In August, parks across the Seattle area will feature new play equipment of a musical variety. The Pianos in the Parks installations are set to return — including a piano in Volunteer Park next to the Black Sun sculpture.
Now in its sixth year, the program managed by Capitol Hill-based One Reel is also making an important change to help keep the pianos a fun piece of the summer fun in Seattle parks.
HELP CHS COVER THE COVID-19 CRISIS -- SUBSCRIBE TODAY: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.
“When Pianos in the Parks returns in August, we will be ushering in a new era,” Marty Griswold, executive director of One Reel said in the announcement of the 2019 season. “This year’s program is fueled by the accomplishments of One Reel’s neighborhood partners with each location representing a collaboration between One Reel and a wide variety of registered organizations working together to support a united event that encourages exploration by Seattle residents, while igniting civic pride in neighbors.”
On Capitol Hill for the piano set to be installed in Volunteer Park, the neighborhood partners are Gay City and Play Your Part. In the Central District for the piano in Jimi Hendrix Park, the partners are the Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park group.
Each piano is designed and decorated by a featured artist. Capitol Hill’s piano was created by Marco Glannangelo.
The annual event’s presence in Capitol Hill parks has demonstrated both the heights — beautiful music! — and the depths — tagging and straight up destructive vandalism — of humanity. The program previously included Cal Anderson in its lineup though the park’s pianos suffered more than their fair share of damage.
Pianos in the Park is produced by One Reel in partnership with sponsor Classic Pianos and the Department of Seattle Neighborhoods. Funding for the program comes from a matching grant awarded by Seattle Neighborhoods in 2019 and through private donations.
The pianos are set to be in place by August 3rd and will be available through the 18th. You can learn more at pianosintheparks.org.