Simple Gifts

Seattle Symphony’s Commitment to Homelessness

The Seattle Symphony believes in the power of music to create positive impacts on people who are experiencing stress, isolation and challenges in their lives. In November 2015 the city of Seattle and King County declared a state of emergency around the homelessness crisis. According to All Home King County , homelessness impacts approximately 10,000 people on any given night in King County.

The Simple Gifts program aims to empower individuals experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity to connect with their creativity; develop deeper roots in the community through service, advocacy and collaboration; spark joy and inspire hope in individuals and communities that face disproportionate amounts of hardship; and raise awareness of the homelessness crisis that is occurring in King County.

The Shaker tune “Simple Gifts” was written in 1848 by Joseph Brackett and made famous by American composer Aaron Copland, who included it in his 1944 ballet, Appalachian Spring. In popular culture, this well-loved tune has come to symbolize simplicity, joy and freedom.


We hope you will learn more about all the organizations that partner with us in our Simple Gifts initiative and seek out opportunities to help others in your own communities. It can be the simple gift of time spent volunteering. It can be the gift of becoming more attuned to the root causes of homelessness and what can be done to help people experiencing this low time in their lives. It can be attending these Symphony performances where the art and music and poetry of some of our most vulnerable citizens will be shared. To someone so accustomed to going unseen, this is a gift in and of itself.

Thank you for joining us in lifting up our fellow community members, and thank you for being part of our journey of giving Simple Gifts. To support Simple Gifts, give online or call Donor Relations at 206.215.4832. Every gift makes a difference!



For general questions and other inquiries about community programs, please contact us at 206.336.6613 or


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.

League of American Orchestras

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, Russell Investments, Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund, the U.S. Bank Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation, and individual contributions to the Seattle Symphony Annual Fund.