'Pianos in Parks' brings music, artwork to four local parks

Is playing a piano in the great outdoors on your bucket list? Lexington Parks and Recreation is about to help you cross it off.

Parks is placing pianos at four parks – Phoenix, Thoroughbred, Woodland and Castlewood – from Friday, July 19, through Friday, Aug. 30. To add a little visual art, the pianos have been painted by Parks and Recreation staff artist Carol Drury.

The program opens with professionals … local pianists will play from 6-7 p.m., July 19, in Phoenix and Thoroughbred Parks. (July 19 is also Gallery Hop night).

After that, citizens are welcome to step up to the keys, and release their inner Liberace. Whether it’s Liszt’s “La Campanella” or Euphemia Allen’s “Chopsticks,” all music, and all pianists are welcome.

The Pianos in Parks program began in 2014 in Seattle. Since then, several cities have launched their own programs to bring the community outdoors to celebrate music, art and parks.  Dave Bush, a local businessman, brought the idea to Parks and Recreation and has been instrumental in securing donated pianos and providing space for them to be painted.

Lexington is rolling out the event on a small scale this year, but the goal is to expand. Anyone interested in donating a piano in reasonably good shape may email davidbbush@gmail.com    

Pianos will be protected from the weather with special covers and locked from late night until morning out of courtesy to nearby residents. Cup of Common Wealth, Lexington Public Library and the Lexington Art League have generously agreed to assist with these efforts at Thoroughbred, Phoenix and Castlewood parks.  Parks and Recreation staff will take care of the piano located in Woodland Park.