We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Kubitskey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I originally started my own company because I wanted there to be a place for music educators to have either part-time or full-time work in an environment that was outside of the traditional in-school, music educator path. I felt that by not having the restrictions of large districts and corporations teachers could enact change in a way that felt more significant and meaningful to them, and that they would’t lose work because of this.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is a music education non-profit that operates after school in the Pico Union neighborhood of Los Angeles. This neighborhood is important to my team and me because it is primarily a community from El Salvador that has a deep love of music, but no access to formal training and instruments (which the families expressed that they wanted!).
While it isn’t very radical, what sets us apart is that we are small and will only grow when it is necessary and when what we already have is working great. Additionally, I pride our organization in providing our employees with the opportunity to be a full-time, with benefits, employee. We believe that the right thing to do is to offer as much investment in our employees as possible and not increasing our number of faculty until we know we have met the needs of our current faculty.
The road to owning and running a business has definitely not easy, but it’s been worth it every step of the way. We incorporated Global Arts in 2019, so by the time we finally got our footing, the pandemic hit and it knocked us back to ground zero. We had to find new location, since schools were closed, and we had to find new funding, since so much of our promised funding was up-in-the-air due to budget cuts and personal finance limitations. It’s been extremely difficult, but fortunately with a fantastic team we’ve been able to pull through and are now operating a wonderful music program at a local elementary school, serving the population we originally intended.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If a friend were to visit, I would take them to Tierra Mia in Highland Park for coffee, then Just What I Kneaded in Frogtown, and then there’s no better way to see the city than to take them into Griffith Park and hike up to the Hollywood Sign!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My original inspiration is, and always will be, my grandfather! He owned his own business, in a very different field than mine, and he always instilled two pieces of advice in me: 1. Hire and retain good people & 2. Give back to both the community that raised you and the community that surrounds you.
1. To him, ‘good people’ we those who were both kind and worked hard, and in return, it is my job as a business owner to treat my employees with respect, kindness, and to take care of them financially.
2. Secondly, he always stressed that we should give back to the community who raised us and the community that surrounds you. The ‘community’ that raised me was the music education community. Always being part of a band, orchestra, or choir inspired me to create a welcome and safe space for today’s youth to explore music and be part of that same community.