"It was not long until playing and sharing kulintang music and Maguindanaoan culture became a passion of mine.

Through it,  I found my identity as an artist, as an ethnic Maguindanaon Filipino, and as a young woman."

-Kim Kalanduyan, 2019 ACTA Apprentice

What does it mean to carry on a legacy? How does a traditional art form find resonance across oceans? What is the responsibility of traditional artists toward their art form and their communities? Filipino k ulintang musician  Bernard Barros Ellorin and his  2019   ACTA apprentice   Kimberly (Kim) Kalanduya n share how they live inside these questions in a new multimedia story for ACTA!

Bernard and Kimberly have been working together all year in kulintang music from the Southern Philippines, which is played on a set of gongs that have different melodic and percussive functions. Kim is also the granddaughter of Bernard's teacher, the beloved kulintang master and NEA National Heritage Fellow Danongan (Danny) Kalanduyan, who was critical to the proliferation of the musical form in the United States in the 1970s. Danny himself was a master artist in the inaugural ACTA Apprenticeship Program in 2000, and again in 2007 and 2013.

After the maestro's death in 2016, Kim came to Bernard to learn her grandfather's musical legacy.  Together, they have been on a journey of discovery as they delve into the musical communities of the Southern Philippines,  reconnect with family, and expand Danny's artistic lineage  through their practice of kulintang.

Click below to explore Bernard and Kim's descriptive account of their training in San Diego, their travels to the homeland of kulintang music in the Southern Philippines, and their mission as the next generation of kulintang artists in California.
Performer from the Imperial Court of Los Angeles and Hollywood.

by Betty Marín, ACTA Program Coordinator

Members of the Imperial Court of Los Angeles and Hollywood, the longest running LGBTQ organization in Los Angeles, danced in drag to salsa music on a warm afternoon in MacArthur Park. Elders from Thai Health and Information Services, Inc.  carved melons, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables to create stunning flowers and shapes ready to eat. BIBAK, a collective of five indigenous tribes of the Northern Philippines, taught traditional drumming and movement. The MesoAmerican Ballgame Association kept alive a 1,000-year-old tradition where participants use their hips to move a 6 lb. rubber ball across a court, a precursor of many different ball sports today. The Maqueos Philharmonic Orchestra, composed of youth, performed traditional Mexican folk songs, many from Oaxaca, led by their director Estanislao Maqueos.

Interactive drumming workshop led by the indigenous Filipino cultural organization BIBAK.
This rich representation of diverse cultural traditions at last month's Promise Zone Arts Live! event was the culminating celebration for Promise Zone Arts, a project that maps cultural treasures in specific Los Angeles neighborhoods. Cultural treasures, or cultural assets, are the  people, groups, customs, places, and events that help establish community identity by uplifting the culture of those communities.  ACTA has been leading the process to collect  different perspectives on what is culturally valuable in the L.A. Promise Zone, a federal designation within the neighborhoods of Pico Union, Koreatown, Hollywood and East Hollywood, including Thai Town, Little Armenia, Little Bangladesh, Historic Filipinotown, El Salvador Corridor, and others.

Performer from the Lan Nartthasin Thai Dance Group.
ACTA has a long history of participatory cultural asset mapping, including our current work in Boyle Heights, Merced, Santa Ana, and the Eastern Coachella Valley in collaboration with the Building Healthy Communities initiative. For Promise Zone Arts, we worked in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and L.A. Commons. We collected over 1,000 questionnaires nominating cultural treasures and conducted over 100 site visits highlighting some of those treasures through video interviews. Story highlights and information about all the treasures can be found on the project website.

Deciding what to highlight was a difficult process, but we were greatly informed by in-depth conversations with community leaders within the Eastern European, LGBTQIA, Armenian, Thai, Filipino, Oaxacan, and other Mexican communities of the L.A. Promise Zone. Through these conversations, we learned about the role that the Rose and Alex Pilibos School has played in preserving the Armenian language in East Hollywood across generations. Or how John Filcich, now in his 90s, has been collecting folk dance recordings from Eastern Europe since the 1940s and bringing them to North American audiences.

Performer from Chervona Kalyna Ukrainian dance ensemble.
These dialogues spoke to the agency of these communities to uphold and sustain their vibrant cultural traditions and, in the same way, sustain the communities themselves. The Promise Zone Arts project allowed us to partner with these communities to make their cultural treasures visible and bring their value to a larger community. 

We were also challenged as fieldworkers and ethnographers to ask how we can utilize and adapt our methodology to public policy. Through the leadership of the Department of Cultural Affairs under General Manager Danielle Brazell, we hope these conversations and resources can be brought to the public planning table. By bringing greater visibility to the tremendous resources in the L.A. Promise Zone, the city can create a plan to sustain the communities whose cultural expression and traditions breathe life into Los Angeles everyday.

