Past Grant Awards

TCA Grants Program

Since 2016, TCA has dedicated increasing amounts of funds to the Grant Program, culminating  in $20,000 to fund grants that support projects in 2021-2023

Building on our Emergency Relief efforts in 2020, we are thrilled to have been able to reactivate the full scope of TCA’s Grants Program , expanding its scope and capacity to support the taiko community at large. Thanks to community support, we were able to allocate and distribute $4,000 in relief funding to taiko community artists, $4,000 in support of mid-sized projects, and $12,000 in support of large-scale projects.

Learn more about the TCA Grant Program including guidelines, eligibility requirement, selection criteria and, and past recipients by visiting our Grant Program page.

These awards would not be possible without the generous support of our community. If you would like to contribute to TCA and support future cycles of TCA Grants, consider donating.

2023 Grant Awards 

Our Project Selection Process and Theme for 2023

TCA has been progressively allocating more funds to the Grant Program since 2016, with this year's contribution amounting to $25,000. These funds will be used to support projects during the 2023-2024 period.

At TCA, we prioritized projects that align with our core values and guiding principles. For the upcoming year of 2023, the selected theme was Respect, which is defined in our Core Values as: Acknowledging the diversity of philosophies and practices of individuals and groups within the taiko community while maintaining neutrality.  Examples include using democratic processes wherever feasible; and engaging in mutually considerate and respectful conduct.

Tier 1 (Large Projects) Grant Recipients

Ahiru Daiko

Event: Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational (ITI 2024) - Support for ITI in Spring of 2024

Brown/RISD Gendo Taiko

Event: East Coast Taiko Conference (ECTC 2024) - Funds to support host ECTC in Spring 2024

Oakland Taiko (formerly known as Emeryville Taiko)

Project: Restoring drum inventory -  Material costs required to restore their drum inventory. Currently, they have no Josuke/chuudaiko, which severely limits their ability to practice and teach. They are using makeshift and loaned drums.

Youth Taiko Gathering (YTG)

Project: Restore Youth Taiko Gathering  - The goals of the Youth Taiko Gathering are to bring LA youth taiko ensembles together, to learn from each other’s teachers and from prominent taiko community contributors, to collaborate on new compositions, and perform these ideas on stage.

Tier 2 (Mid-Size) Grant Recipients

Great Lakes Taiko Center

Project:  Taiko Centering Community Partnerships - Build upon an existing diverse network of community partners to offer free public taiko performances and workshops 

Hinode Taiko Inc

Project: Making Taiko Accessible: Deaf-friendly Initiatives - Explore and implement different ways for increase accessibility and inclusion of taiko to the deaf or hard of hearing community.

PJ and Roy Hirabayashi: The Race for Free Spirit: A 50-year Uprising

Project: The project captures the blood, sweat, tears, and resilience of 50 years of Taiko based on their core values of equity, visibility, social justice, community empowerment, ancestors, and creative expression. To document PJ and Roy's role in shaping North American taiko, these values will be woven-in dialogue, video/photo collages, and PJ and Roy's original compositions (music/dance/song) with a 5-6 member taiko ensemble. 

2022 Grant Awards 

Congratulations to our 2022 TCA Grants recipients! 

Tier 1 (Large Projects) Grant Recipients

SkyFire Taiko 

Project: From Body to Taiko and the Taiko Road trip Challenge

Funds were used for international travel (flights from Europe to Canada and travel insurance). With the exchange between US funds and Canadian funds, we had some extra funds left over. We used the funds to give the Loco Ladies a real northern experience - to drive their own kicksleds pulled by huskies on Great Slave Lake. 

Taiko Arts Center

An extension of the livestreamed "Ame, Tears of the Earth" concert in 2021, this project will support the production of "Ame II" the first major in-person concert for TAC since 2015. 

TaikoArts Midwest

Spring workshop tour stretching from from California to the Midwest that features the artists of Mujo Dream Flight, an all trans/non-binary trio.

Tier 2 (Mid-Size) Grant Recipients


Project: enTaiko and CymaSpace presents Taiko and Light

The culmination of this project will be an en Taiko concert, “Taiko and Light”, where we share the work with all people, hearing and DHH, to not only hear but to see Taiko. We believe that Taiko is about creating community through the shared participation in a musical experience, an event that should not be reserved just for people who can hear. The generous grant from TCA enabled us to secure a wonderful venue for our production. One that will be immersive enough for the DHH community to experience not only light, but also the vibrations of taiko.

