New Video: Reentry Through the Arts
Offering Healing and Restoration for Recently Incarcerated Individuals

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts recognizes that the formerly incarcerated population is a marginalized sector of Californians in need of healing, affirmation, and connectedness. ACTA's Reentry Through the Arts program creates new opportunities for returning residents to come together in an environment designed to reinforce the affirmation of cultural identity, a sense of belonging, and communal engagement through the shared experience of art-making.

Specially designed for individuals who are returning to their communities following incarceration, this program began in 2019. The pilot program centered on two traditional arts workshop series in Los Angeles: Mexican son jarocho music, dance, and verse at the Amity Foundation, and Afro-Colombian percussion at Homeboy Industries. We are proud to announce that we are currently in the middle of the second iteration of this program, offering both son jarocho and Afro-Colombian percussion workshops at multiple campuses of the Amity Foundation, and have received funding from the California Arts Council to implement a third cycle of the program in 2022-2023!

Check out our Reentry Through The Arts video to see how the program offers opportunities for healing, self-growth, restoration, and community!
Karuk artist and ceremonial leader Brian D. Tripp. Photo: S. Saraswat/ACTA.
In Memoriam: Brian D. Tripp
Honoring the memory of a cultural pillar

The ACTA family mourns the loss of one of Native California's most prolific and beloved artists: Brian D. Tripp (Karuk). Brian was a visual artist, a poet, a ceremonial singer and dancer, a regalia maker, and a pillar in the indigenous communities of Humboldt County. He committed decades of his life to revitalizing ceremonial life in the Klamath River region, helping usher in a new era of artistic engagement in local indigenous culture.

ACTA was honored to recognize Brian's contributions to the field of folk and traditional arts with the California Living Heritage Award in 2018. He represents the dedication, vision, and courage that allows California's cultural traditions to thrive for generations.

"The transformative cultural and artistic leadership of Brian D. Tripp created new norms and opportunities for the next generation. Through his efforts we witness the power of community knowledge, aesthetics, and meaning in action. His impact will long be felt in in the Klamath River region and beyond."
—Amy Kitchener, Executive Director
Alliance for California Traditional Arts

Click the links below to learn more about Brian, his work as a cultural leader and contemporary visual artist and poet, and his impact on cultural life in Humboldt County:

Farewell to Dr. Shweta Saraswat,
ACTA's Development and Media Manager!
This month, ACTA sends a fond farewell to our colleague, Dr. Shweta Saraswat, as she moves on to a new role as the Development Manager at the research and advocacy organization Children Now.

Shweta started her tenure with ACTA in June of 2018 as our Digital Media Specialist, supporting ACTA’s many diverse media and communications needs, including organizing and contributing to our ethnographic multimedia collections as a videographer and documentarian, writing and editing stories for our monthly newsletter and social media feeds, and helping steward our website rebrand. In 2020, Shweta was promoted to Development and Media Manager, supporting ACTA’s annual operations through grant writing and grants management, helping to fundraise over 2 million dollars in 2021. Shweta also contributed greatly to writing and editing on ACTA’s many reports and publications, and her perspective as a lifelong practitioner of Kathak, an Indian classical dance, was a valuable asset in centering traditional artists and cultural practitioners in all we do. Shweta leaves us with this kind affirmation: 

“The work of ACTA is absolutely critical to the growth and recognition of traditional arts and cultural leaders across the state. I’ve learned so much during my time here, and I will cherish the memories made with a wonderful community of staff, artists,
and culture bearers!”
ACTA wishes Shweta well in her next adventure and we look forward to seeing her growth as a colleague and artist continue in the years to come!

Photo: Shweta (left) on a 2019 site visit in San Jose with ACTA Apprenticeship pair Soumya Tilak and her apprentice, Vibha Raju in Bharatanatyam, a classical dance of South India.
To Imagine is to Exist
Celebrating 50 Years of Kearny Street Workshop

On June 11th, join Kearny Street Workshop at the SF Mint for "To Imagine To Exist," an evening of art and live entertainment commemorating 50 years of empowering Asian Pacific American (APA) artists. Tickets come with open bar and small plates, and all proceeds go toward KSW's programming for APA artists. Sponsorship opportunities are available. ACTA is proud to support the work of Kearny Street Workshop through a Sankofa Fund for Cultural Preservation grant.

Saturday, June 11, 2022
5 - 9 pm PST

SF Mint
88 5th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Shoton Tibetan Opera Festival
Produced by Chaksam-pa
Last year, longtime ACTA Living Cultures grantee organization Chaksam-pa was selected as one of 10 recipients of the Hewlett 50 Commissions in Folk and Traditional Arts celebrating culture bearers advancing and deepening traditions from the Bay Are and around the world.

Chaksam-pa is commissioning Tibetan American musician, dancer, and Tibetan opera singer Tsering Wangmo to develop and present the first-ever American presentation of a two-day Tibetan Opera in the Ache Lhamo tradition. She will work closely with a team of Tibetan opera artists who will perform traditional Tibetan opera as reimagined and reinterpreted by her and the collaborators. An overriding goal of the project is to preserve traditional Tibetan cultural expressions in the face of political repression of the Tibetan people in their homeland, and the looming threat of cultural erasure. The new work, titled Celebration of the Great Shoton Festival of Tibet in the Bay Area, will premiere in July in Richmond, CA.

July 2 - July 3, 2022

De Anza High School Auditorium
5000 Valley View Road
Richmond, CA 94803
To honor and preserve our nation's diverse cultural heritage, the NEA annually awards up to nine 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. Awards for the National Heritage Fellowships will be up to $25,000, and may be received once in a lifetime. Recipients will be selected on the basis of nominations from the public. Learn more and make a nomination here.
DEADLINE: 5/31/2022

The Seventh Generation Fund is accepting applications for four grant programs:
  • Community Vitality: Strengthens Indigenous identity by revitalizing cultural lifeways, creativity, and connection with a focus on community organizing
  • Flicker Fund: Provides support to Crisis Impacted Indigenous Communities and Nations
  • Land, Water and Climate: Recognizes and supports Indigenous Peoples’ traditional relationships and responsibilities to land, community, and spirit
  • Thriving Women: Recognizes Indigenous women and girls’ inherent strength and capacity for healing, leadership, and regenerating positive futures
DEADLINE: 6/07/2022

Oregon Folklife Network documents, supports, and celebrates Oregon's diverse cultural traditions and tradition-bearers. Under the supervision of OFN Director, the Program Coordinator is responsible for implementing OFN folklife programming and community engagement, especially with Oregon’s Spanish-speaking cultures. Learn more and apply here.
DEADLINE: 6/08/2022

The Vilcek Foundation will award three Creative Promise Prizes of $50,000 each to young, immigrant musicians who demonstrate outstanding early achievement in music. Applications are open through June 10, 2022.
Who Should Apply
  • You were born outside the United States to non-American parents
  • You are not more than 38 years old
  • You have five years of professional experience in music and possess a strong track record of creative and innovative work
Why Should You Apply
  • Unrestricted cash prize of $50,000 is awarded to each prizewinner
  • Reflect on how your experience as an immigrant has shaped your success
  • Receive an invaluable endorsement from leaders in your field
  • Receive a comprehensive public relations campaign to promote you and your work
DEADLINE: 6/10/2022
ACTA promotes and supports ways for cultural traditions to thrive now and into the future by providing advocacy, resources, and connections for folk and traditional artists and their communities.