A Letter from Kristina McGaha

Hello Taiko Fam!

The last eighteen months have been a trip – and I am still so honored and humbled to be part of this amazing community. Who would have believed that TCA could go from grassroots to staffed in less than a decade AND continue to persevere through the pandemic!? Well actually, I could believe it, because I have gotten to work alongside some of the most creative, generous, and talented people in my career. TCA, and the taiko community we serve, is truly awe-inspiring.

That is why it is so bittersweet for me to share that I will be transitioning to the next step on my career path. The decision was a difficult one to make, but the only thing I love more than taiko is my family, and their needs have necessitated a professional pivot (since, you know, we are all familiar with the term “pivot” now….).

But do not be discouraged – TCA has begun to lay groundwork for programming in the long-term, and we are all still excited to meet in-person at the next NATC. For myself, I may no longer be Program Manager, but I will continue to volunteer and support TCA as a lifetime member. I feel like my list of social media friends has tripled since taking on this role; a testament to how welcoming you are and how loved you all have made me feel. As I help TCA prepare for its next generation of staff, I wanted to also share some top-secret-insider-tips with you all about TCA:

  1. TCA is super friendly, but four out of five times folks are hesitant to email or call us. I laugh about this everyday because we are here for YOU. SO if you have questions, an idea, or something you want us to help share, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

  2. TCA is growing, which means more financial need from outside of the taiko community. TCA has been incredibly successful at working collaboratively within the taiko network for fundraising and programs. But this year we invested a ton of time into thinking BEYOND that community, especially in ways we can better support taiko practitioners.  We will be looking for new TCA Partners, sponsors, vendors, and grant funding in places we have never looked before. We have lofty goals of one day increasing our grants program, creating projects where we can hire you as artists, and who knows – even lowering prices to our programs. But these changes can happen sooner when we secure support funding to make it happen. So I encourage all of you to share the work of TCA with as many people as possible – even those who don’t know much about taiko.

  3. TCA is a great place to volunteer. The next couple of years will be action-packed for TCA. We are taking on the TaikoSource database, increasing our digital programs/resources, bringing more regional activities to you, and of course NATC!  The opportunities are there to meet new friends and make a huge difference. In the next twelve months, we hope to increase the resources made available to our volunteers as well to make the process clearer and more transparent. I may not be regular staff for TCA any longer, but I am definitely going to be having fun as a volunteer for years to come!

There you have it Taiko Fam, that is my soapbox. I am not going to say goodbye, because taiko people never have to. We can pick up as old friends the next time I see you AND we can do it while making a lot of noise or eating our favorite snack together. It is sincerely my pleasure to have been TCA’s Program Manager, and it was all because of YOU! Take care everyone and talk to you soon!

– Kristina

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