Master Guinean Drummer Bongo Sidibe plays djembe as master Guinean dancer Alhassane DaCamara dances. Photo: Crystal Birns/Duniya Drum and Dance Company.
Announcing 2021- 2022 Sankofa Awardees

ACTA made 17 awards through our Sankofa Fund for Cultural Preservation in a new program supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission. The Sankofa Initiative is a re-granting program of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Arts Impact Endowment to support the healing and creativity of communities of color most affected by COVID-19.

The concept of “Sankofa” is derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Africa. Sankofa is expressed in the Akan language as “se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenki.” In a literal translation this means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.”

Acknowledging that our heritage, legacies, ancestors, mentors, and communities are bedrocks of who we are and contribute to our creativity, the grants were made in October 2021 and are intended to support work that is centered around what each community values as important. These practices involve many aesthetic forms, value systems, and languages. The Sankofa Fund is designed for the continuity and transmission of the collective values of your community.
ACTA Welcomes Two New Staff Members
Join us in welcoming two new staff members to ACTA!
Dan Faltz
Program Coordinator
Los Angeles Office

As Program Coordinator, Dan contributes to the administration of ACTA's Arts in Corrections program across the state. His arts programming and cultural equity work allows him to educate and advocate at the intersection of public art, education, and diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI). He believes expression is essential to health and identity, and that arts programs can be vehicles for social change. Dan currently serves as Vice Chair for the arts and cultural affairs commission for the City of West Hollywood, where he collaborated on the arts division’s cultural equity statement and strategic arts plan. Previously, Dan designed and facilitated free and low cost social emotional art programs for UCLArts & Healing and has designed, coordinated and advised on public and educational programs for several organizations including the Academy Film Archive.

Dan has a community teaching artist certificate from Cal State LA, a certificate in social emotional arts from UCLArts & Healing, and degrees in film from UC Berkeley and USC. His additional training includes Arts for LA’s ACTIVATE, LA County Arts Ed Collective, Pongo Poetry, Spark LA, and Teaching Artist Project. He is completing a second master’s degree in community art. He loves that the arts allow multiple entry points to self-expression and emotional resilience for diverse populations, creative intelligences, and abilities.
Dr. Vicki Taylor
Operations and Finance Manager
Fresno Office

Dr. Vicki Taylor manages ACTA’s finances, human resources, and operations. She previously served as manager of the Cross Cultural and Gender Center and President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity at Fresno State. She played an instrumental collaborative role in the creation and realization of campus programs that support diversity and inclusion, conflict resolution, and cultural competency. Vicki continues to be an active member of Fresno State’s National Coalition Building Institute Team and co-facilitates Leading for Diversity and Inclusion full day and mini-workshops. She also facilitates interactive seminars on topics such as the impact of microaggressions and conflict management.

Vicki earned a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Fresno State, a master’s in Business Administration and bachelor’s in Business Administration from Brandman University. Her research interest is in exploring the relationship between exposure to cultural content in curriculum, campus-sponsored diversity events and activities, and cognitive and affective catalysts that might influence the development of a pluralistic orientation in college students.
"Have mouth, will run it!"
Livestream with Michael D. McCarty
In celebration of Black History Month, join us for a live conversation between Michael D. McCarty, longtime ACTA teaching artist in our Arts in Corrections Program, and ACTA Program Manager Quetzal Flores! Michael leads storytelling workshops inside CA state prisons—join us to hear more from about his experiences as a "latter-day griot" in Los Angeles!

Wednesday Feb 9 at 12 pm PST
Instagram live @caltradarts
New Workbooks on Traditional Arts as Healing, Restorative Justice
After seven years of facilitating traditional arts programming in California prisons, we developed two sister programs and accompanying workbooks in 2021: Traditional Arts as Restorative Justice and Traditional Arts as Healing from Trauma.

The two workbooks document dozens of lessons from 10 different artists that have grown out of this history of work, but with an intentional focus on how the traditional arts can create pathways towards healing from trauma and restoration. They were created specifically as a way to deliver curriculum remotely during COVID, and include spaces that invite students to write responses, planting seeds of personal and community restoration and healing on both physical and spiritual levels.

Click below to flip through the two workbooks or sign up to receive a free download link for both publications!

