January 19, 2015

Khaley Adouna's 2014 production of SIMB. L to R: Darian LaFoucade, Christopher Scott, Jonathan Secrease (Photo: Kevin McEwen)

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts is pleased to announce that it is awarding $200,000 in grants to California nonprofit organizations to support projects in folk and traditional arts through its Living Cultures Grants Program, now in its 10th year.  The annual funding program is available to nonprofit organizations and Native California tribes and supports art making that demonstrates significant impact on a particular tradition and cultural community.

Forty-one 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 youth from Myanmar in both San Diego and Los Angeles, support for Native basket weavers in Humboldt County, instruction and performance of Mexican mariachi and banda music in Oxnard and Santa Ana, as well as African-American quilting and gospel singing convenings in Oakland and Southern California.

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 Surdna Foundation, with additional support provided by the California Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the 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 with a way in which to participate in California’s future,” noted Amy Kitchener, ACTA Executive Director.  The program is in its 10th year and has supported 463 community-based projects with over $2.8 million.  “We are reaching into many corners of the state from Trinity County down to Riverside,” continues Kitchener, “with small, strategic funding that makes a huge difference to our investment partners.  We see how participation in cultural art making can lead to strong leadership, positive group identity, and expressions of great beauty which benefit all citizens.”

2015 Grantees

"Looking Forward" a quilt by African American Quilt Guild of Oakland member LaQuita TummingsAcademy of Hawaiian Arts (Oakland, Alameda County, $5,000)
Funds will support an intensive study of hula protocols to advanced students.

African American Quilt Guild of Oakland (Oakland, Alameda County, $5,000)
Workshops will involve quilt guild members with local youth in the creation of story quilts to reflect their neighborhoods.

Asociacion Mayab (San Francisco, County of San Francisco, $5,000)
Mayan dance lessons will support the community dance troupe to appear in public celebrations.

Avenue 50 Studio, Inc. (Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, $5,000)
Workshops in the Mexican paper cutting technique of papel picado will target a new generation of future practitioners.Papel picado by master artist Margaret Sosa (Photo courtesy of Avenue 50 Studio)

Ballet Folklórico Pilares de México (Garden Grove, Orange County, $5,000)
Youth classes in ballet folklórico.

Banteay Srei (Oakland, Alameda County, $5,000)
Vulnerable Southeast Asian-American young women come together with older women from their communities to share regional food preparation and stories to bridge generation gaps and promote communication.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. MaryAnne Santos (left) and Jenise San Nicolas debuted at the Chamorro Cultural Fest in San Diego in 2014 (Photo: Bryson Kim)

Bomba y Plena Workshop (Oakland, Alameda County, $5,000)
Youth classes in the dance and music of Puerto Rico will be offered to ages 2-14.

Calpulli Tonalehqueh (San Jose, Santa Clara County, $5,000)
Funds will support the Aztec New Year commemoration attracting over 7,000 people in March 2015. The rumba being danced by CubaCaribe director and master artist Ramon Ramos Alayo (Photo courtesy of CubaCaribe)

Central Coast Japanese American Legacy Organization (Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, $5,000)
Website development will allow the public to learn more about the internment of Japanese Americans in the World War II era.

Centro Cultural de Mexico (Santa Ana, Orange County, $5,000)
Support for youth lessons in banda music of Mexico.

Chamorro Hands in Education Links Unity: Che’lu (San Diego, San Diego County, $4,283)
Youth will learn dance of the Chamorro people, the indigenous people from Guam and the Marianna Islands.

CubaCaribe (San Francisco, County of San Francisco, $5,000)
Funding will support the festival which highlights dance and music of the Afro-Caribbean in performance and workshops.

DelinaDreamProductions (Oakland, Alameda Count, $5,000y)
Supporting Bare Souls, Bare Soles, a film that highlights the impact of Oakland’s vibrant African dance scene on the lives of African-American women.Dr. Margaret Douroux is an active figure in Gospel music and director of Heritage Music Foundation's annual conference.

Great Leap, Inc. (Long Beach, Los Angeles County, $5,000)
The creation of a new Japanese Obon song and dance will be shared with several cultural communities in Southern California.

Grupo Folklórico Juan Colorado (Merced, Merced County, $5,000)
Funds will support youth classes in Mexican folklórico and folklórico supplies.

