January 21, 2014

The Oakland Interfaith Youth ChoirThe Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) is pleased to announce that it is awarding $285,000 in grants to California nonprofit organizations to support projects in folk and traditional arts through its Living Cultures Grants Program.  These grants support art making that demonstrates significant impact on a particular tradition.

Fifty-seven grants across the state represent community-based traditional arts reflecting the diversity of California’s populations.  Funded projects span all age groups in the learning and practice of traditional arts that include dance, music, material arts, foodways, indigenous knowledge, language revitalization and storytelling.  Through weekly lessons, intensive workshops, concert presentations, cultural fairs, and documentation projects, this year’s cohort features dance instruction to Lao youth in Fresno; an evening of Bosnian Sevdah singing and dance in San Francisco; workshops in the construction of Native sinew-backed bows in Humboldt County; Mexican folklorico dance lessons to youth in Tulare, Orange and Riverside Counties; and dance and drum classes with West African master performers in Alameda County, to name a few.

One hundred sixty-six applications were reviewed by a distinguished panel of cultural and community experts over a three-day period, and the final grant selections were approved by ACTA’s board of directors.

ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program is supported by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The James Irvine Foundation, with additional support provided by the California Arts Council, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and The San Francisco Foundation.  ACTA is the California Arts Council’s statewide partner in serving the folk & traditional arts field.

“These grants for culturally-specific arts practices provide communities a healthy way in which to participate in California’s future,” noted Amy Kitchener, ACTA Executive Director.  In its nine-year history, the Living Cultures Grants Program has supported 422 projects totaling over $2.6 million in grants.  “We are reaching into many corners of the state from Butte County down to San Diego,” continues Kitchener, “with small, strategic funding that makes a huge difference to the many grassroots community groups with which we work.  We see how participation in cultural art making can lead to strong leadership, positive group identity and expressions of great beauty which benefit the people of California.”

2014 Grantees

Grants in the amount of $5,000 were awarded to: 

Arab Cultural and Community Center—San Francisco, San Francisco County
Supporting the 20th Annual Arab Cultural Festival

During sessions of Banteay Srei’s SAUCE, program participants aged 14-19 are taught traditional food preparation by grandmothers, mothers, and other matriarchal community elders.

Banteay Srei / Asian Health Services—Oakland, Alameda County
Funds will support Southeast Asian Unity through Cultural Exploration (SAUCE), an intergenerational foodways and storytelling project

Berkeley Old Time Music Convention—Berkeley, Alameda County
Supporting the 12th Annual Old Time Music Convention of concerts, workshops, community jams

BrasArte—Berkeley, Alameda County
Funds will support the Yemanja Arts Festival 2014 showcasing Afro-Brazilian arts

California Chinese Orchestra—Oakland, Alameda County
Traditional Chinese music lessons for youth and adults will culminate in two public concerts

Over 500 dancers from over 25 Aztec dance groups participate in Calpulli Tonalehqueh's Aztec/Mexica New Year celebration.  They travel from all over California, the U.S., and abroad.  In a two-day period, more than 5,000 people attend.

California Indian Storytelling Association—Fremont, Alameda County
The project, Our Storytellers, Our Legacy, will digitize 15 years of documentation which will be available to a new generation via a website, workshops and presentations

Calpulli Tonalehqueh—San Jose, Santa Clara County
Funds will support the Azteca Mexica New Year which draws over 5,000 people over the 2-day observance

Members of Mariachi Tesoro, an all-star youth ensemble that emerges from the City of San Fernando's nationally-recognized Mariachi Master Apprentice Program.

