6 July 2018

Singing and Hoping

Sing for Hope is a New York-based nonprofit that uses the power of art to revitalize communities. The group sponsors the Sing for Hope Pianos project, which places brightly painted pianos in parks and other community spaces throughout New York City. The annual Sing for Hope Piano project is one of the Big Apple’s largest public art installations and allows people in all five boroughs to sing a song of hope.

In 2005, the opera singer Monica Yunus organized a series of musical events to help raise relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. A decade earlier, her close friend Camille Zamora had organized and evening of arias and other music, which she called “Sing for Hope,” to celebrate the life of a friend who had recently died of AIDs. The two women resolved to use “Sing for Hope” as the name for an organization they would found together.

Since its inception, Sing for Hope has brought together all types of artists from painters and photographers to classical musicians. What these artists share is a dedication to raising public consciousness around necessary social change. These artists offer their talents at no charge within the city’s public school system.

The Sing for Hope Pianos Project

In 2011, Sing for Hope acquired 60 pianos, which were painted by children in the New York City public school system working side by side with professional artists. These pianos were placed in public spaces throughout the city before being donated to hospitals and schools with whom Sing for Hope maintains relationships. In 2012, Sing for Hope increased the number of pianos to 88: one for each of the 88 keys on the piano.

Sing for Hope and New York’s School Children
In the years following its inception, Sing for Hope has developed ambitious programming for New York school children that includes classes and workshops in all the performing arts. Sing for Hope’s programming is offered to these children free of charge. Sing for Hope also sponsors a leadership training program in which kids gain skills like event planning, networking, and promotional campaigning.

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