Supporting California's thriving cultural communities

Photos from the September 21, 2019 event Promise Zone Arts Live! at Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park, Los Angeles. Featuring performances and workshops by cultural treasures of Los Angeles including Gino Gamboa, Thai Health and Information Services, Bibak, Raul Herrera, Maqueos Music Academy, Imperial Court of LA and Hollywood, Chervona Kalyna Dance Group, El Cortez, and Lan Nartthasin Thai Dance Group. Musical entertainment included cumbia band Very Be Careful and DJ Chulita Vinyl Club. MC: Betto Arcos, KPFK's Global Village.

Photos by Timo Saarelma/ACTA.


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.

Queering California Traditions: A Pride Series

Celebrating the insights and voices of California’s queer traditional artists through stories, videos, and more!

Explore the Series
Bagdouma Park, 2014, East Coachella Valley Cultural asset map, Building Healthy Communities

Resources for Traditional Artists and Organizations Affected by COVID-19

Check out or bookmark ACTA's regularly-updated shortlist of funding and readiness resources carefully compiled with traditional artists and organizations in mind.

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.

Learn more about ACTA
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.

Explore our programs
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.

Join the vision
Apprenticeship Program
Encouraging the continuity of California’s traditional arts and cultures
Arts in Corrections
Bridging culture and community behind prison walls
Building Healthy Communities
Elevating traditional arts practices that center community knowledge and culture in campaigns for health equity
Living Cultures Grant
Supporting the creativity of cultural communities
Sounds of California
Sharing stories of migration and community through music
Traditional Arts Roundtable Series
Sharing practices and resources for a more sustainable arts field

Stories + News