My Dear Taiko Family,
You have welcomed me this year as TCA’s Program Manager with kind thoughts, messages, and support. We have an amazing community that is unlike any other I have served or worked alongside. As we move forward together through the uncertainty of the year ahead, it is more important than ever to do so with honesty, transparency, and mutual respect while determining and communicating our next steps. In keeping with those principles, this letter serves as our first update to the taiko community regarding the North American Taiko Conference (NATC), which will be held in the summer of 2022, rather than 2021 as originally anticipated.
The committee of volunteers who assembled to design and plan NATC 2021 has worked tirelessly for almost a year now, starting not long after the close of NATC 2019. With the addition of new staff in April 2020, the direction of that work has pivoted as the nation, nay, the world was shaken by the rapid rise of COVID-19. As Program Manager, I began a three-month-long study into the considerations (policies, laws, COVID case number, and focus groups) of hosting NATC 2021. Based on the information that is currently available, it has become clear that offering NATC in 2022 will provide necessary time to further reduce any health and safety risks posed by this pandemic, and it will give the Taiko Community Alliance a full year to develop and engage our community with alternate programming and grant-awarding to help our artists financially recoup from 2020, open spaces to create new art, and empower social change.
I know that this decision may dishearten or deflate those of us out there eager to gather, eager to play, and eager to bond with fellow taiko fam. But, I also know that our community at large understands that TCA, as well as most arts organizations, are navigating uncharted waters and weathering this storm alongside you. For these reasons, the Taiko Community Alliance is committed to the following actions to help us all continue moving forward:
- This NATC site (natc.taikocommunityalliance.org) has been updated and will serve for the time being as a notice board for the most current information on NATC 2022.
- I will personally provide updates the first week of each month as it relates to NATC scheduling, volunteer opportunities, and calls to artists and potential attendees.
- We have created an NATC News mailing list to notify you via email about these updates as they are released. Anyone is welcome to sign up here to receive these emails.
- Questions/concerns/communications regarding NATC 2022 can be emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be answered as quickly as possible.
Take care and ganbatte,