2021 LCGP Grantee Kinnara Taiko's 50th Anniversary Concert at Senshin Buddhist Temple. Photo by Kim Nakashima.
Announcing ACTA's 2021
Living Cultures Grant Recipients
Now entering its 16th year, ACTA's Living Cultures Grant Program awarded $271,000 to 55 organizations across the state of California to support folk and traditional arts.

Since 2005, the Living Cultures grants have supported over 750 community-based projects, with $4 million in funding across 50 counties in California. This year’s cohort represents a diverse array of cultural communities and their respective artistic forms of knowledge. We’re proud to promote them all, from the tradition of Somali women’s poetry known as gabay in San Diego, to the documentation of Northern California-based Lucumí/Santeria elders to include arts, language, and music practices. Click below to read all about the grantee organizations and their cultural practices!
Image: Journey to Topaz, linoblock print by Patricia Wakida printed on kozo paper the artist handmade in Japan, 2021 | wasabipress.com
ACTA stands in Solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities
We grieve the loss of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, who were murdered in Atlanta on March 16. To the families and communities of Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, and Yong Ae Yue, we send our love.

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts stands in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the everyday fight against the violence of white supremacy, xenophobia, and misogyny, as we witness a surge in targeted violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities across the country. This kind of destruction is rooted in the dehumanizing function of white supremacy, male supremacy, and colonialism—an American legacy which is not new to our Asian and Pacific Islander friends and family who have endured extraordinary marginalization through U.S. policies like the Chinese Exclusion Act, the incarceration of Japanese Americans, and today, the hyper-normalization of racist and xenophobic comments and aggression toward Asian American communities during the pandemic. These spiritual and moral failures of America also present a critical opportunity in how we remember—and how we make the present and the future—together.

ACTA’s vision is for a culturally and racially equitable California and beyond. We aim to support a future for California in which the unique value of every culture is respected, sustained, and appreciated. We also know that one of the most critical ways to unlearn or heal from centuries of racial discrimination and oppression is through affirming, passing on, and practicing the rich cultural fabric of California’s Asian and Pacific Islander communities, now. These traditional arts and expressions are reflective of a community’s shared standards of beauty, values, experiences, and collective wisdom.

We've been diving into the ACTA archive, sharing highlights that celebrate and affirm the creative contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander artists and cultural practitioners from across California. We believe that it is through these collective traditions that, together, we can mobilize and become catalysts for the transformative and restorative value of arts in healing a hurt society, and in building justice. We express our immense gratitude to the many artists already leading the way in this work.
Spotlight: DaEun Jung
Korean Sogo Dance

DaEun Jung is a dancer-choreographer who connects different times and spaces through her dance-making and movement practice. DaEun has redefined the principle, form, structure, and function of Korean classical/folk dance in inter/multi-cultural settings through her amazing artistic expression in movement.
You can check out DaEun’s interactive Sogo dance performance, part of ACTA's digital Shelter Together series, here.
Spotlight: Kim Kalanduyan and Bernard Barros Ellorin
Philippine Kulintang Music
We'd like to share this interconnected story of two kulintang musicians who participated in ACTA’s 2019 Apprenticeship Program: mentor artist Bernard Ellorin and apprentice Kim Kalanduyan, neighbors in Paradise Hills, San Diego.
Bernard was a longtime disciple of Kim’s grandfather, Danny Kalanduyan, a grandmaster of Kulintang. After Danny's death in 2016, Kim came to Bernard to learn her grandfather’s musical legacy. Kim identifies as ethnically Maguindanaon, a specific cultural group from the Southern Philippines, while Bernard identifies as a Filipino American with ancestors from the Ilocos region of the Northern Philippines. Together, they embarked on a journey of discovery to expand Kim’s grandfather’s artistic lineage, reconnect with family, and cultivate deep relationships with the traditional music communities of the Philippines through Kulintang. You can read more about their story, “A Journey Home: Kulintang Music from San Diego to Mindanao” along with photos and videos of them practicing Kulintang with fellow cultural practitioners.
PPP Deadline Extended to May 31, 2021!

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a forgivable loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll.

The United States Senate voted overwhelmingly 92-to-7 to extend the PP application deadline to May 31, 2021. The Americans for the Arts Action Fund compiled some useful information to help you decide if the PPP loan is the right fit for your organization:

What impact does the PPP extension mean for you?

  • For self-employed Schedule C individuals, who struggled to find lenders that offered recently updated application forms featuring the more generous “gross revenue” line 7 of Schedule C application forms for either first draw or second draw, lenders will now have time to update systems so you can apply with the correct forms to ensure you receive a larger forgivable loan.

  • For non-schedule C organizations, who have been waiting for your lender to update their PPP first draw and second draw applications with the recently updated certification clause on SVOGs, lenders will now have time to update systems so you can apply with the correct forms.

  • For those of you who receive your first draw PPP in the first quarter of 2021, you now have more time to properly complete spending down your first draw in as few as 8 weeks and then apply for a second draw PPP before May 31st.

DEADLINE: May 31, 2021
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

This grant provides emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by COVID-19. The portal for this grant is expected to open by the end of the week.

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

The SVOG portal shut down earlier this month due to technical difficulties. The SBA has said they plan to open the portal again by the end of this month. They will post updates on their Twitter feed. The grant awards will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis within different areas of priority.

Eligible entities include:
  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements
Other requirements of note:
  • Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
  • Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount

Grant amount
Grant amounts will reflect either of the following instances:
  • For an eligible entity in operation on January 1, 2019, grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue OR $10 million, whichever is less.
  • For an eligible entity that began operation after January 1, 2019, grants will be for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by six (6) OR $10 million, whichever is less.
"In Search of My Nayika"
Performance by 2020 ACTA Apprentice Kaavya Venkataramanan
After the COVID-19 pandemic limited our ability to attend live concerts, Bay Area-based dancer and architect Kaavya Venkataramanan created a stunning virtual performance culminating her 2020 ACTA Apprenticeship with Vidhya Subramanian, mentor artist in South Indian Bharatanatyam dance. In this full-length performance, Kaavya explores the Ashtanayika Bhava, or the eight emotional states of the feminine as outlined in the Natyashastra, a Sanskrit treatise on the performing arts. In Kaavya's own words:

"Who is a Nayika?
Is the Nayika genderless?
Is there a Nayika within me?
What are her struggles?
Has she even struggled?
Where did she come from?
Did she come from the BLOOD I gave birth to; or the BLOOD that gave birth to me?

In trying to portray her onstage, the Nayika lingered beyond. Her relevance in today's world was astonishing and brought about these questions. I dance today in search for the answers."

Fond Farewell to Amy Lawrence, ACTA Director of Administration

With a heart full of gratitude, ACTA says farewell to our longtime Director of Administration Amy Lawrence. Amy has been with ACTA for eleven years, and has been critical to strengthening the very foundations of our organization. From grant writing to operations, Amy has done it all in her long career at ACTA. She has touched all of us with her special care and responsibility to make ACTA a productive, joyous, healthy and effective place to work. Amy leaves a great legacy in the solid and expansive administrative infrastructure she leaves behind. We wish her every happiness and success in her new position managing foundation grant funding at Fresno Pacific University, a job that marries Amy's background in education with her experience in nonprofit development.

"In the past 11 years I have learned an incredible amount...I have grown into a professional, nonprofit administrator at ACTA! ACTA is like family and I will forever remain a friend, supporter, and champion of ACTA."
Want to learn how you can support the work of ACTA?
The Alliance for California Traditional Arts is the California Arts Council's official partner in serving the state's folk and traditional arts field.