Master artist Jorge Mijangos (L) with his apprentice in son jarocho luthiery, Juan Francisco Parroquin (R) in 2013. Photo by Sherwood Chen/ACTA.
Apply Online Today!
ACTA's Living Cultures and  Apprenticeship Programs
Applications are open for ACTA's funding opportunities for the year 2020! If you are a traditional artist or an organization serving the traditional arts, ACTA wants to support your work. Check out the $5,000 Living Cultures grant for organizations and the $3,000 Apprenticeship opportunities for master artists and their apprentices.  DEADLINE: July 15, 2019
¡Postula por Internet Hoy!
Programa de Apoyo Financiero para las Culturas Vivas y Programa de Aprendices de ACTA

¡Ya estan abiertas las oportunidades de ACTA para recibir apoyo financiero para al año 2020! Ya están disponib les las solicitudes para el  Programa de Apoyo Financiero para las Culturas Vivas  ($5,000 para organizaciones) y el   Programa de Aprendices  ($3,000 para el aprendizaje entre dos personas). Si eres una organización que trabaja con las artes tradicionales y la cultura popular o un artista individual, visita nuestra página web para más información sobre nuestros programas y descubre cuál es el más apropiado para ti. Postular por internet es fácil y nuestro equipo está disponible para ayudarte en el proceso. Le fecha límite para postular es: 15 de julio, 2019.
Have a question about applying?
Watch a webinar with  ACTA staff to  learn more about these programs!

Webinar in Engli sh  here.
Webinar en Español  aquí ­.
2018 ACTA Apprentice Mary Alfaro _R_ with Master Artist Jes_s _Chuy_ Mart_nez _L_. Photo by Jenny Graham.
2018 ACTA Apprentice Mary Alfaro (R) with master artist Je s (Chuy) Mart ínez (L).
Photo by Jenny Graham.

Fulfilling a Dream:
Reflections from ACTA Apprentice Mary Alfaro

ACTA's Apprenticeship Program is designed to enable sustained, one-on-one training between master artists and apprentices, facilitating the transmission of traditional knowledge and skills. We asked 2018 apprentice Mary Alfaro to tell us about her experience training in requinto romántico guitar with master artist Jesús "Chuy" Martínez in Los Angeles.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your art form.

I am guitarist and singer of Mexican descent from Los Angeles. I began learning to play mariachi guitar in 2004 and actively performed in various groups in college and while working in the museum field and as a music educator. In 2015 I began performing with a  trío romántico as the principal singer while also playing guitar and hand percussion on some songs. However, I always had the dream of learning to play the  requinto romántico, a soprano melodic guitar used in bolero music and some ranchera music. 

What did you work on together through the Apprenticeship Program?

My instructor Jesús "Chuy" Martínez taught me to perform requinto melodies to several bolero and ranchera songs. I also learned patterns of thirds and sixths in a few keys, learned right hand technique, and practiced improvisation. Towards the end of our apprenticeship we recorded the bolero "Cien Años," at my instructor's recording studio. It was my first experience recording on requinto.

2018 Apprenticeship pair Peter De Guzman (R) and apprentice Jasmine Orpilla (L) rehearse the Amilbangsa Method of Philippine Pangalay dance. Photo by Jennifer Jameson/ACTA.

Southern California Apprenticeship and
Living Cultures Awardees
A Traditional Arts Roundtable

Saturday June 15, 2019 | 1 - 3 PM

FREE | RSVP here

The World Stage in Leimert Park
4321 Degnan Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90008

Join us for an upcoming Traditional Arts Roundtable Series (TARS) event in Los Angeles! Gather with us  for performances and a dynamic conversation on cultural transmission with Los Angeles-based artists and cultural leaders from ACTA's Apprenticeship and Living Cultures programs,  including Peter de Guzman and Jasmine Orpilla, Mary Alfaro, Wilfried Souly and Aaron Mason, Centro Cultural Techantit, and the Ukrainian Arts Center.

This event is free and open to the public. Please  RSVP here to secure your spot!

The Traditional Arts Roundtable Series is a project of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA). This program is a co-production of ACTA and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Partial funding for this program was provided by the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. The TARS series in Los Angeles is generously supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Additional support provided by the California Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Announcing New Development Director:
Mark Hernandez

Mark Hernandez
We are excited to announce the newest addition to the ACTA team! Mark Hernandez has just been appointed as ACTA's first-ever Development Director. An active artist with a long career in development, Mark will be heading up ACTA's fundraising efforts and individual donor campaign. As ACTA continues to grow, Mark will play a key role in helping us expand and invigorate our development program.

Mark has been a development officer for San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Conservatory of Music (his alma mater), and, most recently, Stanford Jazz Workshop. For many years, he was an active performer and teaching artist with a particular passion for music-theater, youth theater, Latinx music, and new music.

