Happy Holidays from ACTA!

From our family to yours, we wish you a bright holiday season full of joy, health, and the warmth of community.

As 2018 draws to a close, we celebrate five years of ACTA's Arts in Corrections (AIC) program. We began as a pilot program at Corcoran State Prison in 2014. Today, our artists are leading programs in sixteen prisons up and down California. From Native American beadwork at Valley State Prison in the Central Valley, to poetry and assemblage workshops led by Chicana altaristas at the California Institution for Women in Chino, our AIC program creates welcoming spaces for healing through the practice of traditional arts. In expanding this program, we are reminded of how sharing this cultural knowledge cultivates a sense of belonging, affirms cultural identity, and leads us to moments of transformation.

Photo: Students from California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, CA, gather with music instructors Juan Perez (far left) and Matt Amper (far right). Juan and Matt taught a 13-week course in Guitar and Songwriting in spring of 2018. Photo by Peter Merts, courtesy of the California Arts Council.
WATCH : Rhythms of Change
ACTA at the California Rehabilitation Center

"This shakes us all and helps us realize that there is good within ourselves, and that we can share it with others.
It becomes a moment of truth."
-Cesar Castro, Arts in Corrections Artist Resident

Students participate in an Afro-Colombian percussion class taught by AIC artist residents Alberto Lopez and Eduardo Martinez. Still from short film by Eric Coleman.
Go inside the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco and witness our Arts in Corrections program in action. As part of their 13-week program, Afro-Colombian percussionists Alberto Lopez and Eduardo Martinez and son jarocho musicians Cesar Castro and Federico Zuniga Jr.  traveled to the state prison every week to teach the techniques and histories of their art forms. More importantly, these artists brought with them the opportunity for inmates to gather together, participate in a culture-affirming practice, and contribute their music and skill toward a  communal experience. Watch the video to learn how the shared space of art-making in the context of incarceration has affected the students and the teachers, reminding us all of our connections to one another in the face of isolation.

Support Health and Well Being For All

Afro-Colombian drumming student at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison. Photo by Peter Merts, courtesy of the California Arts Council.
We are in the home stretch of our end-of-year campaign, and we need your help! If you are inspired by the students in our Arts in Corrections program, support the artists who go into the prisons every week. If you understand the power of traditional arts to transform our lives, help sustain those forms. If you believe in equity and inclusion for all  of California's cultural communities, invest in ACTA.  Gifts of any size make a difference. Thank you for your contribution!
ACTA Seeks Full-Time Development Manager
Disaster Relief Resources for California Artists and Communities:  Since 2015, the California Arts Council has maintained a webpage dedicated to resources for Californians who have been affected by recent natural disasters in our state. Click for a list of resources that can help you through financial, medical, and personal emergencies, including natural disasters like fires and floods. This page is regularly updated as new information becomes available.

How to Do Creative Placemaking Webinar Series:  The Local Initiatives Support Corporation is pleased to announce this webinar series offering practical and tactical advice for local leaders, artists, and community development practitioners. Creative placemaking is the practice of integrating arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities, and has become a widespread practice in communities of all shapes and sizes to advance local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. Register for free.

Neighborhood Voices: Belonging in Oakland:  Neighborhood Voices (VOICES) is a pilot grant program seeking to lift up seldom-heard voices of Oakland's neighborhoods by supporting the expression, recognition, and understanding of the array of diverse communities that make Oakland unique, vibrant, and resilient. This program is part of the launch of Belonging in Oakland, the City of Oakland's new cultural development plan that aims to promote cultural equity, belonging, and well-being for all the communities of Oakland.  DEADLINE: 01/07/2019
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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