‘Carole’ gets new home at The Dougy Center

Discover how this colorful new addition to their music room is already helping youngsters …

Located in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families provides help for those who are brokenhearted because of loss.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The music room at The Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Adults got the welcome addition of a musical instrument in September. It arrived by a rather circuitous route.

Every summer, an organization called Piano. Push. Play works with local piano companies to “rescue” old pianos that are still in great shape, then rehabilitates and decorates them and drops the off on sidewalks around the city so passers-by can enjoy the experience of making music.

The Dougy Center’s Director of Development and Communication, Mallory Tyler, shows off this colorful new addition to their music room: “Carole the Piano”.

“Carole the Piano” – named in honor of award-winning singer-songwriter Carole King – came to The Dougy Center after spending July at the Portland Art Museum, and August in Holladay Park. Now it has found its forever home at The Dougy Center, just in time to avoid damage as the autumn rains return to the streets of Portland.

“Carole”, a wildly colorful and unique piano, was designed by SERA Architects, and seems quite at home in the Center’s music room.

“Here at the Center, participants can express their grief in any number of creative ways – including a playroom, in theater, and dress-up – and having this music room is really great,” grinned The Dougy Center’s Director of Development and Communication, Mallory Tyler.

“In the music room, we have high-energy musical instruments, including drums, a xylophone, and other music makers. But, the one thing we didn’t have was a piano,” Tyler said. “We were a little hesitant about accepting a piano donation – until we saw a picture of it!”

Dougy Center Director of Development and Communication Mallory Tyler, Group Coordinator Sat Kaur Ahalsa, and Program Director Alysha Lacey, together gather at “Carole the Piano”, being played by Pathways Assistant and Group Coordinator Mia Nyschens.

The design and its colors – it says Play Me! on the front board –were a good fit for the center, Tyler told East Portland News. “We rearranged our music room, and we were able to get it to fit in here, and we’re really thrilled about it. And more importantly, the kids are really excited about it, too.”

Not long after the vagabond piano arrived, it was heard playing the Beethoven song, “Fleur de Lis” – and staff members knew that it continue to be a welcome addition to their program.

Find out more about The Dougy Center see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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