Hinode Taiko 

Project: 40th Anniversary Concert Video

To celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2022, Hinode Taiko hired a professional videographer to produce a quality video recording of our anniversary concert, held in November in Winnipeg.

Given the importance of Hinode Taiko’s origins within the history of the Japanese Canadian community in Manitoba, the video also includes interviews with key people. As Hinode Taiko strives to be a Deaf-friendly organization, it also includes interviews with our Deaf members. In addition to the full concert video, we produced a 20-minute “highlights” reel, and a three-minute “sizzler” or promotional video.

The video provides an archival record of a significant piece of the music and cultural history of Western Canada. As such, it contributes to the Japanese Canadian community well-being and promotes awareness of this important part of history. It also benefits the broader community, as it is important to learn about cultures other than our own. With COVID there has been a distressing increase in anti-Asian harassment. Hinode Taiko’s 40-year history was an occasion for celebration, and our concert and video recordings send a positive message of unity and hope, and promote broader cultural understanding.


ON 20 celebrates the ensembles 20 years of taiko creativity featuring a video recording that will capture for the first time this quintet of artists performing together. 

2021 Grant Awards

Congratulations to our 2021 TCA Grants recipients! 

Tier 2 (Mid-Size) Grant Recipients

Taikoza – NYC Parks Concert Series

Taikoza will be presenting a series of free hour-long concerts in New York City parks, bringing multicultural and high-standard music to new audiences in different parts of the city. An annual program, the NYC Parks Concert Series has for years been a key opportunity to educate people about Taiko and Japanese music, especially within communities who otherwise may not have exposure to taiko, nor access to concerts in general. With a belief that this outdoors and socially-distanced environment can allow music to bring people together, Taikoza hopes to ease the emotional strain of the pandemic on all levels. It will also serve as an opportunity for Taikoza students and members to perform together utilizing taiko, fue, shakuhachi, and dance.

Raging Asian Womxn Taiko Drummers – New Studio Launch

In summer 2021, Raging Asian Womxn Taiko Drummers (RAW) is launching a new studio that will permanently host RAW rehearsals and public taiko presentations and programming, including programming exclusively for racialized and LGBTQIA+ participants. This space will also function as Toronto Taiko Festival head office-space and programming centre, as well as offer affordable sliding scale multi-use studio space for rent by musicians and movement artists with priority given to QTBIPOC (queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, people of colour) artists and performers within the Toronto taiko community and beyond.

In the wake of studio closures and lost performance opportunities, through the purchase of equipment and the redesign of the studio space, RAW is not only recovering – they are investing in a resilient future for racialized and queer taiko artists and other marginalized artistic practices in Toronto.

This project grew out of RAW’s desire and intention to survive the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on artists and arts collectives by turning the challenges of COVID-19 into opportunities for growth. With the recognition that sustaining their organization through these challenges would require new and different forms of rehearsal, presentation and programming for their members and communities, they intend to mobilize technology to better serve their mission.

Tier 3 (Large-Scale) Grant Recipients

Odaiko Sonora – 20th Anniversary Celebrations

Odaiko Sonora celebrates its 20th Anniversary in May 2022. For the occasion, they are planning an entire year of activities. These will serve residents and schools in Southern Arizona, the larger Arizona taiko community, and engage members of the national and international taiko communities.

These 20th Anniversary activities – approximately monthly and ranging from recitals, a full-length theatrical concert, expanded elementary school outreach, collaborations with local performers, and master workshops with visiting guest taiko artists – are designed to increase the awareness and understanding of the art form, provide excellent programming, support taiko practitioners, and showcase 20 years of Odaiko Sonora’s accomplishments and organizational strength.

One piece in particular that will directly serve the greater taiko community is a workshop intensive titled, “Programs that Pay” (PTP). This hybrid in-person taiko intensive/online webinar will detail how to create and conduct taiko programs that can financially sustain a community-based taiko group, from profitable concerts to school residencies to cost-covering taiko workshops. In short, how to get the money it takes to keep a taiko group afloat. PTP will also address group dynamics and structure and their role in promoting longterm organizational health.

