Pianos scattered throughout Omaha Metro for public playing as part of art project


Ever walk along the Bob Kerrey Bridge or in Bayliss Park and think to yourself, “I wish I could tickle the ivories?”

Well, now you can. The Omaha Creative Institute (www.omahacreativeinstitute.org) has sprinkled 10 pianos throughout the Omaha Metro area until Sept. 8th. The pianos are available during the day for people to stop and play them. Each piano is uniquely decorated.


We started a tour of the pianos with a stop in Council Bluffs at Bayliss Park. The piano at the park was located in the perfect spot. The scenic water fountain was in the background. On the piano, near the foot pedals, was a painting of the Bayliss water fountain.


We noticed right away that the piano project isn’t just about a public art project, but it also serves as a tour of the Metro area.


At Bayliss, visitors can check out the fountain and the gazebo, as well as the squirrel sculptures in the area. Nearby, is a veterans memorial.


We moved on to the Omaha side of the project. Two pianos are located near downtown Omaha.

The first is located at the ConAgra Plaza, near 10th and Farnam Streets.

The piano is situated on the plaza, in front of the avenue of flags in front of the national headquarters.

IMG_6307A mom and her daughter stopped by to play the piano. The daughter, Reese Pike, played a few songs on the piano. She was very good. It was fun listening to her. IMG_6342

We walked up the street to the piano located near the base of the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge. The cool thing about the location is the Kerrey bridge in the background.

The next stop on our adventure was the piano at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue. The piano was decorated in nature colors and designs. A chestnut art piece sat atop the piano.


We moved along to South Omaha.

The piano here is located at 24th and L Streets, next to the Tree of Life sculpture. A family walked up while we were there. The father encouraged her to play, but she was a bit shy and didn’t start to mess with the keyboard until we were pulling out of the parking lot. IMG_6387

Onward and northward.

We stopped at piano No. 6 in the old Florence area of Omaha. The piano is at Florence Park under the gazebo. The park is located at 30th and Mormon Streets.

IMG_6397I don’t know if this is the best spot for the piano. There was a young mother and four small children in the park during our visit. I’m not sure it will get the foot traffic it might at another northern location.

We then headed to Memorial Park, near the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

The memorial at the park is a great backdrop for the art project. We checked out the memorial and flowers.


Three gentlemen were talking, with the piano as their prop.


One of them, named Jim, liked to play. He played us a tune, “I don’t know.” It was a blues song. He was a very good pianist.

IMG_6455After visiting with the three for a short time, we headed out to Aksarben Village, for piano No. 8.

The piano is located at the gazebo in Stinson Park. People can draw on with chalk.

The park was also host to its second annual ribfest. We enjoyed a nice rib lunch during our stop.


After filling our bellies with ribs and fixin’s, we moved on. Next stop Village Pointe shopping center.


The piano here is located near the center of the main street. People were lined up to play the piano.

An older man spent a lot of time playing the piano. People visited with him. A mom and her kids waited patiently for their turn at the ivories. I don’t think they got to play the piano, because as we walked around the block, we saw the guy sitting at the piano still.


We moved to our final location – Rockbrook shopping center. The piano there is located at the center’s gazebo. No one was there, so we shot a few photos.


Omaha is the 38th city to have the project since 2008. Boston is expected to have the exhibit in September.

People can post pictures or stories on the project’s Facebook page – Play Me, I’m Yours Omaha.