For those that don't know me personally - Hello ! my name is Taylor Kim and I'm a 23 year old cellist living in Los Angeles. I have been playing cello since I was 11 years old, but until recently wasn't able to play due to financial difficulties.
After I graduated high school in 2015 I was homeless, and without a stable place to live I was unable to continue practicing cello. At the time I was focused on survival. I was living in a friends garage, working multiple jobs, and trying to find a way to finish school. I was forced to drop out of university my first semester as freshmen because I received no financial aid and couldn't afford the tuition and housing.
As I slowly saved some money for college and found a stable place to live, it became more and more apparent to me that music and the arts needed to be a part of my life.
I pursued internships in design, eventually landing a position at Snapchat as a graphic designer and at Nike last year as an apparel design apprentice. However, I turned down a full time job at Nike because I knew I wanted to work in the community, especially to help students like myself who really struggled to find their way on top of economic and financial barriers.
I wanted my work to align with my values of community and use my creativity to help others. That's where music comes in, last year I took up cello again, and bought a used cello off Facebook marketplace which I have been using ever since.
When I came back to LA, I wanted to reconnect with my community, and have been volunteering to help LA Little Tokyo small business with social media and graphic design. I knew I wanted to complete by Bachelors in order to gain the skills needed to be a better arts educator and community advocate. This summer I was asked to teach at the Snap Design Academy, the very design program that helped me get my start when I was in community college.
It took me five years, but just this year I got accepted to UCLA and I am completing my first year as a transfer student. COVID has made it really tough ( as I'm sure everyone is experiencing ), but I am just excited to be here on this journey
I am really passionate about helping others navigate their careers, especially in the arts and design space. There are so many barriers that students face ( especially LGBT and POC ) that are exacerbated even more so in the creative career fields. However, a lot of amazing mentors such as my cello teacher Pete have helped me along the way, and I want to really let others know it can be done!
Pete has been instrumental in my cello journey, and he has already helped me find a wonderful cello from FirePhoenixStrings , all is left is to make the financial commitment.
With this new instrument, I hope to deepen the practice of the finer aspects of playing cello. There are subtleties and joys of playing that can only happen with a certain quality instrument, and I am excited to make the jump. A new cello will help me fulfill my dream of holding volunteer concerts as well as play with the UCLA orchestra next year.
I never want to burden anyone, so please only donate with what you're comfortable with.
I will be writing handwritten thank you notes for all donations over $100
I am truly grateful for any and all contributions! I appreciate you for reading this far
- Bryce Lamar
- A Luna
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