Grand Vision Foundation – Rhythmic Flow Taiko Online Platform

Rhythmic Flow Taiko (RFT) is a weekly zoom-taiko class, initially designed with therapeutic goals for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). The class focuses on an integration of rhythmic exercises, large movements, breathing exercises, vocalizations, and cognitive challenges. Rhythmic Flow Taiko is open and accessible to anyone. The class was founded in May 2020 by Sydney Shiroyama (occupational therapist), Vivian Lee (physical therapist), and Yeeman “ManMan” Mui (taiko artist). After leading several successful pilot classes, three more taiko artists (Kiana Shibata, Kraig Kenta Saito, and Galen Rogers) were included to help develop the class. Transferring the highly-physical, rhythmic, and inter-personal experience of taiko onto Zoom has been challenging, but the online platform has proven to be effective and accessible as students and teachers from all over California are able to simulate a taiko experience without leaving their homes.

The RFT team has built a steadily growing framework of knowledge that enables them to create classes for individuals with mobility, cognitive, and mental health challenges. These barriers are previously assumed to be incompatible with taiko, so opportunities to play taiko are limited. They have been approached by other instructors in the international taiko community who are interested in the RFT model in order to promote accessibility in their own communities. With support from the TCA Grant, they plan to build a website to foster an online platform to share their discoveries and knowledge and to provide a framework for inclusive taiko that benefits students and teachers in the taiko community, PD community, and beyond. Visitors to the website will get a glimpse of the structure of RFT classes, access a database of taiko activities and videos, and start conversations with RFT teachers/participants.

This online platform will be established on the foundation of multi-disciplinary collaboration with the aim of expanding the practice of taiko. Rhythmic Flow Taiko has synthesized practices from physical therapy, occupational therapy, music education, and various taiko backgrounds to develop a class suited to the needs of those with PD. Our online platform will allow individuals to contribute their unique wisdom to this body of work.

Leadership as a Sustainable Practice: A Practitioner’s Forum Fellowship

2020 was a year overflowing with anxiety due to an unprecedented number of challenges. Dojos were instantly shut down, working artists lost their livelihoods, COVID took the lives of loved ones, and the demand for racial reckoning commanded the re-examination of current leadership practices, recognizing the need for creative, flexible, adaptive, and responsive leadership.

Leadership development and building a diverse taiko ecosystem have emerged as priority themes in the taiko community, amplified by current events. This long-term fellowship provides an opportunity to address both priorities through online gatherings, a hybrid in-person immersive training (TBD), cohort development, and the identification, facilitation, and reflection of the current leadership challenge.

Developed and facilitated by seasoned taiko leaders Karen Young and Michelle Fujii, with invited guest speakers (TBD) this Fellowship is focused on 1) emerging leaders (either young or new to taiko), 2) working artists who are re-assessing their livelihoods, and 3) experienced taiko practitioners who are sometimes ‘unseen’ leaders, quietly working in the background.

Fellowship goals include:

The Practitioner’s Forum Fellowship will convene up to 20 participants over a 9-month period, selected through an open application process.

Major activities will include:

Euro Taiko Expo 2021

The aim of this project is to provide a platform for taiko players from across Europe to showcase the way they utilise the artform (both to fellow players and the general public), and to create the space for professional and amateur taiko artists to connect, share, and learn from each other.

The goal of this is to build and strengthen the network of taiko players in Europe, offering the possibility for creative expression to develop in a uniquely European direction, as well as to develop the utilisation of taiko in non-performance contexts (e.g. institutional, educational, and therapeutic settings).

This is significant as, outside of a handful of higher-level groups, many of the groups in Europe are small, isolated, underdeveloped, and unaware of the potential applications of taiko in a non-performance setting. There has been movement since 2016 towards a better understanding of the roots and future of the artform, with events focused on bringing prominent leaders together; however, until now there has not been an event that includes the whole community (players, teachers, enthusiasts, drum makers and sellers, from beginners to professionals alike).

The main benefit of this project will be the result of connecting artists from different countries, cultures, and approaches: Inspiring creativity and development of the artform, as well as inspiring new and creative ways to utilise taiko to benefit society.