This month we are celebrating the national recognition of two California traditional artists!
Windsor, CA-based Cambodian dance artist Charya Burt is one of two artists selected to receive Americans for the Arts’ 2022 Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities. The Fellowship honors an individual artist who demonstrates a sustained commitment to civic participation through their work, and who has made a positive and meaningful difference to inspire, inform, engage, challenge, animate, and celebrate communities through arts and culture.
Through dance, Charya helps the Cambodian diaspora reconcile the ongoing, traumatic effects of the Khmer Rouge Genocide toward building healthier communities and strengthening cultural identity. Charya trained with Cambodia’s foremost dance masters who survived the genocide and has dedicated her life to mastering the over 4,000 gestures that comprise the vocabulary as well as the dances that make up the classical repertory. ACTA is proud to have supported Charya through multiple Apprenticeship awards, Living Cultures Grants, and a Traditional Arts Development grant since 2001. To read more about Charya, her upcoming creative works this year, and her co-recipient Christopher “Mad Dog” Thomas of Chicago, please see this press release.
César Castro of Los Angeles, CA, is one of seven recipients of the US Artist Fellowship in Traditional Arts. The fellowships recognize artists for their contributions to the field and allow them to decide how to best support their lives.

César is from Veracruz, Mexico, home of the son jarocho genre and fandango tradition that he teaches, practices, and shares today. Castro began learning this tradition at the age of thirteen—by the age of fifteen, he began teaching zapateado (percussive dance), requinto, and jarana at Casa de la Cultura in Veracruz. With the group Mono Blanco, he traveled through Veracruz to give workshops to children in rural communities where the son jarocho and fandango had disappeared for reasons of migration and the commercialization of son jarocho.

César moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and played with Quetzal, a Chicano/a rock group, and started his own group, Cambalache. Castro continues to teach son jarocho at local high schools, community centers, and universities and within the California state prison system as one of ACTA's Arts in Corrections Teaching Artists. César has also received multiple ACTA Apprenticeship awards and has also taken part in ACTA's Building Healthy Communities work in Boyle Heights. Learn more about César here.
Yemanjá Arts Festival
Feb 19 and 20
Join BrasArte, one of ACTA's 2021 Living Cultures grantees in Berkeley, CA, for the 17th Annual Yemanjá Arts Festival!

The event is a unique two-night performing arts festival celebrating the spirit of Yemanjá: the Yoruban deity/orixá that represents the ancient, essential, and beautiful nature of water. Inspired by the original Festa de Yemanjá celebrated in Bahia, Brazil, and the resilience of African spiritual practices across the Americas, the Yemanjá Arts Festival brings together master artists and young faces from across the Bay Area, Brazil, and Cuba. Diverse interpreters of traditional and modern art forms from the African diaspora pay homage to Yemanjá/Iemanjá/Yemoja/Yemayá through their respective popular, folkloric, and spiritual traditions.

Feb 19 and 20, 2022

BrasArte @ Casa De Cultura
1901 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA

Grants for Arts Projects is a principal NEA grants program for organizations based in the United States. Through project-based funding, the program supports public engagement with, and access to, various forms of art across the nation, the creation of art, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. Applicants may request cost share/matching grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. A minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required.
DEADLINE: Part 1 due 2/10/2022; Part 2 due 2/22/2022

Humanities for All Quick Grants (between $1,000 and $5,000) are awarded three times a year (February, June, October) to small-scale public humanities programs and projects which take place within one year from the award date. Projects should be grounded in the humanities, show potential to provide high quality humanities learning experiences for participants and audiences, and demonstrate capacity for successful implementation. Click to learn more.
DEADLINE: 2/15/2022

Seven California Arts Council grant programs are currently accepting applications: Arts and Cultural Organizations General Operating Relief, Cultural Pathways, Impact Projects, JUMP StArts, Reentry Through the Arts, State-Local Partners, and State-Local Partner Mentorship. Click here to see the guidelines for all opportunities.
DEADLINE: 3/9/2022

The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) is now accepting applications for the LIFT–Early Career Support for Native Artists program, a one-year award and early career support program for emerging Native artists to develop and realize new projects. The program’s focus is to provide financial support and professional development to artists whose work aims to uplift communities and advance positive social change. Click here for a full description of the program.
DEADLINE: 3/16/2022

The San Francisco Arts Commission seeks Bay Area individuals with expertise in the arts and culture field to participate in the peer review grant panels. This is a paid opportunity to be part of SFAC's ​grant-making process. To be considered as a panelist for the FY22 cycle, applications must be received by February 4, 2022 at 12 p.m. 
DEADLINE: rolling

Every year, the LA Department of Arts and Culture looks for prospective panelists to serve on review panels for our Grants and Civic Art programs. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis, with the list of panelists updated on a quarterly basis. Honorariums are provided for panelists who participate in a grant review panel or artist selection committee.
Panelists review, assess, and score grant applications and artist proposals. Panelists’ assessments and scores become the basis for applicant rankings and recommendations to the Arts Commission. Click to learn more.
DEADLINE: rolling
ACTA promotes and supports ways for cultural traditions to thrive now and into the future by providing advocacy, resources, and connections for folk and traditional artists and their communities.