Normally I use this blog to post my personal work, which revolves almost exclusively around shooting film. But I do have another photographic life, using a digital DSLR, that I don’t feature here. Yet, it’s one that I’m passionate about. As a Sing for Hope volunteer and the “photographer in residence,” I photograph community visits and concerts for this amazing NYC-based arts organization. What they do is very simple, but how they do it and the effect it has on the community is inspiring. Tapping into the large and talented pool of musicians, actors, singers, and artists based in NYC, Sing for Hope has developed a huge roster of performers who donate their time and energy bringing the arts to places that need it most. Since I’ve been involved with Sing for Hope, we’ve visited hospitals, nursing homes, schools, community centers, shelters, and clinics, bringing world class performers to every corner of NYC’s five boroughs.
This year, the Sing for Hope crew is doing something crazy…
88 pianos. 5 boroughs. 2 weeks.
This mega-project would be ambitious even if it were simply placing dozens of pianos in outdoor public spaces around the five boroughs of NYC. Imagine the red tape and the logistics for such a proposal. To make it even more complex, over the last couple of months, artists from all over the city submitted proposals to transform a piano before its released into the wild. The selected artists will paint and decorate their pianos and then the pianos will be placed at 88 locations across the city in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
Right now these pianos are nestled into a sparse industrial floor of a midtown building. Each piano is being repaired and tuned by a group of technicians; these are not just art installations – each one will be tuned and play-ready. Next week the artists will begin transforming the old pianos, giving each of them a new life. I’ll be documenting this process and enjoying every minute. In June, the Sing for Hope pianos hit the streets.
For more information and insider photos from the artists themselves, follow #SFHpianos on Twitter.
And lastly, here are a few photographs that I took of Sing for Hope’s “Play Me I’m Yours” campaign in 2011, before I even knew what Sing for Hope was. It was these photos that led to my relationship with Sing For Hope; one of the coordinators came across them on flickr and reached out to me.