After nearly a year of planning, development, and content creation, we are pleased to share the new ACTA website with all of you! Our entire staff was involved in the process of conceiving, designing, and populating this new site, giving ACTA a fresh new image.

You can:

Explore all of our programs and publications

Browse traditional artists and traditional arts organizations

View events from ACTA and the traditional arts community

Share your event with ACTA

Read the latest stories and news from ACTA

Make a gift to ACTA online

Browse our new Press Kit

Inquire about consulting and collaboration opportunities

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.

Saying Goodbye to Antonio Delfino, Arts in Corrections Program Manager

Antonio Delfino, who served as ACTA's Arts in Corrections Program Manager for two years, completed his tenure with ACTA last month. Antonio came to ACTA from a career as a social worker and prison counselor. He brought a  valuable and sensitive understanding of prison infrastructure and administration to ACTA's work with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
While Antonio was program manager, he oversaw the expansion of our program from 8 to 18 prisons, including a jump from 27 to 56 thirteen-week artist residencies. Together with  our Arts in Corrections program coordinators Jasmin Temblador and Kenya Curry, Antonio led the challenging work of liaising between ACTA, more than 40 teaching artists, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to deliver meaningful traditional arts programming to hundreds of students across the state.

We thank Antonio for his service, and we wish him success in his future endeavors!

Promi se Zone Arts Live!
Celebrating the Cultural Treasures of Los Angeles


September 21, 2019
12 - 4 pm | Free | RSVP  here

Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park
2230 W. 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Join ACTA for 
Promise Zone Arts Live!, the final showcase and concert for the Promise Zone Arts (PZA) project  that will highlight artists recognized as Cultural Treasures, and celebrate the unique cuisine, art, and traditions in the Promise Zone.
PZA is a two-year, multi-neighborhood cultural asset mapping and activation initiative administered by the  City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and co-created by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and LA Commons. The project utilizes cultural mapping strategies, ethnographic documentation, community gatherings, and free public events to identify and support the artists, cultural practitioners, tradition bearers, and sites that Los Angeles Promise Zone neighborhood residents deem significant.

ACTA has been leading the cultural asset mapping part of this project, surveying the neighborhoods involved, interviewing artists, leaders, and community members, and documenting much of the cultural heritage of these areas.  Through this work we seek to illuminate the value of neighborhood cultural assets from the perspectives of residents, and make the cultural treasures they identify visible and recognized as essential in making our communities more sustainable and livable.

You can see a short video for the project here.

You can also see the project website, where cultural treasures are highlighted, here.

For further questions or information, contact  Eduardo Robles at .
ACTA's Kitchener Named Chair of the  American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress

ACTA Executive Director Amy Kitchener (L) with Mark Sweeney, Principal Deputy Librarian of Congress, and Elizabeth Peterson, Executive Director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Photo: Nancy Groce.
We are pleased to announce that ACTA's Founding Executive Director Amy Kitchener has been named the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center  (AFC)  at the Library of Congress. Amy chaired her first AFC board meeting last week in Washington D.C., where she led the meeting and discussions over two days.

The AFC was created in 1976 by the U.S. Congress to preserve and present American folklife through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibitions, publications, and training. Designated by the U.S. Congress as the national center for folklife documentation and research, the AFC collects and documents living traditional culture, while preserving for the future its collections in the Library of Congress.

"The existence of the AFC affirms the critical role that government should play as a steward to preserve and present American folklife, helping us discover, remember and celebrate who we are as a people," said Kitchener. "I am pleased to take on this key role in leading the board to hold the vision  of the Center, engaging in long-range planning and policy formulation, and working to further the AFC's role as a national convener and advocate on public folklife and living cultural heritage."

One of Amy's favorite collections at the AFC is California Gold: Northern California Music, collected by ethnographer Sidney Robertson Cowell in the 1930s. This undertaking was one of the earliest ethnographic field projects to document European, Slavic, Middle Eastern, and English- and Spanish-language folk music in one region of the United States. This collection provided inspiration for the collaborative ACTA initiative Sounds of California--a recording, presenting, and archiving project of contemporary music and verbal arts that began in 2015.

Amy's term as Chair will continue for two years. She was first appointed as a Trustee of the AFC by members of Congress in 2017 as the only Californian member of the board at that time. Her role at the AFC is uncompensated and she will continue her role as ACTA's Executive Director.


ACTA has co-published a new report with the American Folklife Center titled  National Support Systems for Folklife, Traditional Arts, and Cultural Heritage. The report summarizes discussions held at the September 2018 convening at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Organized and funded by ACTA and the AFC, the convening brought together a group of traditional artists, public folklorists, and others in related fields to explore the topic of existing infrastructure for traditional arts and cultural heritage in the United States, as well as opportunities and challenges for future collaborative strategies. 

ACTA and the AFC wanted to spark a discussion about the current state of national infrastructure, networks, or support for folk arts and traditional culture. What services are being offered? What are the gaps and obstacles? What are the opportunities and strategies? What form would national service take? Is it even feasible or desirable to pursue coordinated planning for national service or support at this moment in time?

The report identifies common themes, areas of concern, and possible next steps. We hope readers will comment and add to the description by sharing their thoughts with us on social media.

Are you interested in learning how your organization can receive stat e funding ? The California Arts Council (CAC) is hosting a series of free workshops throughout the state to guide organizations through the process of  applying for one of their many diverse grant opportunities (now OPEN)!  Get tips and insights into the state grant process and discover best practices for putting together a successful application.

CAC staff will provide an overview of the council's unique grant opportunities for 2019-2020, with deadlines coming this fall. Workshops are being offered from Yreka in the north to Calexico in the south, and many places in between. Click below to find and register for a workshop in your community!

Sensei Hideko Nakajima was a master artist specializing in the Japanese shamisen, a three-stringed plucked lute. She passed away at her home in Richmond, CA, in July at the age of 85. ACTA was privileged to support her work through a Traditional Arts Development grant in 2004 and and Apprenticeship award in 2003, and we are grateful for her contributions to the field of Japanese music in California.

Read about the life and accomplishments of Nakajima Sensei in the words of her apprentice Melody Takata on our website.
NALAC Grants for Latinx Artists and Organizations: There is one week left to apply for a range of grant opportunities from National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. Grants range from $5,000 to $10,00 for Latinx artists and organizations. Learn more here.
DEADLINE: 9/25/19

NACF Mentor Artist Fellowship: The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Mentor Artist Fellowship is a regional individual artist project award that focuses on artistic mentoring in the Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and Southwest regions. The Fellowship is open to eligible, established American Indian and Alaska Native artists of 10 years or more who want to mentor an emerging American Indian or Alaska Native artist apprentice in either the Traditional or Contemporary Visual Arts categories for a period of fifteen months. Learn more here.
DEADLINE: 9/30/19

The Community Arts Impact Grant (CIAG) program from the LA County Department of Arts and Culture  re cognizes the value of the arts as a vital tool for cross-sector and civic problem solving across a range of issue areas. The program supports arts programming taking place at nonprofit social service and social justice organizations, municipal departments, and institutions of higher education as part of larger missions to provide services to individuals and communities, and enables these organizations to deliver a wide variety of cultural services to County residents that support arts and culture throughout the region. Click  to learn more.
DEADLINE: 10/9/19

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 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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