ACTA's Apprenticeship Program:
Applications Now Open!
The Apprenticeship Program contracts California-based mentor artists for $3,000 to offer intensive, one-on-one training in a specific traditional art form to a qualified apprentice for six to twelve months.

DEADLINE: October 19, 2020

The Apprenticeship Program encourages the continuity of California's traditional arts and cultures by creating opportunities for the one-on-one learning that is critical to the transmission of traditional arts in our state. Each $3,000 contract will support a period of concentrated learning for apprentices who demonstrate a committed engagement with and talent for a specific folk and traditional art form or practice.

To learn more about eligibility, register for an upcoming info webinar, or read about our funders, please visit our website.


Image: 2018 ACTA apprentice Jasmin Orpilla dances pangalay from the Philippines with mentor artist Peter de Guzman. Photo: T. Saarelma/ACTA. 

Solicita el Programa de Aprendices de 2021!
El Programa de Aprendices contrata a artistas mentores con sede en California por $3,000 para que ofrezcan capacitación intensiva en una forma de arte específica a unx aprendiz calificadx por seis a doce meses.

SOLICITA antes del 19 de octubre 2020 

El Programa de Aprendices de la Alianza para las Artes Tradicionales en California (ACTA) fomenta la continuación del arte y las culturas tradicionales del estado. Cada contrato apoya un periodo de aprendizaje intensivo para los aprendices que han demostrado un compromiso y un talento especial para una determinada forma de arte folclórico y tradicional.
Students learn traditional Tejano music in Cutler-Orosi with 2019 Living Cultures organization Nuevo Comienzo. Photo: C. Murillo/ACTA.
Coming Soon: ACTA's Living Cultures Grant Program

We are excited to share that applications for ACTA's 2021 Living Cultures Grant Program (LCGP) will open October 1, 2020. The deadline for submitting applications will be December 1, 2020.

New this year: funding will be provided for proposed cultural projects that occur between July 2021 - July 2022. Applications in Spanish are welcome. Please be on the lookout for more on our website and social media channels (Facebook, Instagram).

Apply Now
California Relief Fund for Artists and Cultural Practitioners

Deadline: August 18 @ 3 pm PST

The California Relief Fund for Artists and Cultural Practitioners is a partnership between the California Arts Council (CAC) and the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI). The California Relief Fund for Artists and Cultural Practitioners is distributing $920,000 from the CAC's general fund in the form of $1,000 grants to help artists and cultural practitioners (including fine and performing artists, teaching artists, culture bearers, and maker-based sole or collective creative entrepreneurs) who comprise the various and diverse cultural communities of the state of California.
ACTA encourages traditional artists and culture bearers to apply for these funds.

Grants will be distributed to reflect the cultural and geographic diversity of the state of California, including those who are of historically underserved communities who are especially vulnerable financially due to this economic crisis. Although not factors in grant decisions, CCI strongly encourages the following to apply: those of historically marginalized communities, which may include but are not limited to, African and African American, Arab, Asian and Asian American, Latinx, Middle Eastern, Native American and Indigenous, Pacific Islander; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Transgender and Gender-Variant people; people with disabilities; women; and those who are low-income, have high debts, have difficulty obtaining or retaining sources of income, or live in rural or immigrant and refugee communities.

If you have questions about the Fund or the application process, contact CCI at with the subject line: "CA Relief Fund" and your best contact number.
La Cultura Cura
Usando las artes tradicionales para sobrellevar el estrés y la ansiedad

Como parte de nuestro trabajo con Construyendo Comunidades Saludables en Boyle Heights,
únete a una serie de talleres bilingües sobre las artes tradicionales y la salud mental.

A continuación la lista de talleres con los materiales necesarios:

11 de agosto
Amor es liberación: reconectando con nuestra comunidad LGBTQI2-S
Materiales: Tu imaginación y participación.

18 de agosto
La música alivia: composición colectiva de cancion para salir adelante
Materiales: cuaderno o papel y pluma o lápiz, una maraca que puede hacer en casa con: una botella de agua con tapadera, rollo de papel del baño con cinta, huevo de Pascua, cáscara de huevo, (decorar si desean) y adentro: frijoles, arroz, seguros, semillas.

Culture Heals!

Using the traditional arts to cope with stress and anxiety

As part of ACTA's Building Healthy Communities work in Boyle Heights, join us for a bilingual series of traditional arts and mental health workshops.

