Dear TAP-NY Family,
Happy New Year!
As we enter 2020, we want to first thank you for your support and engagement over the last decade. In 2010, we officially became a chapter of our parent organization, Taiwanese American Citizens League (TACL), and hosted our first TAPpy Hour and Olympics. With your help, we have grown tremendously to become one of the largest Asian-interest community groups in the greater NYC area, with over 6,500 members and 100 plus events a year.
While at first glance TAP-NY may appear as strictly an event planning organization, we believe we are so much more than that – we are a far-reaching platform for people to share their talents (e.g., dance roulette series) and for organizations to promote their missions that not only serve Taiwanese Americans but also the broader Asian American community (e.g., #GoldOpen), a safe space to meet other individuals who may share a mutual interest or be open to trying something new (e.g., climbing open gyms), a dynamic school to learn about Taiwanese culture (e.g., making tang yuan) or new skills (e.g., investing), and most importantly, a cozy home base for our members to return to and find community in. We have seen firsthand the strong relationships born out of TAP events, from startup co-founders to spouses and families to roommates and travel partners, and it is a true privilege to be able to play a small role in creating these “TAP stories.”
2020 marks a new decade for us and the 35th year for TACL. So what can you look forward to this year?
Here are a few areas that we are excited about, as bucketed by our core values:
1) Community building: In 2018, our board had lengthy discussions around what drew us to TAP as we were updating our mission and values, and community building consistently came up as the main driver for joining and serving on board. Furthermore, over the last few weeks, we have read multiple reflections and initiatives written by friends regarding ways to build a sustainable community. This helped reinforce the importance of community building while also shedding light on its challenges. Community building becomes especially difficult in a large and transient city like NYC. A constant challenge that we face as we continue to grow is how to maintain the inclusive “small group feel” despite having a large, broader community. Nevertheless, we are excited to continue innovating and finding ways to tackle this and to see more “TAP stories” come out of our community. Bringing people together to develop lifelong friendships and successful partnerships is one of the greatest privileges we have serving on board.
2) Friendliness and openness: This goes hand in hand with community building, but speaks more so to our approach. We aim to be the friendly faces that welcome you to each event and to see our members as friends and family instead of just attendees. With open hearts and open minds, our board seeks to learn from different perspectives and try new experiences and in turn hopefully inspire our members to do the same. We always say our events are open to all regardless of background and we mean it (despite what our name may suggest otherwise). Our events run the gamut from volunteering at a clothing swap to hip hop dancing to networking with other creatives, and we are excited to meet more people from all walks of life and to see what new events our board will cook up this year (perhaps we will learn yet another form of dancing!).
3) Cultural and social relevance: Sharing the Taiwanese culture and supporting the Taiwanese American identity are at the base of our founding, and we strive to tie Taiwanese elements to our programming, be it explicitly centering an event around a cultural theme like a holiday or simply showcasing the many talents of our community. While culture may be steeped in history, it also evolves along with our identity, and we want to embrace this dynamic nature and stay relevant. Moreover, 2020 is a pivotal year with the upcoming Census and U.S. elections, both of which play an important role in shaping our community. Although TAP-NY does not take political stances, we encourage our members to be politically engaged to ensure that our community has appropriate representation. We have been supporting TACL’s Census campaign, which you can learn more about here. There is uncertainty in what the future holds, but we are excited and hopeful that our programming inspires you to be civically active, to gain a greater appreciation for Taiwanese culture, and to develop both personally and professionally.
There is a lot to be excited about, and we have a feeling that 2020 is going to be an amazing one 🙂 We are fortunate to work alongside an amazing board, who tirelessly volunteer their time and effort to further our mission. We welcome five new board members this year and invite you to read more about them here.
We want to hear from you too and what you are excited about – feel free to drop us a line or come say hi at an event. We would love to ring in the new year with you at our upcoming Lunar New Year Banquet – let’s get RATchet together and toast to an awesome 2020!
Julie, Jordan, and Sarah
President and Vice Presidents (PVP)