Simple Gifts – Projects

Prism Project

Ives Project

The Prism Project brings together youth in our community who are experiencing homelessness with Seattle Symphony musicians and Composer in Residence Alexandra Gardner to create a new composition that will be performed at the Seattle Art Museum.


In the 2017–2018 season, the Seattle Symphony’s Simple Gifts initiative focuses on youth homelessness, which impacts nearly 1,500 youth and young adults in King County. The Pew Charitable Trust recently reported that “After a concerted effort to count homeless young people, Seattle’s King County saw its numbers jump more than 700 percent between 2016 and 2017. And the number of homeless, unaccompanied public school students increased one-fifth between 2012 and 2015.” And according to the Raikes Foundation, “40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQIA nationally and of these youth, 68% cite family rejection as a major factor contributing to their homelessness and 54% of LGBTQIA homeless young people indicate they were abused at home.”

The Project

Through collaboration with community partners Accelerator YMCA, New Horizons and YouthCare, the Seattle Symphony will co-create a residency and culminating concert with the following goals:

  • Creating a safe environment for young people to express themselves
  • Through composition, youth will learn creative problem-solving, collaboration and communication skills
  • Create a community dialogue around continued steps to end youth homelessness

Composer in Residence Alexandra Gardner will facilitate a 10-week residency of workshops for youth experiencing homelessness that culminates in a public community concert at the Seattle Art Museum with a performance by Seattle Symphony musicians of a composition developed during the residency.



Simple Gifts is supported by a generous grant from the American Orchestras' Futures Fund, a program of the League of American Orchestras made possible by funding from the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation.

The Seattle Symphony’s Community programs are supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Citi Community Capital, KeyBank Foundation, the League of American Orchestras, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund, the U.S. Bank Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation, Moe and Susan Krabbe and individual contributions to the Seattle Symphony Annual Fund.