January 21, 2014

Master Ohlone basketweaver Linda Yamane (left) and her 2014 apprentice Vera Bocanegra Powers.Apprenticeship Program has supported California’s cultural traditions with 259 contracts to outstanding folk and traditional artists and practitioners.  Now entering its fourteenth cycle, ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program encourages the continuation of the state’s living cultural heritage by contracting exemplary master artists to offer intensive training and mentorship to qualified apprentices. Contracts of $3,000 are made with California-based master artists to cover master artist’s fees, supplies and travel.  Participants work closely with ACTA staff to develop and document the apprenticeships, culminating in opportunities to publicly share results of the apprenticeship.

The 2014 Apprenticeship Program cohort of 39 artists reflects California’s breadth of cultural diversity and intergenerational learning, ranging from master artists well into their 70s to a 15-year old apprentice, spanning from Siskiyou to Riverside Counties.  Thriving traditions supported through these apprenticeships reflect indigenous California cultural practices that include Karuk Baby Cradle Basket, Yurok Redwood Dugout Canoe Carving; and cultural traditions which have taken root in California hailing from regions such as Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, West Africa, Vietnam, North and South India, China, Japan, Hawaii, and the Philippines. 

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts’ Apprenticeship Program is supported with funding from The James Irvine Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Walter & Elise Haas Fund; plus individual contributors supporting one or more apprenticeships — Artivist Entertainment, Ed Kissam, Howard L. Kitchener Memorial, and the many donors to the 2014 apprenticeship giving campaign.

A traditional Yurok redwood dugout canoe, constructed by master artist George Blake and his apprentices Sagep Jake Blake and Caw-Tep Wolf Lee Sylvia.George Nixon Blake will share with his son Sagep Jacob Blake and his nephew Caw-Tep Wolf Lee Sylvia the knowledge and ritual of carving the Yurok Redwood dugout Canoe.

Returning to the Apprenticeship Program is master artist Roman Carrillo (2006), who will pass on to Hector Luis Rivera the drumming, singing and dancing traditions of the Puerto Rican Bomba.

Chinese Lion Dance master artist Corey Chan (2011) returns to the Apprenticeship Program to mentor apprentice Charles Lee in learning the skills of the big headed Buddha practice of this tradition. 

Master artist Jacob Hernandez (seated) is one of the only marimbol players in California.  During his participation in the Apprenticeship Program this year, he will train apprentice Vaneza Mari Calderon in the craft of making strings for guitars and other string instruments.Jacob Hernandez provides a unique mentorship with Vaneza Mari Calderon in the art of string construction for Mexican folk instruments.

Master artist Adama Jewel Jackson will mentor apprentice Sesa Bakenra in the art of creating stories through dance, utilizing dance forms from West African traditions.

Master artist Alam Khan will pass to his brother Manik Khan knowledge of the Sarode, a prominent stringed instrument of the Hindustani classical music tradition.

Master artist Shirley Kazuyou Muramoto plays the koto, a traditional Japanese 13-stringed zitherLeslie Susan Ko.

Master musician Masayuki Koga will mentor John Takeshi Morris in the bamboo flute tradition of the Japanese Skakuhachi.

Terry Nguyen will apprentice with master artist Miho Kurachi to learn the Japanese repertoire of Tsugaru Minyo and the technique of the Japanese instrument the Tsugaru Shamisen.

Master artist Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto will prepare apprentice Isabella Teanna Lew so that she may test to receive her teaching credentials for the Japanese Koto.

Returning master artist Padma Kutty (2011, 2009) will provide mentorship to her apprentice Hasini K. Sundaresan to develop her skills in Carnatic classical vocal traditions.

Master Afro-Colombian percussionist Eduardo Martínez Arvilla.Eduardo Martnez Arvilla will provide mentorship to Alberto López so that he may further develop his skills and cultural understanding of the Afro-Colombian drumming and gaita traditions.

Master artist Shiwaya Peck (2011) will work closely with her apprentice Valerie Edwards to develop her skills in the traditional construction and processes of Yamani Maidu Burden Baskets.

Kristen Rose Raymond will develop a cultural and technical understanding of constructing traditional Baby Baskets from the Yurok, Karuk, and Hoopa traditions through a mentorship with master artist Magaret Lee Peters.

Master artist Salvador Ramírez will provide instruction and mentorship to apprentice Pedro Ramírez in the Chilena musical tradition of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Ceremonial caps woven by master Karuk basketweaver Wilverna Reece.Wilverna Reece will provide mentorship to apprentice Dixie Rogers (2003 previous apprentice with Kathy Wallace) in Karuk Tribe traditional cradle baby basket weaving.

Dance master Eric Solano will mentor apprentice Brian Anthony B. Batugo in the tradition of Pangalay dance from the Philippines. 

Audrey Do will be apprenticing with returning master musician Van-Anh Vo (2011) to further develop the cultural and technical understanding of the Vietnamese Dan Tranh.

Master artist Linda Yamane (2010, 2000) will return to the Apprenticeship Program to share with her apprentice Vera Bocanegra Powers the cultural significance, practical functions and medicinal attributes utilized in Ohlone traditions.