Major Activities:

The project is organised and hosted by TAIKO BASTARDS (TB), in cooperation with a Core Team from around Europe.

雨 Ame, Tears of the Earth

On May 22, 2021, Taiko Arts Center (TAC) presented a virtual live-stream concert entitled “Ame, Tears of the Earth” at the historic Hawaii Theatre in downtown Honolulu. Featured artists included: taiko artist Kenny Endo, Taiko Center of the Pacific Performing Ensemble, Taiko Center of the Pacific Youth Group, and special guests: Abe Lagrimas Jr (Los Angeles; vibes, drumset, ukulele), Todd Yukumoto (Honolulu; saxophone, flute), Peter Espiritu (Tau Dance Theatre, Honolulu; Hawaiian hula and contemporary dance), and Nawa Lanzilotti (Honolulu; cello/vocalist).

“Ame, Tears of the Earth” is a concept and composition originally composed by Kenny Endo in response to 9/11 and dedicated to the victims of aggression so prevalent in the world. “Ame” literally means “rain” in Japanese. He expanded the meaning to “tears of the earth.” This concert was TAC’s effort to speak out against aggression and violence aimed at people of color or diverse backgrounds, with a hope to counter negativity with love and creativity through musical performance.

Just as rain is cleansing and healing, the performing arts have the potential to heal, educate, inspire, transform, and change society. Music and the arts can be utilized to help create a better world and uplift our spirit.

The original live-streamed concert is still available for on-demand viewing. Access tickets may be purchased by visiting the Hawaii Theatre Center.

2020 Emergency Relief Fund

The TCA Emergency Relief Fund was created to provide emergency financial support for taiko professionals. It has become evident that the impact of the pandemic will last much longer than originally predicted and the need for these funds persists. To that end, TCA re-opened our ERF initiative to provide a second round of funding to those in need.

We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of community support in the form of generous donations to our emergency fund efforts. In the first round of funding, TCA was able to award a dozen taiko professionals across the U.S. with emergency funds. Your generosity enabled the Emergency Relief Fund program to reopen for a second round of awards in our effort to reach as many taiko professionals in need as possible. 

Round One awards ranged between $500 and $1000; award amounts for Round Two may vary depending upon the number of applicants, need, and funding available. 

2019 Grant Awards

With an on-going commitment to empower people to pursue and advance taiko, TCA rolled out its most generous mini-grant program to date. Over $10,000 is being awarded to six projects that reflect the inspiring diversity of geography, group philosophy, and membership of North American taiko. From honoring group history in Eugene and New York City, to making taiko history in St. Paul, gathering on the West Coast and gathering on the East Coast, the projects are unified by their desire to share taiko not only with audiences but also with each other. As you explore this constellation of projects, take note: starting this February and extending to February 2020, six notable events will be rolled out. If you’re fortunate enough to be nearby, mark your calendar and celebrate with this year’s mini-grant winners!

Eugene Taiko

Eugene Taiko was founded in 1989 as a program of the Japanese American Association (JAA) in Lane County to support the annual Obon and Taiko Festival. Since then, they have been ambassadors for taiko and Japanese culture throughout their community. With their TCA mini-grant they will pursue the production of a 7-10 minute documentary to celebrate the group’s 30th Anniversary in 2019.  The video will combine interviews and images to capture the Eugene Taiko story, from their beginnings to now, and will premiere at their 30th Anniversary Concert, slated for the fall of 2019.

Harisen Daiko

A relative newcomer to North American taiko, Harisen Daiko proclaims that they “bring you Minnesota’s geekiest Taiko.” The TCA mini-grant will help them test that claim as they reach out and bring together 5 of the major Minnesota taiko groups in a first-ever gathering. On March 19, 2019, Harisen Daiko, Kogen Taiko from the Twin Cities Buddhist Association, St. Olaf Taiko of St. Olaf College, Ensō Daiko from Taiko Arts Midwest, and Taikollaborative, based in St. Paul, will showcase a variety of styles and influences. By hosting this event the group hopes to “encourage future collaboration and mutual support” in their taiko community, and to help “create a visible and inclusive landscape for taiko in Minnesota.”

