Sing for Hope Pianos continue to be embraced as symbols of community, excellence, and access. A newly unveiled Sing for Hope Piano helped mark the much-anticipated opening of The REACH at The Kennedy Center, the first new addition to The Kennedy Center since its grand opening nearly 50 years ago. As the United States’ National Cultural Center, The Kennedy Center is the busiest of all U.S. performing arts venues, hosting more than 2,000 performances a year and serving as the home of both the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera.
The REACH, designed by architect Steven Holl, is the Kennedy Center’s new home for non-traditional programming, with an emphasis on active participation and access. It is designed to bridge the gap between audience and art, aligning beautifully with Sing for Hope’s core mission and making it a perfect home for a Sing for Hope Piano.
The SFH Piano unveiling on September 6th was part of a two-week free opening festival celebrating the expansion of the five-acre REACH campus. The instrument was designed and painted by DC-based artist Jordann Wine, a brilliant young artist who has had solo exhibitions at Honfleur Gallery, George Mason University, and Strathmore Arts Center, as well as many national and international group exhibitions. Wine’s Sing for Hope Piano features a meditative geometric pattern of black and white triangles, designed to mirror the black and white of piano keys and the balance and tranquility of a yin yang.
Fourteen-year-old jazz piano prodigy José André Montaño inaugurated the Sing for Hope Piano, which was then officially made available for public use during the two-week festival, at which over 100,000 visitors are expected. The inclusion of the SFH Piano in this historic moment at The Kennedy Center speaks to both organizations’ ethos of artistic excellence merged with radical welcome: every individual, every community, is invited to add their music to The Kennedy Center’s soundtrack.
Sing for Hope Co-Founder Camille Zamora says, “In decades past, audiences often had just one formula for experiencing a performance: you present your ticket, find your seat, sit quietly, absorb, applaud, and leave. The model was compromised by its steep barrier to entry and its arguably limited view of what the arts can do for all people, all communities. For the country’s leading performance arts center to take such bold steps towards challenging and expanding that narrative speaks volumes. The Kennedy Center’s REACH sends a message that arts access is essential, and it makes me proud that Sing for Hope is partnering here as a driving force in the Citizen Artistry movement.”
Zamora was joined at the Sing for Hope Piano launch by Kennedy Center leaders including President Deborah Rutter, Chairman David Rubenstein, and Artist Director for Jazz Jason Moran. Opera star and Sing for Hope Board Member Renée Fleming, Emmy Award winning actress Alfre Woodard, and Turnaround Arts Director Kathy Fletcher were among other arts leaders joining to celebrate the launch of this SFH Piano at The REACH.
Senior Vice President of Education Mario Rossero and Assistant Manager of Education Special Programs Sydney Krieck were also present for the celebration, while driving multiple aspects of The REACH’s opening festival, with over 100,000 free passes reserved for visitors. Among Rossero’s many areas of responsibility is The Kennedy Center’s Citizen Artist fellowship, which honors “exceptional artists from across the nation who embody President Kennedy’s legacy and ideals.” Zamora and her fellow SFH Co-Founder Monica Yunus were named Kennedy Center Citizen Artists in 2016.
The Kennedy Center Sing for Hope Piano created by Jordann Wine will bring joy and meaningful connection to thousands at the REACH during the opening festival and in the years ahead. Says Wine, “Life is wild and we’re constantly going going, going… and if someone can have a chance to sit, play, look at art, and feel a sense of release, I feel like I’ve done my job.”