Board members Chike Nwoffiah and Malcolm Margolin join Board Chair Dan Sheehy in praising Lily at her Farewell party at BrasArte in Berkeley, June 24, 2018. Photo by Jennifer Joy Jameson.
Other Ways of Knowing: Farewell Remarks from Lily Kharrazi

On June 24, ACTA grantees, Bay Area artists and colleagues, community members, and ACTA staff and board gave Lily a farewell reception at BrasArte Cultural Center in Berkeley. Lily is leaving full time work after 14 years to be more available for family, but will be working on special projects with ACTA in the future. The comments below are adapted from her written reflections shared at the event.
In my office hang three printed signs that speak to this moment as I leave ACTA after a 14-year tenure: 
  • The first simply reads: Your teacher is whoever appears now. 
  • The other two signs are maps of Native California divided up by tribes and Native California languages.
The first sign is about all of you: the artists, the activists, cultural workers, quiet leaders, esteemed colleagues, my family and steadfast friends. This has been a reciprocal journey.

The maps rocked my world. Let us first acknowledge that this is and will always be Ohlone territory and by thinking about that for one minute, it shifts the way we think about how we move through this space. We are all immigrants, some by choice and others by force from Africa. By acknowledging these truths, we create a different relationship to the space we inhabit.  This was an area once rich with over 200 languages spoken. The maps underscored for me a basic tenet in this work that is, simply put: There are other ways of knowing.

L to R: Julián Antonio Carrillo by Ernesto Chavez; Betty Marín by Juan Arellano; Shweta Saraswat courtesy The J. Paul Getty Museum
After National Search, ACTA Welcomes Three Exceptional Staff Members

Not often does a small organization attempt to recruit three new staff members simultaneously, but we did it well, and were encouraged and inspired by the process of interviewing so many impressive candidates. After a national search that yielded over 180 applications, three review committees, and 45 total interviews, ACTA welcomes three impressive new staff members: Julián Antonio Carrillo, Betty Marín, and Shweta Saraswat. A committed team of six ACTA staff members and an outside consultant, supported by the Irvine Foundation, recruited applicants, vetted, and hired our new employees over the course of a few months. 

One of the secondary, and unanticipated, benefits of this process was getting to know our field better, and becoming energized by the people doing this work both here in California and around the country. We are extremely grateful to the many talented candidates who took the time, thought, and care to participate in our search process. We are renewed by you, your thinking, and your work that resonates with ACTA's own values in the world.

To read an analysis of our hiring process 
and learn more about our new hires:
Snapshot from the Field: Documenting our California NEA National Heritage Fellows

This month, our Director, Amy Kitchener, interviewed a Los Angeles artist she's known for over 25 years: 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellow and master Chicana altarista, Ofelia Esparza.

In support of the upcoming Heritage awards ceremony in September, ACTA is producing a National Endowment for the Arts-supported tribute film for both California recipients--Ofelia, and Bay Area African-American story quilter, Marion Coleman. On July 8, Amy led interviews with Ofelia and her daughter and regular collaborator, Rosanna Esparza Ahrens, at their Tonalli Studio and Gallery in East L.A. ACTA's Lily Kharrazi is interviewing Marion for her tribute, as well. Stay tuned for final the videos, directed by Sara Aguilar for the NEA, and follow along on Instagram for more updates like these.
Arts Education Program Manager at the School of Arts and Culture
The School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza (SOAC) is seeking well-qualified candidates for its Arts Education Program Manager. This position holds primary responsibility for the implementation of its Arts Education Program that serves between 800 and 900 students annually with instruction rooted in Mexican traditions with a multicultural perspective. Located in East San Jose, SOAC's work environment is dynamic, collaborative, and exciting. The School invites applications and nominations of candidates with the skills, characteristics, and experience described. The full-time position reports directly to the Associate Director. More Information

WESTAF Emerging Leaders of Color Program
WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation) is a regional nonprofit arts service organization whose mission is to strengthen the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the western United States. In 2010, WESTAF established its Emerging Leaders of Color Professional Development Program, which promotes multicultural leadership and equity in the arts. WESTAF is currently seeking participants for this all-expenses-paid, 7th annual convening to be held October 1-3, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. Applications are due by Aug. 20. More Information
The Alliance for California Traditional Arts is the California Arts Council's official partner in serving the state's folk and traditional arts field.
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