NATC 2019: Request for Proposals

Interested in hosting NATC 2019? Please review the Request For Proposal (RFP) below. Contact Stan Shikuma ( or Johnny Mori (johnny@taikocommunity. 


The Taiko Community Alliance (TCA)

The Taiko Community Alliance (TCA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit music service organization based in San Jose, California. TCA empowers the people and advances the art of taiko through a variety of programs and services, provided to more than 700 members in the larger North American taiko community. The largest project of the organization is the North American Taiko Conference (NATC), now held biennially, at a site selected by the TCA Board of Directors.

 The North American Taiko Conference (NATC)

The North American Taiko Conference (NATC) brings together approximately 600 participants for workshops, discussion sessions, and performances of taiko.

Held since 1997 at a variety of locations throughout California and the Western United States, the NATC offers approximately 50 performance based workshop sessions on multiple tracks for a wide range of skill levels and interest, taught by taiko masters and instructors from the US, Canada, and Japan.

The conference has also featured a leadership forum, a taiko marketplace for vendors (including the two largest drum makers in Japan), special presentations and sessions on taiko-related topics, a Summer Taiko Institute, and two public performances: Taiko Ten — a free public performance featuring multiple community groups, and Taiko Jam — a ticketed concert featuring world class ensembles performing in a professional setting.


Request for Proposals: 2019 NATC

TCA is putting out a Request for Proposals (RFP) from groups, sites, cities, regions and organizations interested in hosting the next North American Taiko Conference in summer 2019 (date to be determined).

Due to the influx of hundreds of taiko musicians, students, teachers and aficionados attending the conference, hosting NATC brings national and international recognition, as well as positive economic impact, to the host site.

As a result, hosting NATC is a serious undertaking, requiring the host organization(s) to form a dedicated “Host Committee” that is required to play an active and pivotal role ensuring NATC’s logistical and financial success.

Working with TCA’s Conference Coordinator, the local Host & Host Committee responsibilities include:

  • Identifying and securing a conference venue for workshops, concerts, lectures, meals, and lodging for a minimum of 500 people (universities are a common location)
  • Helping to secure and transport equipment for all workshops (approximately 250 taiko drums)
  • Helping to secure up to 50-80 conference volunteers
  • Identifying and helping to arrange lodging, food and local ground transportation for participants, workshop leaders, and guest artists as needed
  • Planning and hosting an opening reception
  • Identifying and providing a small office or work space for 2­4 months prior to the conference for a conference coordinator, interns and volunteers to work out of (ideally internet ready)
  • Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining specific timelines, responsibilities, and fundraising commitments, at least 15 months prior to the conference.

The TCA NATC Committee and Conference Coordinator will be responsible for program content, vetting workshop leaders and topics, choosing discussion group themes, setting plenary session agendas, and hiring concert performers. TCA is responsible for the contracting of local facilities (identified by the Host) for all conference activities.

As a nonprofit organization, TCA relies on contributed and earned income to survive and NATC is a source of both. The 2019 Conference Host and Host Committee will be required to work closely and “partner” with TCA’s professional staff, Board and NATC Committee, to secure adequate financial resources (contributed, earned, and in-kind) to make the conference a success. A potential NATC Host should carefully consider in advance, upcoming fundraising deadlines for local, regional, and state, public and private funding sources in your area that might support NATC. Below are the specific Requirements for your Proposal.  A successful proposal should include:


Recommendation and availability of a suitable site(s) or venue(s) for NATC. Proposals may want to include technical capabilities on site for workshops, lectures and performances.

  • Auditorium ­ for plenary sessions; must be capable of seating all participants, staff and volunteers (500-700)
  • Workshop spaces ­ minimum of 16 sites able to accommodate 20­40 participants; most workshops will require enough space to set up drums for each participant; considerations for noise should be evident (in terms of adjacent spaces and neighboring non-NATC activities)
  • Theater ­ a main stage theatre for Taiko Jam concert capable of seating a minimum of 1000
  • Performance space ­ an outdoor venue (or large public space) for Taiko Ten, a free public concert
  • Pre-conference Opening Reception venue
  • Taiko Marketplace venue with space for up to two dozen vendors

 2. Potential Dates

Ideally provide a choice of 3 dates when the venue(s) will be available for 4 consecutive days and evenings, preferably during the months of August, July, or June.

3. Estimate of Maximum Capacity

  • Estimate the maximum capacity for workshops, plenary sessions, concerts.
  • Estimate the maximum number of rooms/venue sites available for use.
  • Estimate the number of drums and stands that can be collected/borrowed from local sources and/or readily brought in from outside the local area. 250 or more drums may be needed.

 4. Housing and Meal Options

  • List dorms or hotels with estimated costs and distance from the conference site.
  • Describe the number/types of local food courts, restaurants, food trucks, etc. available on site or within easy walking distance of the venue. Include an estimated cost of meals for 500 people.
  • Estimate the cost to cater food if no other options are readily available nearby.

 5. Support Network

  • Is your group a 501(c)3 nonprofit? If not, please list and describe your fiscal sponsor for the project and your relationship to the fiscal sponsor.
  • What local taiko groups would be involved in Hosting the 2019 NATC in your area?
  • What other support groups/organizations do you work with locally (e.g. temples, churches, community groups) that can assist you with your local Host responsibilities? Or do you plan to recruit? If so, who and how do you plan to recruit?
  • Provide estimated numbers and sources for volunteers.
  • Describe any previous experience in recruiting and managing a large number of volunteers

 6. Budget Considerations

  • What is the estimated total cost for your recommended venue(s)?
  • Describe the local philanthropic climate for the arts in your area and please list specific funders you currently think can be approached to help support the NATC coming to your community in 2019. Are there other area funders/resources you think might provide support? Please list them.

 7. Qualifications

Please give a brief description of your qualifications to host NATC 2017. Include the names and affiliations of likely members of your Host Committee, and identify likely key leadership for the project. Please cite any previous experience you have in hosting/producing large conferences, gatherings, meetings or concerts. Please provide background information on key organizers if appropriate. Tell us why you want to host NATC 2019 and what makes your community especially “taiko” friendly.

We encourage you to send any additional support materials with your proposal, including up to 3 letters of support.

9. Timeline

  • The Deadline for submitting your proposal is Monday, June 26, 2017.
  • TCA Questions and clarifications of your proposal must be answered and returned to TCA no later than Monday, July 10, 2017.
  • Final selection of the 2019 NATC site will be made by the TCA Board of Directors at its July 14, 2017 meeting.
  • Official/public announcement of the 2019 NATC site will be made at the 2017 NATC.
  • A required MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between TCA and the 2019 NATC Host will be expected to be completed by January 2018.
  • Email your proposal to the NATC Committee of TCA at:
  • Questions can be directed to Johnny Mori or Stan Shikuma at

Taiko Community Alliance
P.O. Box 26895
San Jose, CA 95159

TCA Board Chair: Derek Oye
North American Taiko Conference Committee Chairs:  Stan Shikuma, Johnny Mori