Photo by Sara Schmitt

This Wednesday, a crowd gathered outside the north entrance  the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons. The mob was no different from one that would amass at Clough on any other day; bags, books and sweaty backs were all present and accounted for. What was lacking, however, were the solemn grimaces worn by students driven mad by the pressures of the Institute. Instead, this crowd was smiling.

For, at the center of this swarm, there sat a flamboyantly painted piano with only a small plaque reading “Pianos for Peace” to denote the instrument’s origin. All throughout the day, strains of “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Piano Man” could be heard around Tech Green as students played the piano for the surrounding throng of singing onlookers.

Through this seemingly random gesture, the nonprofit, Pianos for Peace, hopes to raise awareness for their goal of supporting performing arts education and humanitarian efforts throughout the Atlanta area. The piano, one of 29 stationed throughout Atlanta, was donated to the organization and will remain until the Sep. 18. After its short tenure outside of Clough, the instrument will be donated to benefit the surrounding community.

The two-week Piano for Peace festival is supported by a wide roster of artists, musicians and filmmakers from the Atlanta area and beyond. Several of these volunteers will be creating programs at local schools, nursing homes, hospitals and community centers in an attempt to make art creation accessible to all.

Pianos for Peace also partnered with various organizations around the city, providing scholarships to “encourage talented and motivated young people to pursue an education in music leading to thriving careers,” via their website.

For locations of the 29 pianos and information on how to get involved, their website is pianosforpeace.org.