Cambodian American Resource Agency, Inc.—San Jose, Santa Clara County
Graduating seniors will produce and perform classical and folk Khmer dance with live ensemble music 

Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oxaqueño—Fresno, Fresno County
La Guelaguetza 2014 will bring together the Oaxacan community in a cultural celebration of dance, music, food, and crafts 

Centro Cultural de Mexico—Santa Ana, Orange County
Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead celebration will include workshops on flower cultivation, foodways, and altar making

City of San Fernando—San Fernando, Los Angeles County
Funds will support the Master Mariachi Apprenticeship Program for youth

Coachella Valley Housing Coalition—Indio, Riverside County
Funding will make free Folklorico dance lessons and Mariachi music lessons available to youth

Community Music Center—San Francisco, San Francisco County
Support for the development and production of La Posarela, a bilingual musical play based on Mexican-American holiday traditions that is a valued part of the Mission District neighborhood 

Coyote’s Paw—Hoopa, Humboldt County
Master artist George Blake (Hupa/Yurok) will teach how to make sinew-backed bows

Youth dance troupe Mladost Bosne performs at a Bosnian community festival held at the Croatian American Cultural Center featuring Sevdah, a devotional singing style.

Croatian American Cultural Center—San Francisco, San Francisco County
Support for Bosnian Sevdah music and dance event

Cultural Arts of Gold—Oakland, Alameda County
Support will fund workshops in dance and drum featuring master artists from the Congo

Diamano Coura West African Dance Company—Oakland, Alameda County
Funding will support the 19th annual Collages de Cultures Africaines, four days of workshops, performance and discussion

Esperanza del Valle—Capitola, Santa Cruz County
Support will enhance repertoire development and the purchase of costumes for four different dances from the Veracruz region of Mexico

Floricanto Dance Theatre—Los Angeles, Los Angeles County
Support will allow dance artists and musicians to hone skills of improvisation of Jarocho songs 

Garifuna American Heritage Foundation, Inc. (GAHFU)—Long Beach, Los Angeles County
Funding will support the teaching dance, drum, song and cultural practices in Garifuna language

Ginga Arts—Los Angeles, Los Angeles County
Capoeira – a Brazilian martial art form which includes dance, music and history – will be taught to youth ages 5-18 years of age in South Los Angeles 

Glide Foundation—San Francisco, San Francisco County
Funding will support the Healing Through Negro Spirituals program for women 

Grupo Folklorico Los Girasoles—Pixley, Tulare County
Support will sustain youth classes in Mexican Folklorico dance 

Hmong Association of Long Beach—Long Beach, Los Angeles County
Funding will support the Qeej Not Gangs program, a multigenerational program of cultural arts activities

Inglewood Cultural Arts—Inglewood, Los Angeles County
Funds will support the first annual Cultural Arts Festival of the African Diaspora, free to the public

Members of Jun Daiko performing shishimai, or the Japanese lion dance.

Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California—Oakland, Alameda County
A series of concerts and events will highlight the diversity of Islamic arts and culture

Japanese Cultural Fair—Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County
Funds will support the presentation of traditional artists at this one day event

Students of L.A. Samba Kids, which provides after-school instruction in traditional music, dance, and visual and media arts from the Latin Americas to at-risk and under-served middle and high school students.

Jun Daiko—Mountain View, Santa Clara County
Workshops with a visiting master artist from Japan will refine the art of Japanese Lion Dance

Khmer Arts Academy—Long Beach, County Los Angeles
Funding will provide free after-school and weekend instruction in Cambodian classical dance for youth

Master weaver Jenny Bawer Young (right) will work with LAGA, California Circle, this year to continue the training of a group of apprentices in laga, the traditional Kalinga backstrap weaving of this indigenous peoples of the Philippines.

Konkow Maidu Cultural Preservation Association—Oroville, Butte County
Support will fund the construction of regalia or traditional dress

L.A. Samba Kids—Los Angeles, Los Angeles County
Support for afterschool programs of Brazilian traditional arts will serve middle and high school students in South Los Angeles

LAGA, California Circle—San Francisco, San Francisco County
Instruction in laga, traditional back-strap weaving of the Kalinga tribe of the Philippines, will expand to include youth

NEA Heritage Fellow Danny Kalanduyan will lead the Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble in performances of kulintang music, a music played on tuned gongs indigenous to the Mindanao region of the southern Philippines.