ACTA staff on the ground! Left to right: Program Coordinator Betty Marín, Executive Director Amy Kitchener, Program Manager and Media Director Jennifer Joy Jameson, and Digital Media Specialist Shweta Saraswat at the Promise Zone Arts Live! event.

All photos by Timo Saarelma/ACTA.
Participant in an ACTA-led African drumming workshop at Avenal State Prison in 2018. Photo by Peter Merts, courtesy of the California Arts Council.

Arts in Corrections Program Manager

We are seeking a full-time program manager to join the ACTA team and administer our statewide Arts in Corrections (AIC) program. We began our work in Arts in Corrections in 2013, piloting seven residencies in three Central Valley state correctional facilities. Since that time, the program has grown rapidly. Today, a staff of 40 teaching artists conducts the $1.3 million AIC program in 18 facilities throughout California. 
ACTA's artist residents lead long-term, participatory classes inside prisons for both men and women experiencing incarceration. Their workshops connect students with their cultural heritage through art forms like Mexican son jarocho, Afro-Colombian percussion, storytelling, Native American beadwork, and Danza Azteca.  The ideal candidate to further the success of ACTA's AIC Program will share ACTA's and the AIC Program's mission and have experience and passion for working deeply with marginalized populations, particularly communities of color and the incarcerated.  We are seeking an experienced go-getter who can work independently as well as lead a large team (2 program staff and 40 teaching artists) and work collaboratively with multiple program partners and staff.
Please visit the  ACTA website for a detailed job description and instructions on how to apply. The position is based in the Fresno office, and will remain open until filled.
California Arts Council (CAC) grantee Gamelan Sekar Jaya brings together diverse Bay Area communities to engage with Balinese performing arts. Photo courtesy of the CAC.

California Arts Council Grants Now Open!
Deadlines in October and November 2019  

Applications are now being accepted for 15 California Arts Council grant programs, with funding available to community arts projects, arts for youth, arts and justice projects, and operational and field support.

An estimated $35 million will be awarded to this year's grant recipients, which is a 30 percent increase over the prior fiscal year and the largest projected investment of local assistance funds in the agency's history.

Nonprofit arts and community organizations, arts-based units of government or tribal government are encouraged to explore program opportunities and apply for relevant funding. Applicants without nonprofit status may use a California-based fiscal sponsor with a federal 501(c)(3) designation to conduct work on a not-for-profit project. Click below for more information, including program-specific details, dates, guidelines, and staff contacts.


Apply to be a Peer Review Panelist for the California Arts Council

Have you ever wondered how grant applications are reviewed and ranked at the state level? At the  California Arts Council (CAC), review panels are made up of artists and cultural workers from across the spectrum of California's diverse communities. A diverse panel pool ensures the integrity of the CAC's grant review process for all applicants, representative of our state's racial, ethnic, and gender identities; eclectic geography; and wealth of organizations, perspectives, and knowledge.

Applications are now open to be a Peer Review Panelist for the CAC! Be at the front line of grantmaking in our state, and receive an honoraria for your service! Click the link below to learn how to apply. Deadline: 11/21/19
Two days of cultural presentations, exhibitors, storytelling, Ohlone games, raffles and family fun
October 18 & 19, 2019 | San Francisco, CA

Featuring 2019 ACTA apprentice Rohan Krishnamurthy
October 25, 2019 | San Rafael, CA

Korean Textiles Exhibition featuring 2019 ACTA Apprenticeship pair Youngmin Lee and Stephanie Rue
Runs until January 3, 2020 | San Francisco, CA

View all events and share your event with us on the ACTA website.
The  LA County Department of Arts and Cultures' Arts Internship Program supports and strengthens the cultural sector of LA County by providing access to high quality opportunities for college students of all backgrounds to gain experience, understanding, and transferable skills relevant to careers in the arts, the creative economy, and engagement in public life. Students develop a deeper understanding of the work involved in nonprofit arts administration, better understand the role of the arts in communities and develop skills that can be put to use in their future careers. Click to learn more.
DEADLINE: 10/23/19

California Humanities invites proposals for the 2019 California Documentary Project (CDP) grant program that tell stories from every corner of the state and that explore California in all its complexity. They seek original and compelling film, audio, and digital media projects that that bring new and previously unheard perspectives to light and help reveal the breadth and range of California's cultures, peoples, and histories.  Funding is available in two categories:  CDP Research and Development Grants up to $10,000, and  CDP Production Grants up to $50,000.  All projects should document and interpret California subjects and issues. Click  to learn more.
DEADLINE: 11/1/19

Applications for the latest round of Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation are now open. Bay Area nonprofits can apply for grants of $150,000 to commission new works of dance and movement-based performance from world-class artists and premiere them in local communities.  Click  to learn more.
DEADLINE: 11/13/10
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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