WHO I AM & WHAT I DO...
EILEEN S. HO 何愛玲 (pronouns: she/her; mother, daughter, sister, aunt, partner, friend) is a CHINESE AMERICAN Taiko ARTIST, EDUCATOR and ORGANIZER (living in Ann Arbor and working in Southeast MICHIGAN USA), creating and connecting with community through the empowering ART OF TAIKO drumming. Taiko is rooted in Japanese music traditions and continues to grow as a global cultural movement that uplifts spirits, amplifies imagination, and builds community in North America and around the world today.
Eileen's interest in JAPANESE TAIKO DRUMMING was sparked in college while watching a Kodo concert with her PARTNER LARRY AN. Years later they took their four kids to see Taiko in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, igniting an exciting path from her first Taiko class (2001) to her joyful experience as a performing member of Mu Daiko (2005-2009; now Enso Daiko at TaikoArts Midwest). Since then Eileen has travelled to regional and national Taiko conferences, gatherings, and retreats, as well as participated in international online courses and local guest artist workshops, to continue her STUDIES of the art form and develop RELATIONSHIPS with Taiko-affiliated mentors and peers.
Eileen and Larry joined as original members of the performing ensemble Raion Taiko when they moved back to Michigan (2009), and now they teach Taiko together and co-lead the Great Lakes Taiko Center (GLTC) based in Southeast Michigan, SHARING THE JOY OF TAIKO through educational programs and performances. Eileen joined the administrative team at the Taiko Center in 2016 and became the program director in the summer of 2018, helping to coordinate a growing staff of instructors and to schedule classes for youth and adult programs. Her ORGANIZING ROLE AT THE TAIKO CENTER has included work as educational and membership program developer, operations manager, performance group advisor, event coordinator, social media communicator, and digital media specialist. During the 2020 pandemic shutdown of classes and performance events, Eileen implemented an online program of activities and classes @GLTC-ONLINE to keep students and performing groups connected. Eileen helped envision and build a new Great Lakes Taiko Center (GLTC) MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM that was launched in the Fall of 2020 along with a TAIKO SHARE program, based on a solidarity economy model, in which a drum circle of members contributing on a sliding scale can support creation and access of programming and resources for all.
Eileen is active in these MOVEMENT GROUPS: TaikoPeace BE-Hive (Building Empathy through exploration of ANCIENT WISDOM and relations in our current ARTISTIC PRACTICES), Taiko MarGens in Solidarity (connecting as people of MARGINALIZED GENDERS for SOCIAL JUSTICE in our global arts community, Women of Color in the Arts (providing opportunities for personal development and COLLECTIVE CARE) including the 2022 cohort of mentees in the WOCA LEADERSHIP Through Mentorship program, and Champions For Change with NEW (Non-profit Enterprises at Work, transforming the future, together, towards racial co-liberation).
Through her current work as a culture creator and community arts leader, Eileen continues to REIMAGINE, SHARE and ACTIVATE (Wonder, Love and Sing!) the TAIKO ARTS as a way for us to live and play together in a world of abundant PEACE, LOVE and JOY.
WHERE I AM & HOW I GOT HERE...
Eileen Sheila Ho 何愛玲 (CHINESE NAME: Hé Ài Líng) was born to PARENTS Philip & Grace Ho in Lexington, KENTUCKY (1966) and grew up on the native land of the Fox, Peoria, Anishinabewaki and Potawatomi, in what is now called the city of Ann Arbor, MICHIGAN, with a few years attending later elementary and middle school at the Willow Run School District while living in Ypsilanti, MI, where she spelled her way to a WASHTENAW COUNTY championship and 5th place in the State of Michigan Spelling Bee (8th grade) going out on the word "egregious", and eventually graduated salutatorian of her class at Ann Arbor Huron High School (1983).
Eileen likes to collect ROCKS & majored in Geology (1986, B.S. in Geological Sciences, LS&A Honors, University of Michigan). She has a Master's Degree, in SCIENCE! (1988, M.S. in Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan). She also volunteered at the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor (1994-96) in Environmental Health and worked on an inaugural version of their website.
Eileen married her high school sweetheart LARRY AN (1991) and together they homeschooled their four CHILDREN in MINNESOTA. There she sang in the WORLD MUSIC CHOIR for women, Earthtones Chorus led by Peggy Larson, and studied and performed INDONESIAN DANCE & MUSIC with the Sumunar Javanese Dance and Gamelan ensembles (2000-2009, Indonesian Performing Arts Association of Minnesota).
The An-Ho FAMILY returned to her hometown of Ann Arbor in 2009 when they joined the communities at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor and Sunward Cohousing. Since 2011 they have lived on the North Side of Ann Arbor where they are stewards of the Brookside Book House (a Little Free Library & Peace Pole) with lots of milkweed in their garden.
RAION TAIKO & Great Lakes Taiko Center (GLTC)
I am grateful to share and dream for world TaikoPeace with our community at the Great Lakes Taiko Center (GLTC) in SE Michigan and my Family An-Ho in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan USA on the native lands of the Bodéwadmiakiwen (Potawatomi)↗ Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ↗ Peoria↗ Meškwahki·aša·hina (Fox)↗ https://usdac.us/nativeland #HonorNativeLand