Powerful Women Artists – Powerful Women Drummers

"Finding Her Beat" Poster

A powerful coalition of groups dedicated to advancing women in the arts will host a free screening of Finding Her Beat, an exciting new documentary about women breaking into the male-dominated world of Taiko drumming.

The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition in collaboration with SAG-AFTRA, HerflixWomenArts, NY Women in Film and Television, and the School of Visual Arts Film and Animation Department will present the film as part of this year’s celebration of Women Arts Day in New York City on Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. at the SVA Theatre, 333 East 23rd Street, New York, NY. 

The event will also include the short film, Gone Before Your Eyes, as well as a talkback with the directors and producers of both films led by Terry Lawler, and a networking reception.  The event is free but reservations are highly recommended.

The Women in the Arts and Media Coalition is a remarkable non-profit that facilitates collaborations among the unions and non-profit organizations that serve women in the arts and media. They  provide advocacy, information, networking, and mentoring services and represent over 80,000 women and men working in the industry through their member organizations.  Women Arts Day is one of their annual in-person events designed to provide inspiration and networking opportunities.


Tiffany Tamaribuchi

For thousands of years, women were locked out of Taiko drumming, and the field is still dominated by men. But in recent years, a few professional women drummers have managed to build careers in Japan and North America. Finding Her Beat is the story of two women in the U.S., Jennifer Weir, Executive Director of TaikoArts Midwest in St. Paul, MN, and Tiffany Tamaribuchi, a Japanese-American Taiko drummer from Sacramento, CA, who decide to produce a show that will gather some of the best female Taiko drummers in the world for the first time ever.

They are able to persuade female Taiko rock stars from Japan, Canada, and the U.S. to come to Minnesota in the winter-time to create a show together. The film mixes drumming sequences and interviews with the performers and producers. During an intense 16-day rehearsal process, everyone involved learns to navigate their differences in culture, age, language, and performing styles, and they create an electrifying, historic event together.  

It is exhilarating to watch these women drumming.  They are vigorous and loud – the opposite of the meek stereotype of Asian women – and there is something primal about their drumbeats. When the performers talk about the forces that have motivated them in spite of the obstacles, most mention some kind of spiritual connection – some say that their lives become sound when they are drumming or that they feel more connected to their heritage. Others talk about the freedom they feel in their bodies from the sweat and sheer power of their movements.

Trailer for “Finding Her Beat” (2 minutes)

If you can’t make it to the New York screening, the two-hour film is also available for streaming.  You can stream it for free on Tubi (with commercial breaks) or you can rent it for a small fee with no commercials on other popular streaming services. 

Image from "Gone Before Your Eyes"
Jane Ives in “Gone Before Your Eyes

Gone Before Your Eyes is a short film that follows Angela, an artist with Alzheimer’s disease, as she attempts to paint. Trapped in a surreal loop, Angela (played by Jane Ives) struggles to do what was once natural for her.  

Gone Before Your Eyes was written, directed, and produced by Cara Yeates, a Canadian/American filmmaker based in New York. Gone Before Your Eyes was named “Best Narrative Short” at the film festival in Buffalo, New York.  It is not yet available on streaming services, but you can watch a 48-second clip on Vimeo

Women in the Arts & Media Coalition Logo

The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition has been a colleague and friend to WomenArts for over a decade.  In 2013 they generously offered to take over our funding newsletters for theatre and film/video artists and the funding resources section of our website, and they have made many improvements and updates over the years.

The Coalition’s free monthly newsletters, now known as #StageOpps and #ScreenOpps, include submission deadlines for theatre and film festivals and notices of auditions and arts jobs, in addition to upcoming grant application deadlines. You can view these free newsletters online or sign up to receive them as emails.  

Also, the extremely helpful Resources section of the Coalition’s website includes recently updated lists of funders for theatre, film/video, visual, and literary artists, women’s theatre companies and festivals, studies on gender parity in the arts, support organizations, and resources for special populations. They have included a list of resources sorted by category.  If you scroll down towards the bottom of their home page, you will find a special Women’s History Month List with links to help you learn about women artists in all disciplines.

The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition also sponsors various events and presentations that are designed to introduce members of their member organizations to each other and to encourage information sharing, mentoring, and networking across disciplines.

Organizational Memberships: You can see the list of their current organizational members. If you would like to find out if your organization is eligible for membership, please contact the Coalition

Individual Memberships: They have also started a new program for individual members.  Find out how to join as an individual.