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‘Street Melodies’ brighten up Elkins as part of Art of Elkins event


The Inter-Mountain

ELKINS, W.Va.  — A busking opportunity for area artists was introduced in downtown Elkins on Saturday thanks to a collaborative effort from many in the community who are hoping to promote people’s unique talents.

The Old Brick Playhouse, Delmonte Market and Elkins Make it Shine have partnered together to promote live art in downtown Elkins with a project called “Street Melodies.”

Making their debut on Saturday during the Art of Elkins event, several pianos will now be found strategically located around Elkins, inviting locals to showcase their artistic talents.

“We tried to make the pianos visually exciting to represent the vibrant arts culture in our community,” said Doug Starcher of the Delmonte Market. “They are whimsical representations of the fine graphic artists that live in Elkins.”

Not only can musicians make use of the vibrantly painted pianos, artists of any kind can take advantage of platforms — which accompany each piano — to perform for people on the street.

Missy Armentrout McCollam, executive director of Old Brick, explained that Cate Blumenfeld, Old Brick arts development associate, had came up with the unique idea after seeing a similar project during her travels.

“We have so many exquisite artists in the area and this project seemed like the ideal scenario for showcasing those talents to folks who visit our lovely downtown,” Blumenfeld said.

McCollam added he had also seen similar street performances in other areas around the world.

“When I studied theatre in England and Scotland so many years ago, it was normal protocol for our class to offer daily street music and dancing to the public,” McCollam said.

Starcher added that anyone who wishes to use the stage to perform poetry, music or any other type of busking is welcome to do so.

At the request of Bruce Dillon, who donated his time to tune the pianos, a contribution will be made by Elkins Main Street to the Randolph County Humane Society to show gratitude for his efforts.

Members of the community were essential to the project as they donated gently used pianos for this unique project. Contributors include Blumenfeld, Ryan Summerfield and Mr. and Mrs. Tim Newlon.

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