There are three places in Davis that invite you to play a piano in public year round: Davis Food Co-Op (620 G Street), Mary L. Stevens Davis Branch Library (315 E. 14th Street), and Wyatt deck (at the arboretum). Wyatt deck is the most recent addition to the ‘In the Key of Davis’ program. This public art program puts out colorful pianos for the public to play. Because these three locations are covered over it allows the pianos to be out year round. The city will roll out additional pianos to the Manetti Shrem museum and other downtown locations in mid June.
In 2015, two sisters, Isabelle and Hailey Shapiro, then teenagers, launched the program with help from their family and the city of Davis. Thanks to them the pianos get tuned regularly and half of them are hauled to and from their summer location. You can even donate a piano for this creative and interactive public art installation. Check the city’s website for more information.
I envy people that can just whizz in and play a melody on the piano. Since 2015, the City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs Program recognizes the social and health benefits that come from playing music together. There are plenty of YouTube videos from pianists delighting their audiences. You can follow along virtually by checking the ‘In the Key of Davis Facebook page or following on Instagram @key_of_davis.
I love the quote on the website:
“The pianos offer a space for improvisational gatherings, spontaneous connections, and celebrations of music.”
When was the last time you spontaneously gathered and made a connection through music?