My name is Larime Taylor, and I was born with the birth defect Arthrogryposis. I draw caricatures with my mouth as my means of supporting my family. I can't flip burgers or clean hotel rooms, but I can draw, so that's what I do. You use what you have.
I've been drawing caricatures professionally for 28 years, and for five years on the Las Vegas Strip. For four of those years, I was able to pull my family out of poverty, increase our quality of living, and even put my wife through chemotherapy for cancer. She's been in remmission for two years now.
As a street performer, I am protected by the 1st Amendment, as recently acknowledged in the 9th Circuit’s decision on Santopietro vs. Howell. Performing is free speech. Passive and active solicitation of tips is free speech. Berger vs. Seattle and ACLU of Nevada vs. Las Vegas also affirm these things, including my right to use a table as seen above.
Despite this, a year ago Metro started ticketing and prosecuting street performers in direct violation of their own lawyer’s testimony in Santopietro. My wife and I were ticketed early Sunday morning on June 11th of 2017 for doing what I’ve been doing for 4 years without incident. I'm now taking commissions via this fundraiser to make up for lost income as I fight this.
This is fundraiser NOT
about the legal fees or court costs - our lawyers are working with us on that and we are filing suit for violation of our civil liberties. I am well aware that this site no longer allows such campaigns, and I respect that.
This is about the nights spent worrying if I'll be ticketed again or even arrested for exercising my 1st Amendment rights on the nights I have to work anyway because a bill is due. Sylv no longer goes with me, and I'm working less out there now to avoid further issues, but that is how we survive. That's how we get by every day. As I mentioned before, that, along with a Go Fund Me campaign for chemotherapy, is how my wife got cancer treatment and is now in remission.
Every little bit helps. I've put up rewards for those of you interested in my art so that I can still work to make my money instead of taking handouts.
This is only temporary. We will prevail and I will go back to work as I always have. Thank you for helping us through the rough patch.