Street piano to be unveiled in downtown New Albany - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Street piano to be unveiled in downtown New Albany

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NEW ALBANY, In. (WDRB) -- A playable, public piano will be unveiled Saturday afternoon in downtown New Albany.

After overcoming some hurdles, organizers hope the project strikes a positive chord with the community.

The brightly painted piano will make its debut at the corner of Pearl and Market streets outside of Jimmy's Music Center, where the public will be invited to play no matter their skill level or song choice.

"People playing 'Chopsticks' or 'Heart and Soul.' There's room for all of the above. And I look forward to seeing it enjoyed in lots of way," said teacher and former City Council candidate Hannegan Roseberry, who launched the project last spring.

Roseberry drew inspiration for the project from an online video. Now she's on a mission to bring music and joy to downtown New Albany.

"I feel like this is a perfect fit as we're trying to encourage a walking, walkable downtown," said Roseberry.

A lone piano in the middle of the sidewalk is shocking enough, but the paint job should attract even more attention. Roseberry enlisted student Felix Booker to make sure the instrument stands out.

"I just want people to be confused, surprised and then really happy with it," said Booker.

The senior at Community Montessori said the piano was the largest project he's tackled and hopes his multicolored masterpiece brings new life to the retired upright.

"I want to set off a spark and get people arting everywhere," Booker said.

The public piece of art hasn't been without controversy. It hit a sour note when questions began swirling about who would be liable for the street piano.

"It proved more difficult than I anticipated to get the necessary clearance to get the piano installed," said Roseberry.

After months of debate, the Board of Public Works and Safety eventually approved the piano after it was determined Jimmy's Music Center would accept responsibility for the instrument.

Roseberry hopes that by overcoming some hurdles, the public art will ultimately benefit the community's creative efforts.

"It has launched a rousing dialogue about the need and desire for public art and to make it a smoother, easier process," said Roseberry.

For now, she's focused on her current piece of art and passing on her love of music to those passing by the street piano.

"I can't wait to walk by the piano and to just see who may be gathered around it. I can't wait to see an individual find it who may have taken piano a lifetime ago as a child," said Roseberry.

The street piano will be unveiled at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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