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Toni Yagami playing Taiko drums
Toni Yagami, Taiko extraordinaire so obviously enjoys performing taiko.

Ton Yagami, aka "Taiko Toni" has been performing and teaching the Japanese art of taiko for over 35 years. She spoke about the spiritual connection to the drums and where they come from- preserving their history. I love how joyfully she plays.

Taiko drums
Taiko drums, each made from natural materials- wood, cowhide, hemp or cotton, metal.

Toni also spoke about preservation and new development in the art, and appreciation versus appropriation. Bottom enthusiastic but remember to heed and listen to the knowledge of those who's culture it stems from.

CM Preserve event sticker, name tag
The event sticker and my name tag.

As usual, I couldn't think of anything clever as an answer to the name tag "conversation starter". However, in thinking about my off-the-cuff answer, it rings true to where I'm at. I'm focusing on preserving relationships that are deep and meaningful, to spending my time doing the things that I truly love. I'm preserving my deep roots.

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#CM_Denver @CM_Denver

I began following Creative Mornings newsletters and participating in the Denver chapter's monthly events the beginning of this year, thanks to my good friend's recommendation. This April was the fourth one I've attended, and it was as inspiring and uplifting as all the others have been. These events feed my soul and never fail to reinvigorate my outlook, creative spirit, work and life altogether. I considered putting these blog entries under my "Inspiration" heading, but decided to dedicate one solely to CM because of it's amazing impact on my life.

A little about the premise of Creative Mornings:

It began in 2008 in NY city for the creative community to have an accessible platform and space to meet on a Friday morning, once a month for a short talk and simple breakfast. All are welcome and it's free. It has now grown into an international event with chapters forming in cities every day around the globe. Each month a chapter is chosen to assign a theme and volunteers organize the speakers, providers of refreshments and the space. The Denver events are centrally located at a variety of companies, co-ops and institutions such as the Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Art Museum, Art Gym, Industry in RiNo and McNichols Building- each time a different place.

From the cm website

CreativeMornings Manifesto

Everyone is creative.

A creative life requires bravery and action, honesty and hard work. We are here to support you, celebrate with you, and encourage you to make the things you love.

We believe in the power of community. We believe in giving a damn. We believe in face-to-face connections, in learning from others, in hugs and high-fives.

We bring together people who are driven by passion and purpose, confident that they will inspire one another, and inspire change in neighborhoods and cities around the world.

Everyone is welcome.

Aaaaah. I love it. I have found my tribe.:)

Last Friday was the April event. The theme is "Inclusion".

guest speaker: Meta Sarmiento

at McNichols Civic Center Building

Before sitting for the speaker, I sign in, put on a name tag (there's always an icebreaker question that I never seem to have a good answer for. This one was "What do you want to be included in?" I think I said something weird like "Traveling the world". I'd like to be part of the "club" that is able to do that often), and partake in coffee and a scone. Usually I'm there alone and don't know anyone else, so I bravely introduce myself to someone and learn a little about them. Sometimes cards are exchanged, sometimes not. For me, this is less of an intentional networking opportunity and more a refueling of my inner spirit. Inevitably new connections are formed as well.

Wandering around the space also ensues....

Inclusion activity

the pledge

One of the "personal practice" cards

Bonus- there happened to be a beautiful art show that was mid-installation. It turns out it was the day before the opening of a collaborative show between Homare Ikeda and Sandy Kinnee. Ikeda's works were up, but only a couple of Kinnee's, however the sneak peak was great. I highly recommend seeing the show:

Details of some of Homare Ikeda's paintings.

After about 20 minutes, everyone starts taking seats for the speaker presentation. Dave Momper, the fabulously upbeat host for the Denver chapter welcomes everyone, reviews what CM is and the manifesto, shares upcoming events and news, introduces volunteers and sponsors and offers the stage to those who have signed up for a 2 minute "pitch" opportunity.


Meta Sarmiento made his entrance from the back, reciting one of his spoken word/rap/poems that was enthralling, poignant and so impressive. He's Filipino, originally from Guam, currently living in Denver with wisdom, humility and insight far beyond his years. He masterfully made the connection to Inclusion in his work by relating stories of how he has grown, and continues to grow into a rapper/poet that is aware of LGBTQ-phobic and misogynistic tendencies of the rap scene. He touched on the values of exclusivity that are common, but how there are communities that are supporting the opposite, including SlamNuba in Denver I bought his latest book of poems that he brought and I'm devouring it:

I plan on seeing Meta perform again soon and I recommend others do the same. He's something special. @metasarmiento

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What an amazing success this was, and so fabulous to see old and new friends. Thank you all for coming. For those who were unable to make it, let's get together. My home office is always open.:) Here's to an amazing 2019!

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