Heritage Music Foundation (Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, $5,000)
Support for their annual gospel convening.

Imperial Valley Desert Museum (El Centro, Imperial County, $5,000)
Support will enhance the exhibit of Kumeyaay pottery exhibit with archival videos.Examples of Kumeyaay pottery or "ollas." (Photo: Imperial Valley Desert Museum)Members of INCA, the Perucian Music & Dance EnsembleKaren high school students perform the Don dance during San Diego's World Refugee Day in 2014 (Photo: UT San Diego)

INCA, the Peruvian Music & Dance Ensemble (Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, $5,000)
Workshops and concerts for youth will be held in public libraries throughout the year.

Inlakech Cultural Arts Center/Lucha, Inc. (Oxnard, Ventura County, $5,000)
Youth classes in mariachi, son jarocho, and folklorico will be supported

JC Culture Foundation (Artesia, Los Angeles County, $5,000)
Lion dance lessons for youth will be held in several after school program sites.Participants at KlezCalifornia's annual Yiddish Culture Festival (Photo courtesy of KlezCalifornia)

Karen Organization of San Diego (San Diego, San Diego County, $5,000)
Support will fund the teaching of traditional social dances to youth representing the cultural practices of the Karen people of Burma.

Khaley Adouna African Drum & Dance (Oakland, Alameda County, $5,000)
New repertoire will be performed in collaboration between local artists and master artists of West African dance.Costumed bugaku dancers accompany traditional Japanese gagaku ensembles (Photo courtesy Kinnara Gagaku)

Kinnara Gagaku (Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, $5,000)
Funds will support the creation and purchase of new costumes.

KlezCalifornia, Inc. (Berkeley, Alameda County, $5,000)
Support for their annual Yiddish Culture Festival.

Lao Community Cultural Center (San Diego, San Diego County, $5,000)
Support for traditional and social Lao dance for youth.

Network of Myanmar American Association: NetMAA (Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, $3,800)
Funds will support dance lessons for youth with culture bearers.

Nor Rel Muk Wintu Nation (Weaverville, Trinity County, $5,000)
Funds will support the creation of ceremonial regalia. Kyongil Ong teaches students drum and dance in San Francisco (Photo: Lily Kharrazi)

North American Guqin Association (Fremont, Alameda County, $5,000)
Performances and events will mark the 100th birthday of guqin master Zha Fuxi.

Northern California Gagaku Group (Berkeley, Alameda County, $4,825)
Funds will be used to purchase instruments.

OngDance Company & OngDance School (San Francisco, County of San Francisco, $5,000)
Youth classes in dance and drumming will be taught in San Francisco by master artist.

Ousseynou Kouyate Cultural Dance & Drum Collective (Oakland, Alameda County, $5,000)
Nuit du Bazin cultural celebration will also include workshops and gathering.

Parangal Dance Company (San Bruno, San Mateo County, $5,000)
New repertoire will be developed with a focus on indigenous Philippines.

Regional Organization of Oaxaca (Covina, Los Angeles County, $5,000)
Support for the 28th annual festival which is the largest Oaxacan event in California.

Round Whirled Records (San Francisco, County of San Francisco, $5,000)
Support for artist fees for the 4th annual Son Jarocho festival to be held in June.

Salinan Trowtraahl (Auburn, Placer County, $5,000)
Support for the Native California Salinan Bear Ceremony.

Selma Arts Foundation (Selma, Fresno County, $5,000)
Funding will support the Punjabi Bhangra dance project.

Teatro Visión de San José (San Jose, Santa Clara County, $5,000)
Performances of a play based on the B. Traven book Macario will be supported as well as panel discussions on hunger, a central theme of the work.

Tulare County League of Mexican-American Women (Visalia, Tulare County, $5,000)
Workshops in Mexican crafts related to Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) observances will be provided to youth and adults.

Warrior Institute (Hoopa, Humboldt County, $5,000)
Funds will support Native California women basket weavers to transmit cultural practices.

Women’s Audio Mission (San Francisco, County of San Francisco, $5,000)
Funds will involve youth engineers recording a women Mariachi ensemble in an ongoing program of cultural recordings.

[A now-defunct organization] (Berkeley, Alameda County, $5,000)
Calligraphy of Iran and other cultural
communities will be explored in workshops
and an exhibit.

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