Pianos for Peace Festival Comes to Charlotte
Colorful pianos celebrate International Day of Peace before being donated to public schools and nursing homes
by Keith Pierce
For the first time in Charlotte, Pianos for Peace, in partnership with Queens University of Charlotte and Qatar-USA Year of Culture, launched its annual outdoor festival and community arts program with a public unveiling of painted pianos on the International Day of Peace Tuesday, Sept. 21. Four colorful pianos, two in the city and two on the Queens campus, are available for anyone to play and enjoy through Oct. 4.
The pianos are on display Uptown at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and at Camp North End near the entrance of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit. Two pianos are also located on the Queens University campus, one at the Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for the Arts and Civic Engagement and another in the Trexler Courtyard. A free Pianos for Peace App, available for iPhone and Android, will guide visitors to all locations.
"These beautifully painted pianos are an important way to make the arts accessible to all," said composer and pianist Malek Jandali '97, the founder and CEO of Pianos for Peace who is also composer-in-residence at Queens. "It also serves as a way to build bridges of peace, unity, and understanding between communities, countries, and cultures at a time it seems we never needed it more. We hope to impact an estimated one hundred thousand Charlotteans and visitors this year."
After the outdoor festival, all of the pianos will be donated to Charlotte public schools and nursing homes where Queens University students, local artists, and volunteers are invited to engage with the recipients in musical programs.
Pianos for Peace provides meaningful arts programs to underserved communities and organizations in need across metro Atlanta. To learn more, visit PianosforPeace.org.
Under the leadership of its Chairperson Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Museums (QM) has developed the “Years of Culture” initiative — an annual international cultural exchange designed to deepen understanding between nations and their people. The design of the baby grand in front of the Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for the Arts and Civic Engagement on Queens campus is inspired by the Desert Rose, the National Museum of Qatar and the colors of the Qatar flag.
For more photos and video clips, visit the Pianos for Peace Gallery.