This year, 2020, will forever be marked by its various challenges – on both a global scale and on a very personal front. Each of us has been confronted by and made to bear the burdens of a national reckoning, a global pandemic, a struggling economy, and the test of our own demons.
By comparison, the problems facing a small arts entity in the DC area are minuscule. I feel fortunate for that. I also feel a deep sense of gratitude for the communities I am surrounded by: my wife, of course, and my family and friends, but also the global taiko community, the community of local artists, and most immediately, my Mark H Taiko community. I appreciate the members of Miyako Taiko for continuing to value the connections we build together (even from a distance), the students and audiences for their continued support and generosity, and my fellow taiko artists for helping to weather this long, cold night together.
Truth be told, a low point for me this year was having to cancel CONNECT 2020, which had been scheduled for this past summer. It was going to be a high point of my year … and it just couldn’t happen. But it was so uplifting that a large majority of the folx who were registered opted to keep their spots in the event as we look forward to presenting it NEXT summer (and YES, we are optimistically – and with a LOT of consideration for safety and comfort – still hoping to CONNECT in 2021!). Our amazing slate of workshop leaders have ALL agreed to stay on, and we have been re-imagining how to hold this event in our current climate without compromising its mission or quality.
I know that there are many great causes to consider at this time – indeed, for many of us now, the cause is just to stay afloat. I would encourage those of you who can do so to continue to support those in need – those who lost jobs due to the pandemic; those whose businesses took a hit or had to close; restaurants, artists, and entertainers; and of course those on the front lines including the heroic medical staff fighting daily to keep us all healthy and safe.
And if you are able to support the optimism, the hope, and the future for CONNECT and other future taiko events as we make our way to a “New Normal” – one where we don’t take anything for granted and we can be thankful for something as simple as sharing taiko with friends both old and new – please do consider making a contribution to Mark H Taiko.
As a gift for your support, and also as a reminder that optimism is a powerful force, for your donation of $35, I’d like to send you a LIMITED EDITION CONNECT 2020 t-shirt. This token of my sincere gratitude will be sent out to supporters in early 2021 – so if you’d like to receive one, please be sure to click the button below before February 1st!
Wishing everyone happy (and SAFE) holidays and a happy & hopeful new year!
— Mark H