YOUNG PARK - Artistic Director
Young was born in South Korea and moved to Boston Massachusetts when she was 7-years-old. She began studying music (viola) at the age of ten. At Oberlin College, she discovered modern dance and contact improv. At U of Michigan, Young co-founded the multi-media performance ensemble SAFMOD and continued in Cleveland, Ohio, directing and choreographing multiple productions of original music, dance and visual arts. In RAW, Young has found a community of kindred spirits: strong Asian women dedicated to cooperative principles of learning, making powerful music, and calling out each others’ sh*t with love. She is privileged to work hard with the group to bring a traditional form into a modern context for mutual empowerment and to spread positive ripples throughout society. She became managing director of RAW in 2015 and took on the role of artistic director in 2017.
Adrienne is a queer second gen Chinese acupuncturist and performer. Their healing work takes a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive approach to the balancing of the mind and body and is centered around healing justice, and accessibility. Having played in bands for over 10 years now, Adrienne continues to pursue moments of connection with friends, herself, or with spirits and the natural universe, through music. They are currently working on a number of collaborative and solo musical projects Both music and medicine play a huge part in their day-to-day life, and through personal practices of both, Adrienne strives to build connection and community, in an effort to resist, reimagine and dismantle. @earthseaacupuncture / earthseaacupuncture.ca
Elvie is honoured and humbled to learn, grow and drum as part of RAW's formidable lineage of resilience and resistance. She is first generation "Chinese-born-Canadian" of Hong Kongese and Chiuchow Chinese parents. She feels deeply coloured by her upbringing(s) in Toronto's vibrant Chinatown and Scarborough neighbourhoods and summers spent in Georgian Bay, Ontario. She is an avid arts and culture worker who has developed, managed and consulted for programs, institutions and projects throughout Ontario, Canada and in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She is fascinated by art in all its mediums; particularly as an instrument for decolonization, empowerment, healing and in the storytelling of diverse narratives. When not grooving to the Taiko drum, she is also a hobbyist of Egyptian Bellydancing!
Jody Chan is a writer and organizer born and raised in Tkaronto/Toronto to parents who immigrated from Hong Kong. Jody has laid their own roots in Toronto through connecting with other sick/disabled queer and trans youth of colour, building community with artists and writers and organizers, and frequently relying on dumplings as fuel for the revolution. They are deeply invested in how we can build a culture of care in our movements and in all our relationships with one another. As a writer, their work explores themes of family, queerness, and mental illness. They are grateful and humbled for the opportunity to build individual and collective power through taiko. More info at www.jodychan.com / Instagram @jodyr.chan
WY JOUNG KOU
Wy Joung Kou is a multi-disciplinary artist, community organizer, and queer person living with chronic illness. Born in Ottawa and residing in Toronto since 2013, they are of mixed European-settler/Hong Kong ancestry. Kou’s current artistic practice is focused mainly on their work as a taiko drummer, mosaicist, and poet, with some side venturing into digital media arts and other tactile mediums. Their work is rooted in intentions to foster cultures of care, access, and interdependence around them. Their love of taiko is rooted in the ways that it allows them to experience deep joy, safety, and power within their body as a queer and disabled Asian femme. Follow their work on instagram (@okkouu) or on facebook (@wyjoungkou)
Michelle is a queer Chinese-Canadian who grew up in Hong Kong and moved to Toronto in 2012, with stints in Vancouver and Montreal along the way. Moving to Toronto has been transformative in her journey to becoming and embracing all parts of who she is. Growing up without access to any visible models of queer women of colour thriving, she did not feel the same sense of possibility that she now feels as she builds community in Toronto. Through drumming in RAW, she hopes to give Asian women and youth a greater chance of seeing themselves represented. A caffeine-based life form who feels best when her body is moving, her interests include (but are not limited to): Negronis, social justice, Harry Potter, dancing, hockey, strength training, and random adventuring!
MILA NATASHA MENDEZ
Mila Natasha is a queer Black Chinese Trinidadian Canadian living in Tkaronto/Toronto. As a a performer with Raging Asian Womxn Taiko Drummers, a lover of doughs and porridges, and a student of Black and Caribbean Feminisms, Mila hopes to carry on the lineages of intellectual and arts workers who have laboured for our collective liberation. Keep up with Mila on instagram@mila_natasha
Stephenie is a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter and identifies as Chinese-Canadian. Stephenie divides her time with her family and friends, working in the Toronto tech industry, playing ultimate frisbee and sleep. RAW has provided the opportunity for Stephenie to represent herself and inspire others in striving for racial and gender equality.
Weijia is a Chinese Canadian illustrator, arts educator and program coordinator currently living and working in Toronto. After completing her undergrad in Art and Art History, Weijia had the opportunity to teach English in Japan, where she joined her first Taiko group and fell in love with the art of Taiko drumming. Weijia is particularly interested in how Taiko can be used as a pedagogical tool for embodied and transformative learning. She has been a part of RAW since March 2015. Instagram @weijia_art
Brenda Joy Lem
Karen BK Chan