PHOENIX, Ore.– A new concert series called “Peace Through Music” is coming to the Rogue Valley next week. The free events organized by local non-profit Anima Mundi Productions will feature Malek Jandali, a Syrian-American pianist, composer, and peace activist.
As part of the events, two pianos painted by local artists are going to be placed in Ashland for people to come and play as they please. The non-profit says it was inspired by Jandali’s own non-profit called Pianos for Peace which is a festival in Atlanta that places donated pianos painted by local artists in public spaces across the city. The pianos are then donated to local community-based organizations.
While one of the piano’s for Anima Mundi’s own festival was painted by a group of local professional artists, the other is being painted by a lucky group of students from Phoenix High School who volunteered to take part.
On Wednesday there were sounds of progress and some excitement heard resonating from the walls of the high school’s art room.
As part of a community project students like high school senior Jazmyne Broussard, 17, are getting a chance to leave an indelible mark on something for the whole community to see.
“I think my favorite part is that I get to sit down and just be myself and just get the colors and just paint out my feelings,” said Broussard. “It’s just a lot of fun, it’s like a therapeutical thing.”
Anima Mundi Productions Executive Director Ethans Gans-Morse says this is a great way to emphasize the art and creativity they support.
“This is a chance for real transformation of identity,” he said. “For artists to see themselves as painters, to see themselves as musicians and to see the arts as a way that they can make positive change right here.”
The project now helping these students let their creativity flow.
The pianos will be placed in downtown Ashland and Lithia Park on Monday to kick off the week of free concerts. Both will then be donated to local recipients in Phoenix.
If you would like to learn more about the concerts and what events will be happening next week, you can visit Anima Mundi Productions website here.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.