Posts tagged volunteering
on change

I was driving back from a wedding in Connecticut yesterday. I took a wrong turn and ended up taking a long way home through windy roads of Connecticut and Massachusetts and finally landed in New York again. It was a beautiful drive. I noticed the reds and yellows of the leaves and it hit me that fall is nearly here. Of course, time has been hurtling forward all along, but it took the bright leaves to notice the change.

There have been so many changes in the past year.

I've spent a lot of time in the motions of these changes. Traveling, packing, moving, leaving my friends, making new friends, walking new streets, working with bouts of loneliness, playing more instruments, climbing new mountains, learning new sounds and patterns... painting, so many things.

I've been spending more time journaling, long-hand. In a way, I think this reflection time is when I take the time to "sit" with all of this change.

A few weeks ago, I was visiting some friends in NYC. The G train doors closed and I heard someone say, "Kim!" really loudly. I looked across from me and I instantly recognized the face. It was the bright face of one of the students that I mentored a few years ago. He recognized me and told me that he remembered our activities, that he was applying for colleges, that his sister was 12 now and that she was 4 when I met her. We were loud, everyone was looking but there was a genuine feeling of joy for all of the passengers. They didn't seem to mind that our conversation carried on across from each other. He told me that the edible color wheel was his favorite project and I laughed and said it was a terrible idea. "Too much frosting and sugar...", but he said it was fun and was glad to run into me; he remembered my "big smile".

After wards, I cried (I'm tearing up now re-remembering this) and laughed and my heart was full. To be honest, I nearly forgotten that time in my life - the weekends of rushing to take cabs to the community center in Astoria (I was always late) and the walks and meeting friends after; I'd always reflect on my projects and tell stories about how the kids like this or hated that.

Here I am, so many years and a different city later. I still do music and art with kids, but it's not quite the same and I'm not sure it every would be, but it was a good reminder to keep doing it. Running into him also reminded me that I like reflecting in this space too.

So much has happened since my last writing of the Christmas video and maybe I'll share it, but maybe I won't.

It is all okay, everything is okay.

Change happens fast and slow at the same time and like most things, it's full of multiple, opposing feelings. 

"It always seems impossible, until it's done."

unnamed (2)unnamed (1)Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 10.56.22 AMIMG_7451IMG_7511Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 6.19.33 PMIMG_7494Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 3.56.13 PM.pngScreen Shot 2014-10-29 at 10.57.46 AMScreen Shot 2014-10-29 at 11.01.05 AMScreen Shot 2014-10-29 at 11.01.49 AMScreen Shot 2014-10-29 at 11.03.10 AMIMG_0417IMG_0400//NY Cares Day 2014.

  • Thanks to all of my dear friends for late nights of sketching and planning. Admittedly, it seemed quite impossible until you all pitched in. (even with the intense chevron pattern, it turned out so beautiful!)
  • Thanks to the amazing volunteers for painting and having fun! You were all brilliant and fabulous!
  • Thanks to the school for the great ideas and allowing us to sketch so late and special thanks to Colleen for being an amazing site captain!

I hope the kids love their new mural!not pictured: talking about our "magical" rendering of Washington D.C. with the students that helped paint (one was very proud for being her 3rd grade class president), my hourly "fun" check-in's, and the secret project that the same students decided to do on a SIDE wall. they kept coming over to us and asking if they could paint circles - i assumed they meant the circles for the "Banneker" text and encouraged their help! so we were all very surprised to find a NEW mural when turning the corner, but luckily the school has an amazing principal and parent-teacher coordinator with a great sense of humor. thanks again to everyone for making it such a magical and lovely day!  ♥--previous murals: 1, 2345, 6

from the time we saved a chicken


This weekend was eventful. I spent most of the summer solstice traveling back from Iowa (pics TK), but Sunday was an adventure. We had a delicious brunch and went to the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm. Nicole and I were able to identify most of the vegetation, which made us feel really smart (though, she knows much more than I do!). As we were leaving the staff asked if we knew anyone with a backyard and showed us a chicken - apparently this chicken ran away from a slaughterhouse!  I offered to help by taking the chicken to the Composting Learning Center at Earth Matter.

I've been working with Earth Matter for the past few months. After building their website, I couldn't help but stay on to help with volunteer coordination and social media. It's been a great experience and I truly LOVE hanging out on Governors Island.Come visit us and hang out with Eagle!

**Also pictured, growing the garden of friends and bonding over "Goya" products while watching the World Cup - yet another sport I am clueless about.

New York Cares Day 2013

NY Cares Day 2013 @ W.E.B. Debois High School from Kim Kullmer on Vimeo.This year's New York Cares Day was lit - according to the teens we worked with. The volunteers for this year's event were high school students participating in the Youth Service Program for NY Cares. Since this was a unique opportunity, I wanted to ensure that the students had a say in what was going to be on their walls, so we met a few times before the actual event. Most of them were seniors, so this mural was a chance to leave their mark. We decided on a mural that would depict "Iconic Brooklyn". The final piece was a landscape of Coney Island to the Brooklyn Bridge. One of the teachers suggested adding Jackie Robinson's baseball number, hence the large 42.The students were great to work with. Their energy was inspiring and they. made. us. laugh.Here's a little video from our day.♥Thanks to everyone who came and I hope you all had a wonderful time!

New York Cares Day 2012

My fifth New York Cares Day was a blast. I had a great team of people, including some great friends that helped me with sketching the week before the event (thank you!). The Site Captain of the Ernst and Young team was so organized she had color-coded notecards to split the teams up for the different murals. It was awesome to see my murals come to life and the volunteers were great (especially painting the coral that Julian sketched). A special request was added to the second floor, Betty Boop with purple goggles, in remembrance of a teacher that recently passed away. After everyone left, I did the usual run-around adding detail and finishing touches. I could have stayed and painted in these fun landscapes all day, luckily, I have friends that reminded me that it was time to celebrate.More photos TK from the EY team!Thank you to everyone that participated! (full set)

Come paint with me! :)

Fall is almost here which means so is New York Cares Day! I have been a mural artist for this event the last four years (12, 34). This is my fifth year and I AM SO EXCITED! This is the largest school I've worked with - so large that it has two mural artists. Between the two of us, the kids arriving the following Monday will practically have a brand new school! :)I would love for you to join me in this amazing event.What: New York Cares DayDate: October 13, 2012Time: 9:30-3:30 pmWho: You and anyone you'd like to invite! (please note all volunteers must register)What we'll be doing: Painting a mural in Brooklyn (off of the L train, Grand stop). There will be several murals sketched with a "paint by color" system, so for those without artistic experience, no worries - it will be easy. That being said, there is a lot of room for creative expression, for those looking to do more.If you're interested, register online If you happen upon the site through the regular home page, you can follow these easy steps:

1. Agree to the terms
2. Select, "Join a team"
3. Scroll down and look for the team called, Ron Burgundy


Please note that there is a $20 fee. I can assure you that all funds go to NY Cares and it's ongoing projects. For example, our Art Explorers class has been able to make things with clay, paint, and even take a field trip to a museum.


Happy fall folks!