In recent years, colorful pianos have popped up in public spaces across metro Atlanta. Passersby stop to play melodies on them at places like Woodruff Arts Center, Colony Square and Dunwoody Nature Center, cutting through the busy din or replacing a quiet lull with welcome music.
Most of these instruments are courtesy of Play Me Again Pianos, a local nonprofit that plans to place 88 of them — the number of keys on a piano — around Georgia.
So far, the organization has seven placed in permanent locations, starting with the one placed under a pavilion at Chastain Park in March 2016. It’s named “Janssen,” and is emblazoned with sunflowers, clouds and rolling hills, and it formerly belonged to the Brett’s. That’s the family who started the nonprofit.
The idea was inspired by a 2013 family trip to Europe. Thanks to some public piano exhibits there, Jason and Kelly Brett’s then-seven-year-old son, Nico, was able to continue his streak of practicing piano every day.
See a video of Nico playing on the streets of Paris:
Each piano is painted by local artists, be they amateur or professional, children or adults. Three new ones are scheduled to be installed this summer.
The upcoming openings are:
- "Sunny," painted by the Artscape summer camp director Kent Nulty and its five to 12-year-old attendees, will be unveiled in East Cobb Park on July 22 at 10 a.m.
- "Cornelius," painted by art teacher Theresa Dean, will be unveiled outside of The Shed at Ponce City Market on Aug. 6 at 2 p.m.
- "Dottie," artist to be announced, will be unveiled at Atlantic Station on Aug. 25
Here’s a map of public pianos in the area, including ones placed by Midtown Alliance (at MARTA Arts Center station) and Pianos for Peace (at Sam Flax Art Supply):
Video: 7 things to do on the Atlanta Beltline
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.