About Street Symphony
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About Us

Mission

Street Symphony: Connection through music. Street Symphony engages communities directly affected by homelessness and incarceration in LA County through performances, workshops and teaching artistry. 

Purpose

Street Symphony’s programs 

    1. Create spaces for communities affected by homelessness and incarceration to share stories, deepen relationships, and illuminate our humanity through transformative musical experiences. 
    2. Create pathways for professional and emerging musicians in to show up, build relationships, and connect with the communities we serve through our artistry. 

Vision

Street Symphony envisions a world where every person, and their story, matters.

Principles & Values

Move beyond Outreach, to Engagement, to Exchange:

To create spaces of authentic exchange – spaces of mutual offering and receiving of each other’s gifts, stories and experiences – the musicians of Street Symphony move beyond outreach (experiences which are hierarchical, unilateral, shallow, us/them) into engagement (experiences of mutual, reciprocal, deep, connected).

Show Up: “If you are here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you are here because your liberation is bound up in mine, then let us work together”– Indigenous Murri wisdom, through Lilla Watson.

We believe that art fosters a new understanding of ourselves and the world around us. In collaboration with the communities we serve, showing up to the world around us invites curiosity and humility.

Organizational History

Founded in 2011, Street Symphony has presented nearly 400 free, world-class musical engagements for severely disenfranchised communities affected by homelessness and incarceration in Los Angeles County.

Comprised of a grassroots community of over 70 world class musicians, Street Symphony ensembles present regular monthly programs at Skid Row shelters and county jails. Since 2015, Street Symphony has presented a yearly performance of The Messiah Project, a nationally acclaimed community performance of excerpts of Handel’s Messiah at The Midnight Mission in Skid Row, featuring stories and performances from people affected by and recovering from homelessness in LA County.

In 2017, supported by a generous grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation, Street Symphony launched the Daniel Chaney Teaching Artist program, pairing professional artists with members of the homeless community in an effort to amplify the voices and artistry of the Skid Row community.

Our Team

Vijay Gupta: Founder and Artistic Director/Violin
Dustin Seo: Director of Musical Program/Cello
Dustin Seo: Director of Musical Program/Cello
Benjamin Shirley: Director of Community Engagement
Benjamin Shirley: Director of Community Engagement
Amy Fogerson: Director of Street Symphony Chamber Singers and of the Daniel Chaney Fellows Program
Vivo: Operations Manager
Vivo: Operations Manager
Jazmín Morales: Coordinator, Street Symphony Mariachi Ensemble/Violin
David Sills: Director, Street Symphony Jazz Ensemble/Guitar
Mitchell Newman: Violin/Program coordinator, PATH
Zanaida Robles: Director, The Messiah Project/Conductor and Vocalist

Board of Directors

Vijay Gupta

Founder/Artistic Director

Adam Crane

Co-Founder
Vice President for External Affairs, New York Philharmonic

Ndindi Kitonga

Dr. Ndindi Kitonga, PhD., Educator, Founder, Angeles Workshop School

Georgia Berkovich

Director of Public Affairs, The Midnight Mission

Faith Raiguel

Former Chief Financial Officer of the Los Angeles Opera

Advisory Board

Gail Eichenthal, Chief Engagement Officer, Classical KUSC/KDFC
Luis Garcia Ed. D, MSW, Director of Programs and Services, Weingart Center Association
Robert Lynch, President/CEO, Americans for the Arts
Adam Murray, Executive Director, Inner City Law Center
Mitch Newman, Violin/Program coordinator, PATH
Sandra Pressman, Community Advocate
Craig Watson, Former Director, California Arts Council
Hon. Zev Yaroslavsky, Former Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Dr. Nathaniel Zeisler, Director of Community Engagement, The Colburn School
Karen Zorn, President, Longy School of Music