Following are the list of upcoming workshops and materials needed:

August 11
Love is liberation: reconnecting with our LGBTQI2-S community
Materials: Your imagination and participation. 

August 18
Music heals us: collective songwriting to move forward
Materials: Paper/journal, pen/pencil, Instrument- shaker which you can make with: a water bottle with cap, toilet paper roll w/ tape, easter egg, empty egg shell, (decorate if desired) and inside: beans, rice, buttons, safety pins, seeds.

In Support of A Cultural New Deal

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts supports the call for A Cultural New Deal for Cultural and Racial Justice.

The Cultural New Deal is a call for us to transform our personal, institutional, and global thinking. Its writers believe that culture moves before policy, and that culture endures beyond politics. They invite you to adopt and adapt this Call to your specific contexts to hold leaders, policy-makers, and institutions - and ourselves - responsible, accountable, and transparent in achieving equity and justice.

The call focuses on five areas:
  1. The support, recognition, and prioritization of the leadership of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.
  2. The reversal of long-term hiring, funding, and resourcing inequities in the arts and culture sector.
  3. Investment in arts and cultural ecosystems for Black, Indigenous, and communities of color.
  4. Investment in building healthy communities through centering cultural and racial equity.
  5. Accountability, commitment, and integrity in the pursuit of cultural and racial justice.
Learn more and sign the petition for change here.

Lea nuestro texto completo en inglés y español.

This Call was spearheaded by ArtChangeUS, the Center for Cultural Power, First Peoples Fund, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Race Forward, and Sipp Culture.

ICYMI: Queering California Traditions
A Pride Series

In June, ACTA celebrated Pride month by sharing insights and reflections from some of California's many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer traditional artists in a series called  Queering California Traditions. Browse the stories, videos, and other contributions from LGBTQ+ artists who are exploring how their queer identities intersect with their traditional arts practice! 

Photo courtesy of Nikiko Masumoto.
Profound Grief and Radical Joy

"I am queer, I am human, and when I embrace traditions and a sense of home, I also open myself to wounds. There is no other way. I cannot be whole without both."

Personal essay by Central Valley farmer and storyteller Nikiko Masumoto.

Photo: Jenny Graham.
Con Tu Verdad Sales Adelante
With Your Truth You Get Ahead

"With your truth you get ahead. It costs a lot, you suffer a lot, but you come out ahead."

Q+A with Los Angeles-based guitarist, singer, and music educator Mary Alfaro Velasco on Mexican traditional music and queer identity.

Image courtesy of L. Frank Manriquez.
A Conversation Between Two Spirits

"Your existence is a blessing."

Live conversation between artist, scholar, and indigenous language activist L. Frank Manriquez (Tongva-Ajachmem/Rarámuri), and Sipu Whittle (Lenape/Caddo), both Two-Spirit leaders.

Image courtesy of Patrick Makuakāne.
Māhu: Transgender Healers of Hawai'i

"Māhu were known to be healers because they had access to both male and female energies."

Storytelling with Patrick Makuakāne, founder and Kumu Hula at the dance company and school Nā Lei Hulu i ka Wēkiu in San Francisco.

Photo: T. Saarelma/ACTA.
We Make it Our Own

"Drag is art. If a drag performer can captivate someone with their performance...they are doing something right."

A Q+A with Errinneh Ann Lawasthe Empress of the Imperial Court of Los Angeles and Hollywood.

2019 ACTA apprentice Julianne Burke shares lessons in Armenian cooking from her home in Fresno. Watch the video here.
Shelter Together
Live videos from the homes of California traditional artists
Have you been following our newest program, Shelter Together? Since stay-at-home-measures went into place across California in March, ACTA has been inviting traditional artists across the state to share out their cultural practices from home on our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Through these live videos we've learned so much about how the traditional arts grow and thrive at home, and we've witnessed artists and their families support one another through the shared practice of art. From a home concert  of classical Khmer dance, to a discussion on storytelling and collective grief, to a secret-ingredient hummus recipe, this series travels across the breadth and depth of California's traditional cultures.

Check out all the past episodes here. Keep an eye on our social media for upcoming episodes!
The Alliance for California Traditional Arts is the California Arts Council's official partner in serving the state's folk and traditional arts field.
Like us on Facebook  View our videos on YouTube  Follow us on Twitter  View on Instagram