Fort Wayne community bringing life and art to century-old piano

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A community came together to tickle ivory and also paint it.

“I love the resurgence of public art in Fort Wayne,” said Fort Wayne artist Jordan Kurzen. “I think that neighborhoods and the community, in general, are valuing it and putting a lot of emphasis on it and it’s making the city a more beautiful place to live.”

Surrounded by residents of the Historic Fairmont Neighborhood, artist Jordan Kurzen painted a 100-year-old piano on the corner of West Foster Parkway and South Wayne Avenue Monday night. The event was part of a project started by the Lutheran Life Villages.

Over the past few years, retirement and senior life community started to receive donations of pianos. That’s when officials decided to put those pianos to use, by painting them and taking them to community events.

“It’s really cool to see these instruments used,” said the director of Marketing and Community Relations Lutheran Life Villages Kevin Naber. “Essentially pianos like these could be trash, it’d be in the dumpster and we are able to bring it back to life.”

Currently, there are four pianos located in different places throughout Fort Wayne. The newest one was put up on display in the Historic Fairmont Neighborhood. Kurzen decorated the piano with names of streets in the historic district.

“It’s really amazing what happens when you just plop a piano in the middle of a public space and get some music going,” Naber said. “It brings people together and it’s just a good thing. There’s really a lot of momentum going on here in Fort Wayne and this is just a small part of it.”

Officials say the goal is to paint two new pianos every year and that they hope that the program will expand in years to come.

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