A month of civil unrest urged us, like many in the art community, to reflect on our role in advancing racial equality. The mission of Sonoma County Taiko is “to build a community of acceptance, harmony, and respect through our love of taiko.” We are a cultural performing arts and community building group. We are not an activist group and we have made a conscious decision not to engage in activist statements or activities. However, with the recent and ongoing incidents of excessive force resulting in the deaths of Black Americans, we do feel our mission compels us to speak up in solidarity with the Black community and their right to participate in an accepting, harmonious, and respectful society.

To that end, we will continue to be open, welcoming, and friendly and committed to living our mission. Through our teaching of taiko drumming and performance, we will continue to empower people by helping them overcome their fears, find their voices, and be seen, heard, and valued for who they are, and also to know when to step back and let someone else be seen. We hope our members will teach others to do the same. We feel that it is our shared responsibility to create positive change and help bring about a peaceful society. We strive to become better instruments of equity.

Our mission is about so much more than taiko. We hope that you will join us in embodying our mission through your own actions.