RECAP:  Native California Indian Art and Culture Festival
by Juli án Carrillo, ACTA Staff

This past Saturday in Berkeley, a crowd gathered around the mural that Jean LaMarr (Paiute/Pit River) painted years ago in Ohlone Park. In subtle yet vibrant colors, the mural depicts members of the native Muwekma Ohlone peoples. The crowd was there to pay tribute to the artwork and the community it reflects in a rededication ceremony as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Ohlone Park, led by the California Institute for Community, Art & Nature,  which included a Native California Indian Arts and Culture Festival co-produced by ACTA.

Artist Jean LaMarr (Paiute/Pit River) speaks in front of her mural depicting the ancestral stories of the Muwekma Ohlone tribe, located at Ohlone Park in Berkeley. Photo by Anne Bown-Crawford.

For Vince Medina, a member of the Muwekma Ohlone community and one of the speakers at the ceremony, the men and women the mural depicts and the space of Ohlone Park itself have special significance. When Vince was young, his grandmother would take him to see the mural, telling him stories about each person depicted in the artwork located at the eastern edge of the park. The area that is now the city of Berkeley is the ancestral land of the Ohlone people, yet there are very few symbols of their heritage in the city. When Vincent was a university student, he would often go to the mural in Ohlone Park to remember his grandmother's words and to feel connected to his heritage.

Fred Velasquez (Central Sierra Mewuk) demonstrates clamshell beadwork. Photo by Anne-Bown Crawford.
At the m ural rededication ceremony and the Native California Indian Arts and Culture Festival that followed, we were reminded that heritage and history are not merely static remnants of the past. They are dynamic parts of our present and our future, sparking cultural creativity and initiating discussions about what it means to belong.
Elders, adults, teenagers, and children of Rumsien Ohlone, Chochenyo Ohlone, Maidu, Pit River, Yurok, Chumash, Central Sierra Mewuk, Western Mono, Kashaya, Pomo, and Paiute ancestry-among members of other Native American cultures-gathered to share and celebrate their different cultural practices with their own communities and with the public at large. Eighteen tents spread across
the four blocks that comprise Ohlone Park
showcased some  truly magnifice nt material
arts  including beadwork, baskets, jewelry, and clay dolls.

Artist Vivian Snyder (Yurok) displays her beadwork, basketry, and intricate clay dolls. Photo by Anne Bown-Crawford.
In another part of the Park, renowned artists such as NEA National Heritage Fellow Julia Parker (Coast Miwuk/Kashaya), told stories to an attentive public while L Frank (Tongva/Ajachmen), spoke about their culture, language, and the craftsmanship of their canoe, which was on display for all to see, touch, and learn about. The visual arts were also represented as artists shared paintings, drawings, and illustrations depicting different aspects of traditional dances, ocean life, animal life, and the changing landscapes of California.

This festival was curated by basket weaver and cultural worker Jennifer Bates (Central Sierra Mewuk), who is the founding board chair of the California Indian Basketweavers' Association (CIBA) and organizer of the annual Tuolumne Rancheria Indian Market. ACTA would like to thank all of the Native California artists who shared part of their living culture with the public that day, as well our institutional partners in organizing this event: the California Institute for Community, Art & Nature, Heyday Books, and Friends of Ohlone Park.

Carson Bates (Central Sierra Mewuk) demonstrates traditional methods of string-making, which includes processing the raw materials that he uses to make twined baskets, toys, musical instruments, and many other items. Photo by Julián Carrillo/ACTA.
2020 Strategic Framework Video Submissions:  The California Arts Council wants to hear from you! Share your personal vision for arts, culture, and creativity in California and provide input to the CAC's vision and values development process by submitting a short video using your own words to answer guiding questions.  Click  here  for more info.

NEA Art Works Grant:  Art Works is the National Endowment for the Arts' principal grants program. Through project-based funding, the NEA supports public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation, the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. Projects may be large or small, existing or new, and may take place in any part of the nation's 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Matching grants generally will range from $10,000 to $100,000. Click here to apply.  DEADLINE: 07/11/19

NEA National Heritage Fellowship Nominations:  To honor and preserve our nation's diverse cultural heritage, the National Endowment for the Arts annually awards up to nine NEA National Heritage Fellowships to master folk and traditional artists. These fellowships recognize artistic excellence, lifetime achievement, and contributions to our nation's traditional arts heritage.  Nominations are accepted by using the NEA's  online nomination form . Awards will be up to $25,000 and may be received once in a lifetime. Learn more here. DEADLINE: 07/30/19

Blue Star Summer:  Museums in California and across the country are opening their doors for complimentary entry to active-duty military and their families as part of the Blue Star Museums program. Now until Labor Day, military personnel and up to five members of their family are offered no-cost admission at 130 institutions in California and nearly 2,000 nationally. Learn more here.

NEA Our Town Grant Program:  Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts' creative placemaking grants program. These grants support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. These projects require a partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity, with one of the partners being a cultural organization. Matching grants range from $25,000 to $200,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount. Click here to learn more. DEADLINE: 08/08/19
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.
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