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July 21, 2010
By Krystal Pyatt
Playing a piano outside is much more refreshing than playing one indoors. Ask all of those taking turns with the piano in front of the Joe Crowley Student Union at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“I think UNR was selected as a piano location because it is a vital part of the community and the Student Union is the hub of activity on campus,” said John Pratt, the scheduling director for the Joe Crowley Student Union.
The rePIANO Project is part of Reno’s 15th annual Artown festival, and after purchasing recycled pianos from Steinway of Reno, local artists created themed pianos with paint, ceramics, and talent. Reno City Councilman Dave Aiazzi borrowed the idea from London and incorporated it as part of Reno’s 15th annual Artown festival. There are 14 uniquely decorated pianos placed throughout Reno in addition to the one just outside the Student Union’s Starbucks.
After some problems involving the pianos around the city, the placement of the piano at the University was delayed. Two pianos had been damaged and were taken from the streets, and the people who loved them, to be repaired.
“I am confident the pianos will be safe in front of the Joe,” Pratt said. “Students have a high level of respect for the campus. I see this all the time with the way they take care of the Student Union. The Student Union has hosted a lot of events sponsored by students, for students, and we rarely have issues with damage.”
The piano will remain on campus throughout the duration of Artown which is through the month of July.
“I think it is a great idea to bring a piano to campus because it brings character and fun to the University,” Pratt said. “I think it is an unexpected surprise for parents and incoming freshman during the orientation sessions. There always seems to be somebody there playing or looking at the artwork on it. Most people do not expect to see a piano in front of a student union, especially one like we have.”
For more information on Artown and the rePIANO project, visit Reno is Artown. The pianos are available for play to all expertise levels.