January 26, 2019

Since 1999, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts’ (ACTA’s) Apprenticeship Program has supported California’s cultural traditions with 348 contracts to outstanding folk and traditional artists and practitioners.

Now entering its 19th cycle, ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program encourages the continuity 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 their work.

The 2019 Apprenticeship Program cohort of 34 artists (17 pairs) represents California’s breadth of cultural diversity and intergenerational learning. The pairs range from master artists in their 60s to a 15-year old apprentice, spanning from San Diego to Humboldt Counties. These apprenticeships continue thriving traditions, including indigenous California cultural practices that include Yurok, Karuk, and Hupa basketry. Others celebrate traditions which have taken root in California, and originally hail from Peru, Africa, Bolivia, India, Iran, Armenia, China, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Mexico, and Vietnam.

ACTA is pleased to announce the 17 statewide artist pairs contracted in the 2019 Apprenticeship Program:

Master artist Mehrdad Arabifard (L) with his apprentice Negin Fadaee (R). Photo courtesy of the artists.
Master artist Mehrdad Arabifard (L) with his apprentice Negin Fadaee (R). Photo courtesy of the artists.

Mehrdad Arabifard + Negin Fadaee, Tarzana and Woodland Hills

Mehrdad Arabifard will be teaching Negin Fadaee techniques of the percussive Persian Tombak.

Master Carnatic musician Hari Asuri (L) and his apprentice Brinda Asuri (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.Master Carnatic musician Hari Asuri (L) and his apprentice Brinda Asuri (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.

Hari Asuri + Brinda Asuri, Irvine

Master vocalist Hari Asuri will be working with his daughter and apprentice Brinda Asuri in sankeertanam, a south Indian musical tradition.

Master Armenian cook Zarouhi “Zee” Bedrossian (L) and her apprentice Julianne Burk (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.
Master Armenian cook Zarouhi “Zee” Bedrossian (L) and her apprentice Julianne Burk (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.

Zarouhi “Zee” Bedrossian + Julianne Burk, Fresno

Zarouhi “Zee” Bedrossian will be sharing traditions of Armenian home cooking with her apprentice, Julianne Burk. Follow along with their blog, The Stranger in Your Kitchen, where they will be documenting Zee’s recipes.

Master tabla artist Swapan Chaudhuri (L; photo courtesy of the artist) and his apprentice Rohan Krishnamurthy (R; photo by Julie Michelle Sparenberg).
Master tabla artist Swapan Chaudhuri (L; photo courtesy of the artist) and his apprentice Rohan Krishnamurthy (R; photo by Julie Michelle Sparenberg).

Swapan Chaudhuri + Rohan Krishnamurthy, San Rafael and Oakland

Swapan Chaudhuri (2016) comes back to the program to work with Rohan Krishnamurthy on North Indian tabla forms (Krishnamurthy was also a 2017 master artist in Mridangam Carnatic music).

Master artist of indigenous Kulintang music Bernard Barros Ellorin (L) and his apprentice Kimberly Kalanduyan. Photo by Keoni Villanueva.
Master artist of indigenous Kulintang music Bernard Barros Ellorin (L) and his apprentice Kimberly Kalanduyan. Photo by Keoni Villanueva.

Bernard Barros Ellorin + Kimberly Kalanduyan, San Diego

Master artist Bernard Barros Ellorin will train his apprentice Kimberly Kalanduyan in Kulintang music of the Southern Philippines.

Master Korean folk dancer DaEun Jung (L), and with her apprentice Melody Hyun-Jeong Shim (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.
Master Korean folk dancer DaEun Jung (L), and with her apprentice Melody Hyun-Jeong Shim (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.

DaEun Jung + Melody Hyun-Jeong Shim, Los Angeles

Apprentice Melody Hyun-Jeong Shim will be mentored by master artist DaEun Jung in Korean folk dance.

Master artist of Bojagi, or Korean wrapping cloths, Youngmin Lee (L; photo courtesy of the artist) and her apprentice Stephanie Rue (R; photo courtesy of the Korean Craft and Design Foundation).
Master artist of Bojagi, or Korean wrapping cloths, Youngmin Lee (L; photo courtesy of the artist) and her apprentice Stephanie Rue (R; photo courtesy of the Korean Craft and Design Foundation).

Youngmin Lee + Stephanie Rue, Pleasanton and Sacramento

Master artist Youngmin Lee with share the crafting of bojagi, or Korean wrapping cloths, with apprentice Stephanie Rue.

Apprentice Francisco Gomez Padilla (L) with master artist of Cambalache embroidery, Guadencia Lopez (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.
Apprentice Francisco Gomez Padilla (L) with master artist of Cambalache embroidery, Guadencia Lopez (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.

