Alliance for California Traditional Arts:
Home to Everyone

Click the video to learn how ACTA impacts traditional artists up and down CA.

Sustaining Traditional Arts in California

For more than 20 years, ACTA has invested in making California a home to everyone--a home that respects cultural diversity, the creation of meaningful art, and a vibrant, healthy, and inclusive society. We believe it's critical to counteract messages from our nation's leaders that immigrants and their cultures are unwanted , and to remind one another of the riches we enjoy amidst a state filled with cultural memory and immigrant traditions. ACTA plays an essential role in sustaining indigenous and immigrant heritage by uplifting California's diverse traditional arts, making our state a safe and welcome home for everyone.

On this Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season, p lease consider mak ing tax deductible gift to ACTA by  December 31 to help us raise our donor goal of $15,000 by the end of the year.

Every gift made has an immediate impact on ACTA's programs and ability to support, advocate, and respond to the needs of our folk and traditional arts community!
World-Making Through Art: The Quilts of Marion Coleman

Quilter Marion Coleman receives the
NEA National Heritage Fellowship.
ACTA supports the work of traditional artists like master quilter  Marion Coleman , who makes her home in Castro Valley, California. As a child, Marion was taught to sew by her maternal grandmother. Through time, her great aunts and great grandmother helped her gain appreciation of needle arts such as sewing, quilting, and crocheting. These women laid the foundation for Marion to continue the cultural tradition of African American quilting that has roots deeply embedded in American history. Her quilts portray stories about aging, black cowboys, the jazz and blues traditions, and the first African American woman pilot, among other themes.  The cultural art of quilting , that has been handed down for generations empowers Marion to share her distinctive way of looking at the world.

"It's always a thrill to think about the ancestors and what they've endured. It gives us the courage to think we can endure it too."
- Marion Coleman

Waiting for the Freedom Train, by Marion Coleman, a narrative quilt showing slaves in front of slave quarters.
This is the very foundation of what ACTA is. This year,  Marion was one of two Californians who received our nation's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts: the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She also has a long, rich history of collaboration with ACTA, having been a master artist in our Apprenticeship Program to Ora Clay in 2015. Marion is a past recipient of our Traditional Arts Development contract, and the membership of her guild, the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland , received Living Cultures grants in 2013 and 2015. 
Your Contribution to ACTA is Essential

Marion's quilts remind us that ACTA's history and work is committed to bridging the past, present, and future of California's shared culture. You can be part of this mission with your  tax deductible gift to ACTA Your donation could  help support:
  • A Living Cultures grant that supports organizations producing traditional arts projects
  • A year-long Apprenticeship that facilitates one-on-one learning with a master artist
  • Archival digitization of a major collection to facilitate public access
  • Documenting the practice and skill of a master artist for the public
  • Facilitating a Sounds of California community recording session
  • A culminating event at an Arts in Corrections traditional arts residency
  • An artist sharing at our Traditional Arts Roundtable Series

On behalf of our board and staff, and those that we serve, we thank you again for your generosity and support.
In gratitude,

Amy Kitchener                                                           
Executive Director   

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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