Laotian-American Community of Fresno—Clovis, Fresno County
Funding will support traditional Lao dance instruction for youth

Merced Lao Family Community, Inc.—Merced, Merced County
To support intergenerational instruction in qeej and Hmong traditional dance

Mindanao Lilang Lilang/Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble—South San Francisco, San Mateo
Funds will support concert presentations of traditional Mindanao kulintang music

North American Guqin Association—Union City, Alameda County
Workshops and performance support will introduce audiences to the Chinese zither and its meaning and aesthetics

Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir—Oakland, Alameda County
Funding will support the teen music education program

Omnira Institute—Oakland, Alameda County
To support the Awon Ohun Omnira (Voices of Freedom) choir 

Ong Dance Company & Ong Dance School—San Francisco, San Francisco County
Musical instrument purchases for the teaching of traditional Korean drum and dance to youth and adults

Assane and Ousseynou Kouyate, affectionately known as "the twins," perform at Sekhou Senegal's Nuit du Bazin.  The event brings together primarily West African residents to enjoy a night of finery where one wears their best bazin -- a cloth that is created after a long process of prepartion.  The twins are master artists and griots, keepers of the oral histories of their lineage.Ousseynou Kouyate / Sekhou Senegal Etoile—Oakland, Alameda County
The Nuit du Bazin project will host four days of dance workshops and performances with master artists of West Africa and celebration featuring traditional textiles and fashion.

Parangal Dance Company—San Bruno, San Mateo County
Funds will support kulintang musical training with Danongan “Danny” Kalanduyan, master artist from the Mindanao region of the Philippines

Proyecto Purepecha—Fresno, Fresno County
Purepecha culture will be celebrated in a festival gathering of traditional arts in the Central Valley

Raices Cultura—Coachella, Riverside County
Funds will support Día de los Muertos activities

Rara Tou Limen Haitian Dance Company—Oakland, Alameda County
Support for multi-day Rasanable! Haitian Arts Festival

REACH LA (Realistic Education in Action Coalition to Foster Health)—Los Angeles, Los Angeles County
To support a new professional dance studio and meeting hub for the Los Angeles House and Ball community

Regional Organization of Oaxaca-Organización Regional de Oaxaca (ORO)—Covina, Los Angeles County
To support the Guelaguetza Festival, a celebration of Oaxacan cultural traditions

Relampalgo del Cielo, Inc.—Santa Ana, Orange County
To support the annual ballet folklorico student concert

Members of Sukay, an ensemble who dedicated to the music of the Andes, hosts 10 days of workshops highlighting the Carnaval traditions of Bolivia in the Spring.

Sukay—San Francisco, San Francisco County
Ten days of workshops and performances highlight the Carnaval traditions of the Andes

Susanville Indian Rancheria—Susanville, Lassen County
Funds will support the Native Song project to record traditional songs and lullabies of the Maidu and Paiute language

Patricia Wells leads a guitar class at Teatro de la Tierra as part of their Generaciones project.

Teatro de la Tierra—Fresno, Fresno County
Support for the Generaciones Project will provide instruction in Mexican music to youth, teens, and adults

Thai Community Arts and Cultural Center—Los Angeles, Los Angeles County
Funds will support the 22nd annual Thai Cultural Day

The Bomba y Plena Workshop—Berkeley, Alameda County
Instruction in Afro-Puerto Rican dance and music forms will be offered on a weekly basis to youth 

The Music Circle—Pasadena, Los Angeles County
Funds will support the presentation of South and North Indian music and dance

United Women of East Africa Support Team—San Diego, San Diego County
Somali, Eritrean and Ethiopian foodways bring generations of women together to learn traditional food preparation and share life stories

Vive Oaxaca—Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County
La Guelagetza Festival celebrates Oaxacan cultural arts together in a day-long festival

Wishtoyo Foundation—Ventura, Ventura County
Funding will support a recording of Chumash songs in the Smuwic language

Yuva Bharati—Palo Alto, Santa Clara County
Classical Indian music programming will be recorded via television and internet resulting in 50 shows