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A piano which has not yet been painted sits outside Klamath Falls City Hall.

TILLAMOOK — The Klamath Piano Project, through the Klamath Falls Downtown Association, garnered a state award Wednesday at the Oregon Main Street conference in Tillamook, according to a news release. A total of 20 businesses, projects, and people were recognized, including the KFDA’s Piano Project for Best Placemaking Project.

In May of 2019, The Klamath Piano Project placed pianos at six locations throughout downtown Klamath Falls and six artists transformed the pianos into visual arts pieces. The pianos were left in place with instructions for anyone who happened to walk by to sit down and play if the mood struck.

This project was spearheaded by KFDA volunteer Laty Xayavong and sponsored by local businesses. Since installation, many downtown visitors and residents have been observed playing the pianos or enjoying someone else playing them. Professional pianists have also been scheduled periodically. The project gives local artists a chance to show off their art in a new way and gives the community and visitors a creative outlet to express themselves in a public space. It brings joy and surprise to public spaces in downtown Klamath Falls by providing a space for people to gather, celebrate, and make spontaneous connections with each other.

Ten other towns in Oregon were honored with awards.

“The award winners serve as inspiration to communities across our Network and reflect some of the highest level of revitalization success,” said Sheri Stuart, state coordinator, Oregon Main Street. “We are so inspired to see how our historic downtowns across Oregon are coming to life through the creativity, passion, and plain hard work of community members.”