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A new public art project is not only pretty to look at but will also bring music to your ears.

The project was unveiled Thursday in Indianapolis and Carmel, and it is totally hands-on.

But head to Monument Circle and it’s an odd site to see — a piano covered with a pink sweater of sorts, sitting alone in the open. Sabrina Harris walked around it to try and figure it out.

“At first I thought it was kind of weird for it to be sitting in that place. But as I got up close and took a picture, I started thinking it was pretty nice. But I’m still not sure what it’s there for,” Harris said.

As it turns out, the answer is simple: it’s there to play.

“Oh, no, I don’t want to kill the birds in the area. That’s just too much screeching,” Harris said, laughing.

Organizers said if you see one of the 20 pianos transformed into works of art scattered throughout Indy and Carmel “Go Ahead and Play.”

“That’s the name of our project and I hope they’ll find these 20 pianos and they’ll walk up and they’ll start playing them and enjoy it,” said Jennifer Pope Baker, Executive Director of Women’s Fund of Central Indiana.

The Bietz kids did just that when they spotted a piano outside the Indianapolis Power and Light building in downtown Indianapolis.

Emily Bietz began pounding the keys.

“It’s really cool to be walking around and you see a big piano and it’s like wooooo,” she said, smiling.

Go Ahead and Play is a project of Women’s Fund of Central Indiana.

“And we’ve been working for the last year and a half to have our oldest students, sixth thru 12th graders, realize the work that it takes to take an interesting idea to a full blown public art project,” said Pope Baker.

The students found 20 people willing to donate old pianos, then designed and decorated them.

Rachel Lacy, an eighth grader, was part of the project.

“I just want people to think they’re creative and have fun and be spontaneous and go up and play, even if they don’t know how to,” she says.

The Women’s Fund raises money, donating it to local non-profits with the goal of helping women and girls in the community.

Maddie Hudson, a sophomore at Heron School helped with the piano project.

“I just want people to have fun and get to enjoy something that isn’t usually here,” she said.

And even on the first day, it appeared their mission was accomplished.  4-year-old Alison Bietz said while pounding the keys, “It’s just that I like playing it, because it’s my favorite.”

The pianos will be displayed until Aug. 18. Then, they’ll be donated to some of the groups the Women’s Fund works with, so they can continue making music.

Click here to see the locations of the pianos.

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