One of the advantages of the current travel restrictions, is that it is easier (and cheaper!) for me to participate in events that are hosted by the greater taiko community. As a working mom, sometimes it is tough to get away for any period of time, despite my ultra-supportive family. And of course, US travel costs can also add up if I travel for taiko more than once or twice a year.
After being invited to the Taiko Community Alliance's Vision 2020 conference, I was originally not able to attend for these reasons, but after the conference was moved online, I was more than happy to participate in the conference via Zoom! It was a lot of hours logged onto Zoom, but it was uplifting and inspiring to connect with so many taiko leaders from all over North America. There were discussion groups of many sizes, and it was interesting to get to know people who I've never met (as well as connect with a few familiar faces, too!). It was fun to randomly bump into another Canadian, but sobering to hear discussions of racism and personal experiences, especially from the older generation who have been battling this for a much longer time, and use taiko as a voice that can't help but be heard. Johnny's opening words will stay with me for a long time to come.
It was a bit of a painful reminder of not being able to gather in person and not knowing when we will be able to do so. I don't know what the future holds, but I am thankful and grateful for the passionate and supportive community that exists, and helps me have hope for the future. Thank you Taiko Community Alliance, and keep doing what you're doing, to help taiko thrive in a challenging time.