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Pop-Up Piano Exhibit Kicks Off on Stone Street With Youth Chorus

By Tuan Nguyen on June 16, 2011 5:20pm 

By Tuan Nguyen

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Art is key.

Pianos will be popping up all over Manhattan over the next month as part of an interactive exhibit meant to promote access to music.

Sing for Hope, which rolled out 60 pianos last year, kicked off this year's exhibit with a performance in the Financial District Thursday morning.

From June 18 to July 2, some 88 pianos will be available in parks and public spaces across the five boroughs. Maps with the pianos' locations can be found on Sing for Hope's website.

"At Sing for Hope we believe art is a human right," said Monica Yunus, the group's co-founding director, at the kick-off at Stone Street and Coenties Alley.

She hoped the program will help unite "artists with local communities and make art available to all."

The event featured a performance by the city housing authority's NYCHA Youth Chorus.

Michael Horris, 22, a member, said singing in the choir "brought out another side of me."

"I just enjoy singing," he added.

And Brian Neff, a social entrepreneur and donor artist who performed, said the pianos could "open up a life-long love of music, a life-long love of the arts and maybe even a life-long professional vocation."

Each piano has a volunteer caretaker responsible for locking it up at night and draping a cover over it when it rains.

At the end of the exhibit, the pianos will be donated to local schools and nonprofits.

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