration. Dave is a very interesting and busy guy. His band’s new CD “Wild Knights” is out today. “Songs are great and the record is magnetic,” is the word from CityArts magazine.