ICAREIFYOULISTEN: 5 Questions to Amanda Gookin (cellist)

HOW DID YOUR FORWARD MUSIC PROJECT GET STARTED?

It sprung from an intense desire to use the cello as a platform to speak up and speak out against oppression. Two years ago, I was on a long car ride listening to public radio and heard an inspiring speech by (Seattle City Council rep) Kshama Sawant, arguing the need to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Not only was I listening to an important message, I was hearing the beauty, power, and strength in a woman’s voice. A lifelong feminist, I was overcome with the feeling that my musical career was drifting away from connecting with  society on a humanistic level. It brought to mind an inspiring fundraising campaign I had recently seen for Art and Abolition, a program that provides art therapy and safe housing for girls who are victims of sexual violence in Kenya. These are just two examples of women around the world who devote their lives everyday for the betterment of those who suffer. Inspired, moved, and empowered, it was on this day that the seed for the Forward Music Project was planted.