Sunday, May 21st, 2017 was great day of community as Royal Oak artists, students, families, and even the Mayor and Assistant to the City Manager joined forces together to help sand and paint 6 public pianos.
The event was hosted at Professional Movers.com warehouse; where the volunteers were asked to work together to creatively bring a specific theme to life on each of the public pianos. The themes varied from “Alice in Wonderland” to “Zentangle” and the artistic designs and vibrant colors are giving each of the originally donated pianos a second lease on life.
Painting the pianos was part of The Royal Oak Public Piano Project and was one of the final hurdles before the pianos are officially delivered to downtown Royal Oak later this month.
The project is being spearheaded by Jason Gittinger, chairman of the Royal Oak Commission for the Arts and Owner of The Detroit School of Rock and Pop Music who along with Live the Music Foundation had the vision to bring dazzlingly painted public pianos or “street pianos” to downtown Royal Oak for the public to enjoy.
As Jason Gittinger describes it, “Music is a visceral experience and the street pianos will make for a communal opportunity where people can gather around the player and smile together.” The pianos will be for anyone and everyone. Little kids may play chopsticks with their parents, a walker by may sit down and tickle the ivories to some Beethoven, or curious souls may be drawn in to just tapping the keys to see if it works.
So far, the Royal Oak Public Piano Project has been off to a terrific start, receiving a lot of positive local support. Professional Movers.com was one of the first local businesses to join the cause, offering to donate moving services to pick-up the pianos and then eventually deliver the pianos to the business storefronts. In all, Professional Movers.com Team Members have picked-up 7 pianos so far and have been holding onto the pianos at their climate-controlled warehouse where they hosted the piano painting event. Andrew Androff, Co-Owner of Professional Movers.com said, “From repurposing of pianos that were going to be discarded, to the collective artistic paintings that showcase positive messages, to the pianos eventually becoming a gathering place for public music, I believe this is project that will have an lasting impact and create a catalyst for conversation. We are absolutely honored to be part of such a positive project for the community.”
All of the street pianos have been obtained through generous donations from the community. Some from people who heard about the project and contacted Jason Gittinger directly to let him know they wanted to donate their piano. Other pianos were found thorough craigslist ads and gifted to the project in exchange for the project hauling them away for free.
These are pianos that if not for the Royal Oak Piano Project, might have otherwise found their way to a dump. Instead, the amazing and talented cast of volunteer artists have made the pianos look incredible.
The businesses who are fortunate to have one the pianos installed in front of their business will be getting not just a piano, but a piece of artwork that will draw much notice. The Royal Oak Arts Commission is still in the process to make arrangements with business owners on the where the six pianos could be placed.
As part of the painting event, Professional Movers.com was able to select a theme for one of the pianos to be painted. It was Nine year old volunteer artist, Alexandria Androff who suggested that the theme for the Professional Movers.com piano appropriately be “kindness”. Alexandria said, “I think we should paint the piano with words that make people feel good.” So with the help of many, the volunteers sanded, primed, and brushed a fresh coat of white base paint, then young artists filled the piano with words of affirmation. Royal Oak Resident and Professional Movers.com Director of New Business, Don Crowley was on hand for the painting event. He said, “I am so proud to watch as the Royal Oak community comes together. I see neighbors here, moms and dads with kids, the mayor, business owners, all of this young creative talent and it just makes me so proud to live in Royal Oak. I am inspired; these pianos make me want to take music lessons so I can play in public.”
All street pianos will be delivered at the end of the month and ready for public use. The pianos will remain throughout the summer months. So when you are out an about in Royal Oak and see a street piano, please be sure to sit down, invite others to join you, make new friends, and play some music. Don’t forget to post your experience on social media using the hashtag, #ROPublicPianos
Special thank you to Jason Gittinger and The Detroit School of Rock and Pop Music for inviting Professional Movers.com to be part of such a worthy cause.
For more information regarding the project, please contact Jason Gittinger at email@example.com.
About Professional Movers.com
Professional Movers.com is an award winning, customer focused moving company with offices in Detroit, MI and Walled Lake, MI. They specialize in providing local, long distance, and international relocation services for people and businesses. Professional Movers.com also offers piano moving services on residential and household moves. In addition, they have a delivery and freight division that offers courier, flatbed, lift-gate, and general freight delivery services.
The company first opened in 1978 in Northwest Detroit and is known for providing intelligent, friendly, and highly skilled movers who take pride in their work. The company has been featured in the National Best Selling Customer Service Book, “Who’s Your Gladys” and has been voted “Best Moving Service” by Readers of the Oakland Press for five consecutive years (2011- 2017).
For more information, please visit www.ProfessionalMovers.com
or call 248-926-9999.