Taiko Community Alliance (TCA) empowers the people and advances the art of taiko. We trace our roots to the North American Taiko Conference (NATC) – a gathering that began in 1997 and continued biennially until 2011 with fiscal sponsorship from the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles. When the future of the conference was threatened, TCA formed as a 501(c)3 to meet the taiko community’s need for authentic connection and accessible instruction. Our first mandate was to secure and sustain NATC. We have since hosted 3 successful conferences.
Between conferences, we reach our diverse constituency with unique programs that promote collaboration. In 2018, we commemorated 50 years of taiko in North America by launching “Taiko Then”, a digital repository seeded with 20 years of NATC footage, and piloted a Women and Taiko mentorship program, which paired 28 taiko veterans with emerging artists and community leaders. In 2020, we will premiere “Taiko Voices”, a 50th Anniversary open-source song commission honoring the legacy of our taiko pioneers. Our robust grant program supports community projects that align with TCA’s mission. Past grants have funded regional conferences, collaborative concerts, and documentary videos.
Supporting the field, we produce the Taiko Census. This periodic snapshot of individual data on taiko players worldwide deepens our understanding of our community demographics, documents the spread of the field, guides our programming, and supports our search for additional resources.
Finally, we reach our diverse constituency through online resources. The TCA Community Calendar is a self-service tool to share information about performances, workshops, festivals, and conferences. We host Taikothon, a Livestream event featuring videos contributed by community members, performances, and interviews with community leaders and emerging artists. Our periodic webinar and educational video series has featured topics ranging from grant writing to taiko costuming.