DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Detroit Institute of Arts has partnered with Keys in the Cities and Forward Arts to bring artist-painted pianos into public spaces in the city.

Starting this week, the pianos will be at three Detroit locations, ready for people to walk up and start playing: the Ford Resource and Engagement Center, Belle Isle park and in the Osborn neighborhood. A kickoff event is Thursday.

Donated by area residents, the upright pianos got a colorful overhaul courtesy of Detroit artists Marlo Broughton, Tylon Sawyer and Keri Mortimer. Work to transform the pianos took place last month at the Red Bull House of Art in Eastern Market.

Organizers say the one-of-a-kind pianos are meant to bring people together through the arts, encouraging people to engage with each other and their communities through spontaneous acts of creative self-expression in inviting, familiar environments.

“We feel it is important to take our visitor-centered mission of helping people make personal connections with art outside of museum walls,” Kathryn Dimond, DIA director of community relations, said in a statement. “We’re hoping to raise awareness of the impact public art has on bringing people together.”

A documentary film titled “Keys in D” is being filmed by Mark Einhaus of Media Hero to chronicle how the program unfolds in Detroit. The film will be unveiled to the public at a later date.

An official unveiling celebration will take place on Thursday, Aug. 6 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center, located at 2826 Bagley St. Guests will enjoy performances by notable pianists and local fare from Detroit restaurants.

Keys in the Cities earlier brought the painted piano idea to Lansing and East Lansing.

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