March 5, 2019

Son Jarocho musician Cesar Castro works with youth as part of the BHC Boyle Heights program.

Art is a transformative advocacy tool.

Our work at ACTA enables activists and organizers to use traditional arts processes and values to inform their social justice efforts. From collective songwriting to indigenous embroidery, the practice of community-centered art helps build sustainable opportunities for co-creation, social engagement, and change. ACTA invests in frameworks of traditional art practices that are rooted in participation, mentorship, communal aesthetics, and the acuerdos (agreements) that come with those communal aesthetics.

One way we do this is through the Building Healthy Communities initiative, launched by The California Endowment to address health inequities in 14 California communities. Since 2012, ACTA has been bringing traditional artists together with community members in Boyle Heights, Merced, Santa Ana, and the East Coachella Valley to open pathways for connection, reflection, and mobilization through the practice of art.

Click through to our online blog to see videos and hear stories of how the traditional arts contribute to community development.

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