Young Nam Kim: Writer, Fine Artist, & Children's Book Author - AHN Top 50 Unsung Heroes 2021

February 16, 2021
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Young Nam Kim is an award-winning artist from Seoul South Korea who won his first national art competition at 17 years old. He is also an immigrant to the United States and opened the first fine art gallery in downtown Oakland in 1982. He went on to become an architect and general contractor and helped build many of the commercial business locations for Korean Americans all around the East Bay. He also founded Oakland's Korea Town district with a group of business owners, paving the way for Korean culture to be experienced and appreciated in Oakland and beyond. His group founded Oakland's first Korean Street Festival and he continues to give back to the community through his work with the Asian American community by creating an elderly art class to provide art therapy to elderly Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and more. He has written a childrens book "A Very Long Journey" which recently had a successful Kickstarter campaign and will be shared with the world in 2021.
 
Impact
1999: Young Kim with Mayor Jerry Brown. Young Kim organized the Korean business owners to campaign and raise funds for Jerry Brown which paved the way for the rights to zone parts of Telegraph Avenue to be renamed Koreatown. It was because of his direct relationship and lobbying to Jerry Brown that allowed Koreatown to be created and receive benefits from the city for it's community.

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