Gaudencia Lopez + Francisco Gomez Padilla, Reedley

Apprentice Francisco Gomez Padilla will learn the art of Cambalache, a kind of open-work embroidery, from his wife, master artist Gaudencia Lopez.

Master artist of Japanese Koto, Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto-Wong (L) with her apprentice Bo Shannon Chappel (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.
Master artist of Japanese Koto, Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto-Wong (L) with her apprentice Bo Shannon Chappel (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.

Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto-Wong + Bo Shannon Chappel, Oakland

Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto-Wong (2014, 2016) will be working with her apprentice Bo Shannon Chappel in Japanese Koto music.

Master artist of Marinera Limeña (Afro-Peruvian) dance, Pierr Padilla (L; photo courtesy of the Municipality of Lima, Peru) and his apprentice Carmen Roman (R; photo courtesy of RJ Muna).
Master artist of Marinera Limeña (Afro-Peruvian) dance, Pierr Padilla (L; photo courtesy of the Municipality of Lima, Peru) and his apprentice Carmen Roman (R; photo courtesy of RJ Muna).

Pierr Padilla + Carmen Román, Oakland

Master dancer Pierr Padilla will train his wife and apprentice Carmen Román in the Afro-Peruvian dance form Marinera Limeña.

Master basket weaver Dorothy Obie-Sylvia (R), with her apprentice Sonia Franzi (L). Photo courtesy of the artists.
Master basket weaver Dorothy Obie-Sylvia (R), with her apprentice Sonia Franzi (L). Photo courtesy of the artists.

Dorothy Sylvia + Sonia Franzi, Hoopa

Master weaver Dorothy Sylvia (Yurok/Karuk) will teach apprentice Sonia Franzi (Yurok/Karuk) how to make infant cradle baskets in the Yurok, Karuk, and Hupa tradition.

Master of Chinese Opera Eva Tam (L) and her apprentice Teresa Luk (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.
Master of Chinese Opera Eva Tam (L) and her apprentice Teresa Luk (R). Photos courtesy of the artists.

Eva Tam + Teresa Luk, San Francisco

Cantonese Opera performer Eva Tam will train apprentice Teresa Luk in the Chinese art form.

Master dancer Soumya Tilak (L; photo courtesy of Chella Videos) and her apprentice Vibha Raju (R; photo courtesy of Raju Photography).
Master dancer Soumya Tilak (L; photo courtesy of Chella Videos) and her apprentice Vibha Raju (R; photo courtesy of Raju Photography).

Soumya Tilak + Vibha Raju, San Jose and Fremont

Apprentice Vibha Raju will train under master artist Soumya Tilak in the South Indian classical dance form Bharatanatyam.

Master artist Luis Torres (R) with his apprentice Arthur Torres (L). Photo courtesy of the artists.
Master artist Luis Torres (R) with his apprentice Arthur Torres (L). Photo courtesy of the artists.

Luis Torres + Arthur Torres, Panorama City

Master artist Luis Torres will work with his son and apprentice Arthur Torres in the tradition of Andean music from Bolivia.

Master Carnatic vocalist Jayashree Varadarajan (L) with her apprentice Kaushik Shivakumar (R). Photo courtesy of the artists.
Master Carnatic vocalist Jayashree Varadarajan (L) with her apprentice Kaushik Shivakumar (R). Photo courtesy of the artists.

Jayashree Varadarajan + Kaushik Shivakumar, Sunnyvale

Master artist Jayashree Varadarajan (2010, 2015) returns to take on apprentice Kaushik Shivakumar in South Indian Carnatic classical music.

Master artist Snigdha Venkataramani (L; photo courtesy of Canon Vijay), and with her apprentice Anagaa Nathan (R; photo courtesy of Suri Photography).
Master artist Snigdha Venkataramani (L; photo courtesy of Canon Vijay), and with her apprentice Anagaa Nathan (R; photo courtesy of Suri Photography).

Snigdha Venkataramani + Anagaa Nathan, Cupertino

Master dancer Snigdha Venkataramani will train her apprentice Anagaa Nathan in the Bharatanatyam dance.

Master musician Van-Anh “Vanessa” Vo (L; photo by Jason Lew) and her apprentice Thu Vu (R; photo by Prestige).
Master musician Van-Anh “Vanessa” Vo (L; photo by Jason Lew) and her apprentice Thu Vu (R; photo by Prestige).

Van-Anh “Vanessa” Vo + Thu Vu, Fremont

Van-Anh “Vanessa” Vo (2010, 2013, 2016) returns to the program to work with Thu Vu to deepen her practice in the Vietnamese Dan Tranh.


The Alliance for California Traditional Arts’ Apprenticeship Program is supported with generous funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, with additional support from the California Arts Council, the Surdna Foundation, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Read the full press release .

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