Grand Forks city council is going forward with the pilot of a street piano in its downtown area.
Local musician Nathan Vogel wants to bring interactive music to Grand Forks with public pianos, and council responded to his request by giving him some funding.
In his presentation to the council on Monday, Aug. 17, Vogel asked for $2,000 in city funds to go towards maintaining the pianos, commissioning art and purchasing the parts necessary for a dolly to move the pianos when not in use.
Council has proposed to go forward with a trial for 2020, with $500 in support. The city has requested for the money to be handled by either the Downtown Business Association or the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce.
After the trial, the City will decide whether to further their support the project during planning for the 2021 budget.
Through a GoFundMe page, and donations from other community members, Vogel has raised a bit more than $600 for the project.
The pianos themselves have also been donated by individuals who heard about the project.
If the pilot succeeds, Vogel estimates each piano will be roughly $500 to tune. Other costs would include maintenance and cleaning the pianos to make them COVID-19 safe.
Vogel said he wants to have one or two pianos set up in the region before expanding out to other communities, such as Greenwood and Christina Lake. His proposed locations for the pianos are City Park, and on Market Avenue.
Part of the $2,000 that Vogel sought from the city would go towards commissioning local artists to paint the pianos.
The public can support the project through the Street Piano in Grand Forks GoFundMe page, or in person at Marvellous Munchies and Jogas Espresso.