Soh Daiko

In 1979, Soh Daiko in New York City, became the first taiko group on the East Coast. This summer they will celebrate their 40th anniversary with a concert to spotlight their signature repertoire and honor the historic community activism of their early members, who countered “the notion of a ‘quiet and subservient’ Asian American with loud, proud drumming.” With the help of a TCA mini-grant, their celebration will include multimedia materials from their archives to capture a rich chapter of taiko’s development on the East Coast and underscore Soh Daiko’s milestone event.

Stanford Taiko

Inspired by a conversation with Russel Baba, early members of Stanford Taiko founded the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational (ITI) in 1995. Since then, the annual event has been hosted at their respective campuses by UCI Jodaiko, UCLA Kyodo, UCLA Yukai, UCSD Asayake, CSUN Jishin, UCD Bakuhatsu, UCR Senryu, and attended by groups as far east as St. Louis Osuwa Daiko and as far north as University of Washington Taiko Kai. As host of the 25th ITI, Stanford Taiko will apply their TCA mini-grant to honor and celebrate the pioneers, supporters, and collegiate players who, on May 24-26, 2019, will mark a quarter century of gatherings.

Taiko Arts Midwest

Founded in 2016, Taiko Arts Midwest is the home of Ensō Daiko (formerly Mu Daiko) and Ensemble-Ma. Their TCA mini-grant will be used to support the production of HERbeat, a 2-week artist residency of leading women taiko artists from North America and Japan that will culminate in a collaborative concert at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts on Feb 29, 2020. Though this first-of-its-kind project event will be based in St. Paul Minnesota, Taiko Arts Midwest hopes to gain further traction for the project by engaging local award winning director, Dawn Mikkelson, to create a full-length documentary film about women in taiko.

Yamatai: Cornell Taiko

The East Coast Taiko Conference (ECTC), launched in 2011 at Cornell University will return to its roots in Ithaca, New York, February 22-24, 2019. Since its start, ECTC has been hosted by collegiate groups and generously welcomed both collegiate and community taiko players to their campuses. This year, a TCA mini-grant will help this year’s host, Yamatai, underscore their conference theme, “Growing Stronger”. Recognizing the geographic space between individual East Coast groups and their collective distance from taiko resources in the West Coast and Japan, the grant will help strengthen the slate of teachers and artists that Yamatai can share with the East Coast taiko community.

2018 Grant Awards

TCA is proud to announce the mini grant projects that will be receiving funding in 2018.  2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of taiko in North America, and TCA has dedicated a total of $5,000 to the mini-grant program in honor of this milestone. Project proposals were evaluated on the following criteria:






2017 Grant Awards

The Taiko Community Alliance (TCA) is pleased to announce the three organizations that will each receive $500 mini grants for upcoming projects described below.

This is the first year that TCA has awarded these grants. We received great response to our call for applications and we look forward to continuing this program in future years.

UCLA KYODO TAIKO (2017 Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational)

Kyodo Taiko and Yukai Daiko will be hosting the 2017 Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational at UCLA. This annual event brings together collegiate taiko players from across the West Coast to not only connect the intercollegiate taiko community but to also create meaningful relationships between collegiate players and the general North American taiko community. This event is an opportunity for collegiate groups to be exposed to taiko beyond their own ensembles and for taiko masters to pass down skills and art forms that define North American Taiko.  Learn more about UCLA Kyodo Taiko

PORTLAND TAIKO (Isshoni: Taiko in Portland)

“Isshoni: Taiko in Portland” is a performance initiative consisting of collaborations, a newly-commissioned work, and a final concert featuring four taiko groups based in Portland, Oregon: Portland Taiko, Takohachi, en Taiko, and Unit Souzou. This project is designed to encourage cooperation between the different groups and strengthen the community of taiko performers in Portland.  The final concert is scheduled for Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Portland Community College’s Sylvania Campus. Learn more about Portland Taiko

TAIKOARTS MIDWEST (Taiko Jam! Launch Party)

TaikoArts Midwest (TAM) is applying for funds to host a benefit concert on April 30, 2017. This will be our first public event and fundraiser. Our mission will be to develop, produce, and promote artistic excellence in taiko performance and to use taiko as a way to strengthen and build communities in the Midwest. Learn more about TAM

Many thanks to TCA Board Member Rome Hamner for her work in chairing and facilitating this project.