Culture, nature and community are three things many cities work to cultivate. Bring them all together and you’ve hit on part of what makes the Pacific Northwest unique. Starting this Friday, July 14, all three will be on display when Pianos in the Parks kicks off its fourth summer of getting people to “get out and play” artist-designed pianos (in 13 locations around the Puget Sound), to socialize and to (re)discover our many parks.
As LNWM celebrates 50 years in business this year and looks ahead to the next 50, we think Pianos in the Parks and other such collaborations will play an important role in the future of our region. Not surprisingly, we think community-minded collaborations are an integral part of #Future50 NW: the ideas, institutions and individuals that will shape the Pacific Northwest’s next half century.
Pianos in the Park was started by Laird Norton Wealth Management in 2014, working with more than a dozen partner organizations in the arts, parks and music spheres. The program has delighted thousands of visitors to city parks across the greater Puget Sound region and earned enthusiastic support from organizations like the Seattle Symphony, KEXP, Seattle Office of Film + Music, King County Parks, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Gage Academy of Art, Urban Artworks, Classical KING FM and Classic Pianos. This year, One Reel, the nonprofit behind some of Seattle’s most inspired arts programming, is stepping in to lead Pianos in the Parks into the future with new partnerships and building on new ideas.
When we talk about cultivating communities, we mean creating opportunities for them to thrive, and that’s something we take seriously. For us, Pianos in the Parks was never a simple sponsorship; it was something that we nurtured and cultivated from the beginning to become bigger than we initially imagined and to attract partners that would steward it into the future.
People prosper when communities prosper. As we look at the Puget Sound region’s growth over the next 50 years, that ethos will become increasingly important if we want to balance the essence of our past with the evolution assured in our future.
We could say that change is coming, but the truth is it’s already here. Embracing that change by catalyzing communities to work together – to create something bigger than themselves – is something that would certainly help shape the next 50 years. The good news: It’s also a challenge the people in the Pacific Northwest are up to taking on.
In the meantime, check out the full Pianos in the Parks schedule. Summer’s here and there’s no better time to get outside and play!
Take part in #Future50NW and tell us what ideas, institutions and individuals you think will shape the next 50 years of the Pacific Northwest. Enter a comment below, email us or join us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Make sure to tag your social media posts with #Future50NW so we can collect all your stories in one place.