Supporting California's thriving cultural communities.

Quilting a History with Marion Coleman

Learn about the life and work of master African American quilter and 2018 National Heritage Fellow, Marion Coleman of Castro Valley.

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Traditional Arts Roundtable Series (TARS) event called 'Theories of Change and Transformative Cultural Practice.' Join us for a dialogue on cultural organizing strategies rooted in traditional arts practice with artists from ACTA's Building Healthy Communities work in Boyle Heights: Juana Mena, Ofelia Esparza, Omar Ramirez, Quetzal Flores, and Rosanna Esparza Ahrens in conversation with UCSB Black Studies Professor Dr. George Lipsitz. Part of the 2019 REMAP LA Conference.

Tribute to Altarista Ofelia Esparza

Watch a video focusing on the work and career of 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza, master Mexican-American altar maker from Los Angeles.

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The Oakland Asian Cultural Center, a 2008 Living Cultures Grant Program awardee, hosts a National Dishes series of culinary workshops. Photo: Lily Kharrazi/ACTA.

Our Mission

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) promotes and supports ways for cultural traditions to thrive now and into the future. Since our founding in 1997, we have distributed more than $5.5 million in grants to more than 1,200 artists and organizations throughout the state.

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Artist Marty Natividad leads a Danza Azteca class at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and California State Prison in Corcoran as part of ACTA's Arts in Corrections Program. Photo: Peter Merts, courtesy of the California Arts Council.

Supporting California’s living cultural heritage for more than 20 years

With more than a dozen staff members, ACTA is a statewide and national leader dedicated to supporting cultural practitioners and their communities. We travel up and down California from our offices in Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, reaching every corner of the state. We aim to serve as a bridge between cultural communities through our programs, providing opportunities for exchange, collaboration, and connection to new resources.

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Master artist Flavio “Paps” Alvarez and his grandnephew and apprentice Carlos Gonzales—both from Los Angeles—participated in ACTA's 2009 Apprenticeship Program focusing on their work in Garifuna Wanaragua song and dance. Photo: Sherwood Chen/ACTA.

Our vision is for a culturally and racially equitable California

In our increasingly fractured society, we believe ACTA plays a critical role in shaping a positive future for California where the unique value of every culture is respected, sustained, and appreciated. Through our programs, services, and funding opportunities for the traditional arts, we are weaving a more integrated, just, and empathetic social fabric across California.

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Apprenticeship Program
Encouraging the continuity of California’s traditional arts and cultures // Master batá drummer Juan Carlos Blanco Riera (R) and his 2010 apprentice Menelike Turner (L). Photo: Sherwood Chen/ACTA.
Arts in Corrections
Music workshop at California Correctional Institution in 2018. Photo by Peter Merts, courtesy of the California Arts Council.
Building Healthy Communities
ACTA program manager Quetzal Flores leads a collective songwriting workshop as part of ACTA's Building Healthy Communities work.
Living Cultures Grant
Yenedit Valencia dances the Jarabe Mixteco. Photo: Crystal Murrillo/ACTA.
Sounds of California
An artist from the Au Co Vietnamese Cultural Center in San Francisco plucks a dan tranh, a type of zither. Photo by Sonia Narang/ACTA.
Traditional Arts Roundtable Series
Master artist Peter de Guzman and his apprentice Jasmine Orpilla demonstrate Philippine pangalay dance at a 2019 Traditional Arts Roundtable Series event in Leimert Park. Photo: Timo Saarelma/ACTA, 2019.

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