ACTA Launches Promise Zone Arts Cultural Asset Mapping Project in Los Angeles

Sandi Romero

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts is pleased to begin work on the Promise Zone Arts project, a two-year cultural asset mapping program that will celebrate the cultural treasures of the Los Angeles Promise Zone. The federally-designated LA Promise Zone is a collective impact, anti-poverty initiative that provides resources and leadership to public, non-profit, and community-based organizations working in Central Los Angeles. Promise Zone Arts seeks to illuminate the value of neighborhood cultural assets—the people, places, and things that residents find culturally, historically, and aesthetically meaningful—and make them visible as essential in making our communities more sustainable and livable. 

ACTA's Work with Small Arts Organizations Highlighted in Grantmakers in the Arts Reader

In a recent article published in the Grantmakers in the Arts Reader, ACTA Executive Director Amy Kitchener and co-author Ann Markusen explore "how small arts nonprofits are undercounted, how broad ranging, sustainable, and valuable they are, and how they differ from larger organizations."  Learning from their joint field research on small organizations for of the James Irvine Foundation-funded report California's Arts and Cultural Ecology (2011) and ACTA's participation in the Community Leadership Project, Amy and Ann share "ways that funders can better work with smaller arts nonprofits to further their missions," urging "philanthropy to nurture a fuller range of artistic expression in our contemporary world."

Visit the GIA's website to read Working with Small Arts Organizations: How and Why It Matters.

Weaving Traditional Arts Into the Fabric of Community Health: A Briefing From the Alliance for California Traditional Arts

Photo detail of handwoven Laotian textile by ACTA Master artist, Leanne Mounvongkham. Photo by A. Kitchener

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) is pleased to announce the publication of Weaving Traditional Arts Into the Fabric of Community Health, a briefing on the potential to promote health through engagement in community-centered traditional arts.  The briefing presents an overview of the burgeoning field of arts-for-health, as evidenced by evaluations of two of ACTA’s signature programs: the Living Cultures Grants Program and the Apprenticeship Program.

This briefing will be of particular interest to funders and organizations with a mission to support programming in the fields of the arts, health, and community development, as well as to artists and researchers in the fields of community medicine and public health and policy, the folk & traditional arts, and community-based arts and culture.

Effects of the Economic Recession on the Folk & Traditional Arts

In February 2009, an ad hoc volunteer task force, spearheaded by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA), the Fund for Folk Culture (FFC), and the National Council for the Traditional Arts, was formed to develop a survey for the folk and traditional arts field about the impact of the recession.  Staff from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the Washington State Commission on the Arts Folk & Traditional Arts Program, the Western Folklife Center and independent folklorist Pat Jasper offered additional input as the survey developed.  Surale Phillips (Decision Support Partners) and Jerry Yoshitomi (MeaningMatters, LLC) assisted the group in survey design, data processing, tabulation and interpretation of results.  The survey was distributed online for a time limited time in early-2009.  The survey represents the experiences of a broad cross-section of people and organizations involved in the folk and traditional arts at a challenging moment in time.  It provides a view of how people and organizations are faring and how they are impacted by the current economic recession.

Artists and the Economic Recession - A National Survey by LINC

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts invites you to participate in Leveraging Investments in Creativity’s (LINC’s) current survey, Artists and the Economic Recession, which will provide important data about the economic recessions’ impact on artists. Even if you’ve taken other surveys this year (and there have been many!), please take the time to participate.  ACTA is working with LINC to tabulate comparative data that will reveal changes between ACTA and the Fund for Folk Culture's February 2009 survey data and the current LINC results. Thank you!

James Irvine Foundation Releases Study: Cultural Engagement in California's Inland Regions

In October 2008, the James Irvine Foundation published their research concerning cultural engagement in California's inland regions.  Irvine commissioned WolfBrown and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts to investigate patterns of cultural engagement in the San Joaquin Valley and the Inland Empire.  These two rapidly growing, ethnically diverse regions of California have a combined population of nearly eight million people.  The study surveyed more than 6,000 people and uncovered a range of cultural activity in music, theater and drama, reading and writing, dance, and visual arts and crafts — much of which occurs off the radar of the traditional infrastructure of nonprofit arts organizations and facilities.

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program Survey 2006

In 2006, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, in partnership with the Oregon Folklife Program of the Oregon Historical Society and with consultants Surale Phillips and Darcy Minter, conducted a survey of state apprenticeship programs across the nation.  A summary of the results are available for download.