By John Lynds
After a citywide search calling on local organizations to apply to host a Street Piano in East Boston, the organization that brought the popular street piano program to Boston last year announced two Eastie partners.
The Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association and the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library will both host artist Luke Jerram’s Popular Art Installment Play Me, I’m Yours street Street Pianos Boston.
“This year, 60 pianos (including the two in Eastie), will be painted by local artists and community groups will be placed in outdoor spaces in every Boston neighborhood for the public to play and enjoy September 23 – October 10, 2016,” said Celebrity Series of Boston in a statement. “Since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours has been installed in more than 50 cities and reached more than 10 million people globally.”
Street Pianos Boston was first featured in the city in 2013 when more than 500,000 people engaged with these pianos, sharing music and song in a citywide festival.
Each piano features a simple invitation, “Play Me, I’m Yours”. In 2016, The Celebrity Series of Boston made a commitment that every Boston neighborhood will have at least one piano for the community to enjoy. Organizations with connections to the community in arts, culture or other charitable areas were encouraged to apply to host a piano.
Host organizations must commit to acting as a “piano buddy”, which includes covering the piano in inclement weather, reporting any damages and locking the keyboard up every night during the two weeks of the festival. Ideally, all locations will be outdoors, visible and easily accessible to the public.
This public art installation was created by UK artist Luke Jerram and has been touring internationally since 2008. More than 1,500 pianos have now been installed in 50 cities across the globe, from New York to London. The project has reached more than 10 million people worldwide, with each new city that commissions the work becoming part of a growing legacy.
In Boston, Play Me, I’m Yours is presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston, as part of Arts for All!– a community engagement initiative that reaches over 10,000 individuals annually. The organization also offers hands-on, interactive workshops for youth led by a core group of Boston-area artists, free community concerts in Boston neighborhoods, free and discounted tickets to main stage performances and large-scale, public participatory performance projects such as Street Pianos Boston.
“Our Arts for All! program is a core part of our mission at the Celebrity Series, to ensure performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience,” said Celebrity Series President and Executive Director Gary Dunning, . “Street Pianos Boston is a perfect fit for this program, bringing visual and performance art into the community. Street Pianos Boston proves art truly is everywhere and everyone can participate.”