Piano Hospital provides playable art exhibit


Vancouver’s School of Piano Technology for the Blind is bringing back beautiful playable art to a public space in the area. Those who encountered an intricately-decorated piano, or 10, along the sidewalks of Vancouver last August, were among the thousands to experience the Piano School’s Keys to the City project.

Kim Capeloto, president of the Piano School’s board of directors, recently announced that this year’s Keys to the City will be held Aug. 30 through Sept. 8. The 10-day music and arts event will feature 10 pianos in area gathering spots throughout Vancouver, featuring community involvement and interaction from start to finish.

“This project is about bringing the community together for a fun event that will inspire people to enjoy Vancouver even more,” said Jeff Lann, School of Piano Technology executive director.

For the project, students from the school are preparing and tuning 10 pianos before turning them over to area artists to decorate. Each artist will personalize the piano and create a decorated piece of playable art. Upon completion, the pianos will be placed in some of Vancouver’s most popular public places and gathering spots for a 10-day celebration of music. The pianos will be available for all to play. 

This year’s event will also feature guest appearances by accomplished pianists at scheduled times. Barbara Roberts and Colleen Aden will help kick off Keys to the City from 4-8 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 30, playing “4 Hands” on the waterfront promenade near Beaches Restaurant and Bar, 1919 SE Columbia River Dr. in Vancouver.  For piano locations, performances and photos, visit the school’s Facebook page, School of Piano Technology for the Blind.

Event sponsors include Riverview Community Bank, Sterling Bank, PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center, Coldwell Banker Commercial, Westfield Mall Vancouver, Vancouver Pediatric Dentistry, OnPoint Community Credit Union, Portland Piano International, Ed Lynch and Big Al’s Specialty Movers, Inc. To sponsor a piano, secure a piano for a nonprofit, or to learn more about Keys to the City,  contact the School of Piano Technology for the Blind at (360) 693-1511.

The School of Piano Technology for the Blind is the only post-secondary vocational school in the world dedicated to training blind and visually-impaired students for careers as piano tuners/technicians. Among the most critical issues facing people who are blind are educational achievement, independent living and rewarding employment. Graduates of our program are exceptions in the blind and visually-impaired community whose unemployment or underemployment rate exceeds 70 percent. Finding financially rewarding work continues to be a challenge for blind adults, yet over 70 percent of the school’s graduates find satisfying career opportunities.