For 20 years the Alliance for California Traditional Arts’Apprenticeship Program has supported California’s cultural traditions with 364 contracts to outstanding traditional artists and practitioners.
Now entering its 20th cycle, ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program encourages the continuity of the state’s living cultural heritage by contracting exemplary mentor artists to offer intensive training and mentorship to qualified apprentices. Contracts of $3,000 are made with California-based mentor artists to cover their 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 2020 Apprenticeship Program cohort of 32 artists(16 pairs) represents California’s breadth of cultural diversity and intergenerational learning. The pairs range from mentor artists in their 70s to a 12-year old apprentice, spanning from San Diego to Contra Costa Counties. These apprenticeships continue thriving traditions, including indigenous California cultural practices like the Southern California tribal sport Waw’kish. Others celebrate traditions which have taken root in California, and originally hail from the Philippines, Laos, India, Iran, Haiti, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, West Africa, and the Andes of South America.
ACTA is pleased to announce the 16 statewide artist pairs contracted in the 2020 Apprenticeship Program:
Richard Bugbee(Payoomkawichum-Luiseno), previously an ACTA apprentice to Jane Dumas in traditional plant use(2009), returns this year to mentor Timothy Ornelas in the elements of Waw’kish(Field Hockey), a Southern California tribal sport.
Mary Alfaro will apprentice under José“Pepe” Carlos Gonzalez to deepen her practice in the requinto romántico, a soprano melodic guitar played in trío romántico music(a form of bolero music rooted in Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico).
Vocalist Adrienne Shamszad will be apprenticing with Iranian-American musician and composer Atabak Elyasi in deepening her practice in the Persian setar and other elements of Persian traditional music.
Jenny Bawer Young(2016, 2012) returns to the program to work with Teresita“Terry” Kataag Bautista in Kalinga music and chants, an indigenous music of the Kalinga province of the Philippines that traditionally accompanies Kalinga laga weaving sessions.
Master musician Hector Zapana will be working with apprentice Edson Veizaga in the traditional Andean pan flute known as the siku in Aymara and Quechua. Since one instrument cannot play all the notes of a scale, two siku players will use an interlocking technique to play the entire melody.