When Lee Feldman, Fort Lauderdale’s city manager, visited Denver some time back, he noticed some pianos being placed outdoors in the public areas. From then, he was inspired to bring the idea back home. Hence, over the weekends, a total of five pianos were being placed on the sidewalks of FATVillage as well as the Riverwalk Pavilion. Passersby were even invited to sit down and play them.
“I like to make noise,” stated Russell Rand, a resident of Fort Lauderdale in the United States. He was one of those individuals who took the opportunity to spin out a fine version of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” on the piano that was placed just outside a law office on Northwest Andrews Avenue. Also, just a distance away, Michelle Paris was playing on a second piano. “I came down to see a friend’s artwork. I discovered a piano sitting on the corner,” she said as her hands move effortlessly on the keys.
When Lee returned from Denver, he thought to himself if others are putting out pianos for the public, why couldn’t they do the same. This question eventually passed on to the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation before reaching the local design firm Cadence. “We needed to make a big deal out of it,” said Cadence principal Rebecca Bradley. They managed to find five pianos that were no longer in used and passed them over to local artists, who decorated them in styles. The city also assisted in providing the truck and the manpower.
According to Lee, this weekend of public pianos, “is all about creating activity, showing that not everything has to be done by the city. Sometimes you can let stuff happen by itself. The whole point of a successful community is creating places for people to gather. And reasons for people to gather. I think we as a city are maturing to the point where these gathering places and activities are becoming more commonplace.” After the weekend debut, these pianos will be set down in various parts of the city. From there, residents will then vote on their permanent places somewhere in the town area. For the full story, you can read it over here.
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