Public piano that drew thousands on Mass Ave. vandalized: ‘It breaks my heart’

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Artful Piano sat outside The District Theatre on Massachusetts Avenue. It was there for the public to play, watch and listen. It brought together not only family and friends, but also complete strangers.

But now the downtown street corner is quiet. That's because someone vandalized the piano over Labor Day weekend.

“We had a spot we could all come together, sit and talk, and music has just a way of bringing folks together that wouldn’t rather not talk to each other on a normal day,”Jonathon Wells said . “Whoever did vandalize it, hopefully there will be a lesson learned there.”

Lee Dykstra, who helps with IndyFringe, noticed the vandalism after the long holiday weekend.

“To have a destruction like this is very upsetting,” Dykstra said. “The complete front structure of the thing, as far as the paneling and sliding panels, the top of the piano, the keyboard section here, they’ve broken the pedal.”

The Artful Piano that brought people together through music now sits inside and broken. The piano was created for the Go Ahead and Play public art event, an initiative by the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana. Several pianos were decorated and placed around Indianapolis in 2013.

“It was a community piece,” Dykstra said.

People who knew of the piano and visited say this is a big hit to the arts community.

“It did affect some people, that’s not just something to be thrown away, that was something that brought us together in the neighborhood,” said Wells.

IndyFringe, the theatre and other organizations have created a campaign to raise money to restore the piano and place it back outside. They posted on the campaign website:

The Artful Piano has been nothing but a joy to thousands of people who have played, tinkered and wondered at its history. The Piano was vandalized on Labor Day. We are raising funds to bring it back to working order.

Their goal is to raise $5,000. Click here to learn more.

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