As our new downtown takes shape and the street trees, furniture and finishing touches are added in spring 2021, the concept of adding a public piano has been raised. While talking to a resident (Harvey Mann) about his desire to donate his family piano to the Town, to be used as a public piano downtown, at the waterfront or in Little Lake Park (or all three), the concept seemed to align with the arts and culture that exits in our community.
While I don’t recall any specific mention of a public piano in the downtown plans, many cities and towns have added these to surprising result. The immediate negativity that the pianos would immediately be vandalized or un-used is not supported by the evidence. Instead, the opposite seems to be true. You don’t have to dig too far into a Google search for “public pianos” to see the results around the globe.
What are your thoughts about hosting a public piano initiative in our new downtown core and/or parks? Clearly it requires some forethought as it would need some kind of shelter/cover during in-season inclement weather and some upkeep. None of these would be unique challenges to Midland. Most of the initiatives rely on public donations of pianos and some artwork to decorate them. The video I have embedded shows how it can work with Covid-19 protocols in place. This plague does not have to wring all the joy from our lives.
Would you like me to bring this to Council? I would like to get some public opinion before I do.