A piano designed by Gabriela Ayala-Cañizares (clearly not yet in a park)

With summer in full swing, we've already detailed all the great outdoor concerts you can take in this year. But now King County and City of Seattle parks are offering Seattleites a chance to make beautiful outdoor music themselves with the Pianos in the Parks project. Through August 17, 20 pianos make temporary stays in 13 Seattle parks, four parks outside the city limits, as well as one each at City Hall and Seattle Center (click here for a full map of the locations). The pianos were given to local artists for an aesthetic enhancement, so each has its own unique style. Now instead of simple instruments they've been transformed into natural leafy creations, robots, Norse ships, and more. But these aren't just for show. The public is invited to freely play each piano if the musical inspiration strikes. Once the pianos finish their month-long stay in the parks, they'll be auctioned off to raise funds for Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP, and the Gage Academy of Art.

Additionally, Pianos in the Parks offers locals a chance to show off their skills at one of KEXP's Concerts at the Mural. Pianists can upload video of themselves performing at one of the pianos to Pianos in the Parks's Facebook page. The top five videos with the most Facebook likes will then be turned over to a panel of judges to select a finalist to perform at Concerts at the Mural on August 22 along with featured artists Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Star Anna, and Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands.

Whether you're a keyboard maestro in training, only know how to play "Chopsticks," or just want to see artistic transformations of the instruements, Pianos in the Parks offers an unexpected but welcome addition to the Seattle summer arts scene.

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