Eight pianos around town available through Play Corvallis, Play

Eight colorful pianos around the city wait for their keys to dance under the fingers of the young and old of Corvallis.

Play Corvallis, Play organized the offering of publicly accesible pianos to kick off the Corvallis Imagination Music and Arts Festival. The festival's main events take place Friday and Saturday at the Bruce Starker Arts Park.

Each of the pianos were covered and locked during Tuesday due to storms, but they're usually available to the public from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Lee Eckroth, a local citizen, was "so inspired" by a similar project he saw while visiting Boston with his family. When a member of the board of directors for CIMA told Dave Lundahl, CIMA founder, about Eckroth's idea, it was the start of what Lundahl referred to as a "beautiful relationship."

Part of Eckroth's intent is to inspire others to enjoy the community as well as "have some fun and bring some beauty and music to the streets of Corvallis."

Lundahl witnessed an "imprompto, mini concert" as people took turns playing one of the riverfront pianos.

"It's a great feeling to see that joy," Lundahl said.

The pianos, which were decorated by several local artists, have been available since August 6.

"It's been an incredible week," Eckroth said.

The pianos are available until Aug. 20. Two pianos are along the riverfront. There is a piano by American Dream Pizza, the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, the OSU Valley Library, Starker Arts Garden for Education, Market of Choice and Central Park near the Arts Center.

Eckroth said he hopes to bring the pianos back year after year.

Hours of organization and volunteer work helped make Play Corvallis, Play possible.

"You can't put a number on it because of the time and effort of volunteers," Lundahl said.

Proceeds from the CIMA festival will go toward funding art and music education through the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation. Lundalh said they hope to raise at least $5,000. CIMA has received $1,500 earmarked for music education, and the proceeds of the silent auction of donated works of art will fund art education. The rest of their proceeds will support both music and art education.

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