Media Contact: Freenotes Harmony Park, Mike Torres

Freenotes Harmony Park Musical Playground Project

Earns International Honor

DURANGO, COLO. (September 5, 2011) Freenotes Harmony Park, Inc., maker of high quality outdoor musical instruments for the masses, and the Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary Club, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, are proud to announce that a recent collaboration has earned the Rotary International Significant Achievement Award. The annual award honors outstanding solutions in addressing significant problems or needs in a community. Only 143 Significant Achievement Awards are given out each year, among nominations from over 33,000 Rotary clubs worldwide.

Jackson Square Park, in Minneapolis, is located in an inner city neighborhood and has experienced significant vandalism in the past. The intention of the local Rotary Club in selecting Freenotes Harmony Park instruments was to discourage the destructive behavior in the area and encourage positive, engaged activity.

A year ago, as we prepared to install the Freenotes instruments into the park, there was much nervousness about how these instruments would be accepted into this inner-city neighborhood, reports Doug Schmitt, local Rotarian and committee member for the Jackson Square Park revival. I am happy to say that the instruments remain fully functional after their first year of service, and their sound continues to be beautiful. The neighborhood has embraced them and is protecting them so that they can continue to serve.

The installation includes seven Freenotes Harmony Park instruments arranged in a semi-circle concert style, welcoming young and old to engage and to play. As part of the proposal, the Rotary chapter offered an escrow check to the Minneapolis Park Board for long-term maintenance of the instruments ñ should they be damaged by community members. With the aid of a local resident, deemed ìMayor of the Playground,î the instruments are having an inspiring effect for park-goers. The instruments are enjoying regular use; no damage has been inflicted and not a penny of the precautionary maintenance check has been cashed.

A second phase of the project will occur in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Music Department. The plan is to install web cameras at the park, to test the thesis that public music opportunities lead to less vandalism and more healthy play. This phase is slated to last nearly two years, after which research results will be made public.

Full credit for this compelling and successful project goes to the Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary Club,  said Christy Cooke,  of Freenotes Harmony Park, Inc.  We are proud that our instruments have been included not only in achieving such an outstanding honor, but also to be regarded as part of a solution to enriching a community.

The Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary Club will formally accept the Significant Achievement Award on September 14, 2011.

About Freenotes Harmony Park:

Based in Durango, Colorado, Freenotes Harmony Park makes outdoor musical instruments that deliver superior sound quality. Grammy award-winning designer, Richard Cooke, created Freenotes to ensure musical success for all players. For over 15 years, Freenotes instruments have provided gratifying musical experiences in public and private spaces around the world, because each instrument is designed for perpetually perfect pitch. A staple in playgrounds for encouraging creative tactile play, Freenotes instruments are now highly sought for a wide variety of outdoor settings; from the relaxed to the most sophisticated. As engaging pieces of interactive art, they encourage a full sensory experience. Constructed for both flawless tune and durability, Freenotes instruments have earned a respected heritage for their musicality and their longevity.

Playing music transcends all boundaries of age, ethnicity, gender and physicality.

Because with Freenotes, everyone can play.

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