TAPS is the result of a Southern Arts project begun in 1989 to establish a folk development agency for the Southern region. From initial beginnings as a one-person operation, TAPS now employs four permanent staff and works from two office bases, Basingstoke (Head Office) and Oxford (Education and Training). An independent registered charity since 1992, its projects and performances have taken place in most parts of England and links are established with many others parts of the world including Chile, India, Sweden, France and the Gambia. TAPS has traditionally served a home region from Milton Keynes to the Isle of Wight and from just west of London to just east of Bath.
TAPS books many different artists to deliver its projects. These are mainly musicians, singers and dancers, but also includes storytellers and circus-skills workers among others. All progress their own skills through working with TAPS, exploring new creative directions, discovering new working situations and reaching out to new communities.
TAPS is a prominent member of the Arts Council’s Folk Arts Network and the European Union’s Network for Traditional Music and Dance, as well as being members of the South East Folk Arts Network, Sound Sense and the Southern Counties Folk Federation. The redrawn borders of the Arts Council regions now offer the organisation new opportunities for growth and delivery close to home.