Open Collective
Open Collective
#MIBON2023 and the Taiko Community
Published on September 26, 2022 by Eileen S. Ho

The Great Lakes Taiko Center (GLTC) celebrates the empowering art of Japanese Taiko Drumming through education & performances, to amplify imagination, uplift spirits, and build community for peace and joy in SE Michigan and beyond. In alignment with the Taiko Community Alliance (TCA), a non-profit organization with a mission to "empower the people and advance the art of taiko" in our global arts community, GLTC is seeking funding for our community project #MIBON2023 with a submission in the 2022-23 application cycle to the TCA Grants Program for a Tier 2 (mid-size event/project) award.

In the spirit of this year's TCA Grant Theme: Transparency, it is important for us to share how the #MIBON2023 project reflects our values and vision for how GLTC aims to share the love and joy of Taiko through collective work and play with our local and worldwide communities.

We organize our Taiko performance groups with practices in democratic governance so that every voice is heard, and we plan our Taiko Center projects, including our #MIBON festivals, as an arts organization building towards a solidarity economy that works for people and the planet over profits. [references: and]

We revel in sharing Taiko with our community through MI Bon because the cultural power of this performing art form enables us to not only resist through practices rooted in ancestral wisdom and expressed with contemporary realities, but also allows us to build through creativity and dream through play...being who we are in the kind of world we want to live in. We are acutely aware of how Taiko is rooted in traditional Japanese music but also a growing cultural arts movement in North America and around the world today. The practice and play of MI Bon festivals is our opportunity to remember our ancestors who are part of who we are, honor the native land and people in the places where we are, and celebrate the love of life which is why we are and can be joyous together.

The Great Lakes Taiko Center aims to provide its members and communities equitable access to Taiko activities in its programming. Performance group members who share at #MIBON festivals are all GLTC members who pay a monthly pay-as-you-can membership fee that includes access to a subscription, our program of classes, Taiko Share equipment, and group practice support. Our goal for festival participants is to continue holding the events and related workshops open to the public and free of charge.

Our membership is also encouraged to exchange ideas and express interests and needs with regard to the MI Bon festival and other GLTC activities through our “Taiko Centering” monthly membership meetings.  Our MI Bon Festival project is part of our work and play towards co-liberation through program access & participatory budgeting as we move towards building our financial operations with transparent budgeting here on, a fundraising and legal online platform.

We will convene a new MI Bon planning committee by November 2022 (join our circle to plan #MIBON2023!) and schedule monthly meetings beginning January 2023. The event site and date will be chosen for summer 2023 (June-July-August TBD) by February 2023 at the latest. With our history and development of the MI Bon Summer Festival projects in the past two years, in concert with local partners, we are confident and excited to plan for next year's event.

As we drum, dance and dream together, we are resisting and building towards the world we want to live in...through the empowering art of Taiko!

[Our #MIBON2022 graphic was created by artist Deanne Bednar with GLTC member Ronna Fisher.]

Eileen S. Ho

Posted on March 15, 2023

Follow-up from 10/27/2022 (TCA Grants 2022 Award Decision Letter):

Dear Eileen,
On behalf of TCA, thank you for your dedication  to the taiko community. While we appreciate the work you put into applying to our 2022 Tier 2 Project Grant, unfortunately we cannot offer you an award at this time.  This decision was based on two primary reasons: 1) the finite funds TCA has available to support our taiko practitioners, and 2) the number of qualified submissions we received this year.
...This funding is part of TCA’s continual effort to directly support the taiko community.  This began in 2017 with our first mini-grant cycle and has now extended to our 2022 grant cycle.  We thank you for your engagement and contributions to the taiko community, and invite you to apply again in our future grant cycles.
From all of us at TCA, thank you for participating in this year's grant application process and please accept our best wishes for success in your future taiko endeavors.

Kristina McGaha (she, her, hers)
Executive Director