On Thursday a piano was unveiled at a waterfront park in Queens, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials in attendance.

A total of 59 other free public pianos will be set up in 50 places throughout New York with 27 locations in Manhattan, 10 in Brooklyn, five in Queens and four each in Staten Island and the Bronx.

Tourists and locals alike are welcome to tickle the ivories on pianos set up at landmarks including the Coney Island boardwalk, the Metropolitan Museum, the Lincoln Center, the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island ferry terminal and Central Park’s bandshell.

The installation, called Play Me I’m Yours, began in 2008 with more than 130 pianos placed in public places in cities around the world including London, Sydney and Sao Paulo.
The New York version, which will stick around for two weeks, marks the installation’s U.S. debut.

“I’m so excited to see what will happen,” British artist Luke Jerram, who devised the concept, said in a statement on the project’s website. “The pianos are a blank canvas for everyone’s creativity so it’ll be interesting to see just how much talent is out there. I’ve always had the feeling that this artwork was meant to be presented here. When the pianos arrive on the steet they’ll belong to the people of this great city. Enjoy!”

The New York project, which is the largest in the installation, was coordinated by the nonprofit Sing for Hope.

Attendants will be responsible for unlocking the pianos at 9 a.m. and covering the instruments in heavy tarps if it rains. Most pianos will be open to the public until 10 p.m.

The pianos have been painted and decorated by artists. The instruments were donated for the project and after New York’s two weeks are up, will then be donated to schools and hospitals.

Click here for the AP article.

Click here for the Play Me I’m Yours official website.