Call it, “The Broken Piano Concerto by an F minor,” as at least two of the four Bronx pianos in the new, “Play Me, I’m Yours,” arts program were seriously damaged by overzealous young Beethoven’s, who broke them within the first week of the exhibit.
When questioned about why the piano was locked on Sunday at Fordham Plaza, a concession stand employee revealed, “The guy only comes around on the weekdays. He keeps it locked because someone broke some of the keys.”
The employee said of the damage, “Some of the keys are missing and some are already pressed down and don’t make any sound.” It didn’t matter anyway as a free concert was being held in the outdoor mall and anyone playing would likely not be able to hear it over the amplified music.
Meanwhile, a short distance away, a Parks Department employee at Van Cortlandt Park revealed, “They broke it. They broke the keys by playing it too hard… and they broke it’s legs and smashed it’s chair.”
Chris Herbert, the Director of Advancement at Sing For Hope, the non-profit running the, “Play Me, I’m Yours,” public art project said upon learning the news, “We had heard reports about Fordham for sure, but Van Cortlandt Park was a little more difficult to get data on all the time.”
Herbert continued, “I really appreciate you letting me know this. I’m glad that Joyce Kilmer is fine but I’m sad too about Fordham and Van Cortlandt.”
“With something like this,” Herbert offered, “there’s going to be some wear and tear on the pianos from time to time, but we have technicians going out and servicing the pianos.”
Herbert added, “The goal of the project is art access ability. The main purpose is that art is our universal right and should be open to everybody and by putting pianos in public spaces it encourages people to engage… with the arts but also with each other to create community and civic pride.”
One angry visitor to Van Cortlandt Park fumed, “Where are these children’s parents. I blame the parents and they should be held accountable.”
The pianos are currently at 60 locations around the five boroughs and will run until July 5, ending with a free outdoor concert at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park.
The Bronx pianos are located at: Fordham Plaza, Grand Concourse and E. 149 Street, Joyce Kilmer Park and the Sachkerah Woods Park in Van Cortlandt Park.
For more information on the project contact Sing For Hope at 212-966-5955 or visit their web site at: www.Singforhope.org.