Stateside: Pianos 'Round Town in Ypsilanti
"Basically, it's just free and fun."
That's the motto of Pianos 'Round Town, an event beginning today through Oct. 9th in Ypsilanti. Pianos are set outside in the open for the public to enjoy. Anyone at anytime can sit down and play.
Korin Hancherlian-Amos, the founder of Pianos 'Round Town, got the idea from British artist Luke Jerram. Jerram began the project, Play Me I'm Yours, in 2008 in London, which has since grown to cities all around the world.
In 2010, Hancherlian-Amos called her long-time friend, Tim Hoy, owner of Steinway Piano Gallery in Detroit. Hoy agreed to lend the pianos for the event, making Pianos 'Round Town possible.
This year, there are pianos at eight different locations around the city each day. Business owners are in charge of looking after the pianos. "They haul them outside each morning, keep an eye on them in case of rain, and take them back in every night," Hancherlian-Amos said.
The pianos are in front of Sidetrack, Nelson Amos Studio, The Ypsilanti Co-op, Tower Inn, Rec Rock Barbeque, Café Racer, the Depot Town Dispensary, and Mix.
The Ypsilanti Convention Visitors Bureau donates $1,000 each year towards the initial drop-off and final pick-up of the pianos. Executive Director, Debbie Locke-Daniel, thinks the event is great for getting visitors to Ypsilanti.
Through October 9, these pianos will be occupying the sidewalks of Ypsilanti.
You can visit the Pianos 'Round Town YouTube page to see many of the impromptu performances from past years. Here's Ko Kaiden singing "Catari! Catari! with a pint in hand:
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