Pianos in the Parks campaign comes to Ballard


By Joe Veyera

A selection of parks around Seattle and King County will be more musically inclined between now and August 17, as part of an effort to celebrate the Puget Sound’s love of the outdoors and music.

The Pianos in the Parks campaign is being underwritten by Laird Norton Wealth Management, and was created in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, the Seattle Symphony, KEXP, the Gage Academy of Art, the Seattle City of Music initiative, and Classic Pianos.

The program features 20 artistically enhanced pianos created by Gage Academy of Art faculty, students and friends, with each placed in one of 15 Seattle city parks and open spaces and five King County Parks locations.

Ballard Commons Park is one of those hosts, with Kate Rose Johnson and Scott Johnson’s “Skíðblaðnir” (pictured above). Here’s what a description on the Pianos in the Park website had to say:

This particular piano is a historical vessel; representing the way culture and music travels over land and sea to foreign soil, perhaps awakening a young mind or stirring memories in an aged one. When you sit at this piano bench, you may feel the sense loss and the thrill of adventure in leaving the fjords of Scandinavia to find Golden Gardens and an Emerald City.

Each piano is open to the public to play, with musicians of every skill level encouraged to enter the Pianos in the Parks Facebook contest, in which they upload a video of their performance of either an original piece or one from the public domain for a chance to play at Concerts at the Mural presented by KEXP and Seattle Center on August 22. Entries will be voted on by Facebook “likes” with the top five videos then judged by a community panel.

At the end of the campaign, all pianos will be sold to the highest bidder in online auctions, with the proceeds benefitting Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP and Gage Academy of Art.

Photo courtesy of Pianos in the Park

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