Mark Weber started Pianos in Public Buffalo for the purpose of making people around Buffalo—locals and visitors alike—feel good. So far, mission accomplished.
How it began:
Weber was living in Brooklyn and saw a magazine article highlighting the fact that there was a piano in Central Park available for anyone to play. When he moved back to Buffalo, he’d sing at Senior Homes and other venues and notice the “do not touch” sign on most pianos. Then he saw a YouTube video of old pianos being destroyed at a dump, along with an article that said people today have no use for old pianos anymore and “no one wants them.”
Thank you Kickstarter:
Weber thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have colorful pianos outside around Buffalo for anyone and everyone to play and enjoy?” It was Newell Nussbaumer of BuffaloRising.com who suggested Weber use kickstarter.com to raise the needed money to make the music-meets-art project happen. Weber set a goal of $4,000 and reached it.
Miller Piano Service:
Weber’s ultimate goal was to put smiles on faces of as many people as possible with the pianos. An amateur piano player himself, he didn’t know much about tuning, fixing, painting or moving pianos. Thankfully, he connected with Miller Piano Service. Tom Miller and his crew have been instrumental in making Pianos in Public happen.
Upright pianos had their heyday in the early 1900s. Weber found that few people cared about pianos if they were their typical brown color. He recruited friends to help him paint a bunch of pianos in his one-car garage. It takes a lot of hours to paint one piano, but it’s fun.
The power of social media means that #PianosInPublic can be shared worldwide thru pictures and videos posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, NoiseTrade, YouTube and more. People send their pics/vids to email@example.com, too!
Here’s a map of the Pianos in Public 2014 locations:
Thank you to brothers Larry Ginnane of D. Lawrence Ginnane Funeral Home and Jim Ginnane of Planned Futures Financial and Gerard Cappelli of Cappelli’s Pizza in Orchard Park and Dan Blake of Southtowns Financial Group for their major financial contributions to Pianos in Public 2014.
Joe Bellanti Music
The Boomwear Company clothing store “Western New York’s Hottest Clothing Label”
Tom Larsen – Larsen Insurance Agency
A2CProductions.com – a Boston, MA based music production company especially for J-POP (between Tokyo & Boston) and run by Atsushi “A2C” Tanimura, who says, “Good luck! We also hope and want to see Pianos in Public in Boston!”
Erin Essenmacher: “For Charlie Germano (Jr. and Sr.) whose lives fill the world with music.”
Colin & Laura Pratt: “For all the music lovers and discoverers.”
Nolan Neal: “Dedicated to Rikki Jo. My first real love.”
The Happy Couple Duo
Dianne Wedge Wirtz
Dick and Sharon Rich
Vicki Weise Miller
Juli Van Woert
Lou Visciano/Betsy Ross
Betty Jean Grant
Friends of Pianos in Public:
The Foundry, The Walk In Closet, Renewal Church NT, Kingdom Bound, Canalside, Westside Stories, Westside Business & Taxpayers’ Association, Amherst Center for Senior Services, The Village of Williamsville, The Decker Agency, The Fredtown Stompers
How You Can Help:
As you can imagine, moving 550 lb. pianos from place to place is not cheap. And the pianos need tuning, fixing, painting and insurance. Join dozens of others who’ve already contributed by using paypal online or sending a check in the mail to:
Pianos in Public Buffalo
PO Box 188
Getzville, NY 14068
• Contribute $25 or more
Your personal name (first name and last name) will be mentioned on the main BeautifulBuffalo.com posting about the project as a supporter of Pianos in Public.
• Contribute $50 or more
Your name will appear on the list of supporters of this project on BeautifulBuffalo.com, along with a dedication to a loved one, online. Example: Jane Doe, in loving memory of my grandpa Joe who taught me to play piano and loved the sound of music. OR John Doe, for my kids Chris and Kyle, who bring me the greatest feeling in the world when I hear them singing and laughing. OR Barb Smith, to my wonderful parents, Joe and Eileen Smith, who got me piano lessons as a kid- I’m forever grateful. Thank you mom and dad!
• Contribute $100 or more
Your company’s website will be listed on the main BeautifulBuffalo.com posting about the project as a supporter of the project, and your link will be tweeted to @meetmarkweber’s 1000+ followers on Twitter.
“I Have A Piano…”
Dozens of people have called or emailed asking if they can donate their old piano to Pianos in Public 2014. At this time, the project is “all set” with pianos and is not taking any piano donations.
You’re welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.