University of West Florida launches public piano project

University of West Florida |

In partnership with the City of Pensacola, the University of West Florida is leading an initiative to promote music appreciation throughout Pensacola by installing pianos in various locations for public use.

Dr. Hedi Salanki-Rubardt, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Piano Program and Chamber Music at UWF, created the project to enhance Pensacola’s cultural climate and bring visibility to the University. Donated pianos are painted by local artists and placed in businesses and other locations in Pensacola. Spectators are welcomed to play the piano or enjoy listening.

“Pensacola has the perfect climate and the ideal arts community to support this project – a progressive idea to advance both the culture of the city and the awareness of the university,” said Dr. Salanki-Rubardt.

The first piano, painted by UWF student Josh Green, be placed on Palafox Street just south of Garden Street outside of Vinyl Music Hall. A second piano will be placed at the Pensacola Community Maritime Park. This piano was designed and painted by UWF student Jessica J. Stepherson.

“As a patron of the arts, I am delighted to see art and music brought into public spaces for everyone to enjoy,” said Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward.

Dollarhide’s Music Center has shown its support of the project by donating a piano that is currently located at the Artel Gallery. It will be painted by artists associated with the gallery.

There are several additional locations around the Pensacola community that will soon have pianos as well. Public piano projects have been successfully implemented in many large U.S. cities, and UWF plans for Pensacola to join in this creative concept.

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