March 3, 2020

What can traditional arts practices tell us about different ways of approaching health and wellbeing? Join us for Cur’Arte, a series of roundtable events exploring the relationship between art and health with recognized artists, health workers, and community organizers in San Francisco as part of ACTA’s Traditional Arts Roundtable Series program.

ACTA has been at the forefront of studies, discussions, and practices centered on the many roles that traditional arts play at the intersection of community and public health. We are eager to deepen and highlight these contributions in an emerging field in the Bay Area through Cur’Arte, a series of free roundtable sessions that will take place in different venues in San Francisco in January, March, May, and June 2020. See the full schedule of events below.

Cur’Arte is a take on the Spanish word curarte or “to heal (you).” Our term highlights arte, or art, to emphasize the health benefits that the arts offer to creators, participants, and audiences. Considering the vast inequities in health outcomes and access to healthcare among different cultural groups today, we recognize the continuing benefits of generational practices that help create stronger individuals and communities.

This series highlights the radical practice of sustaining community health through the traditional arts.

“Through two decades of traditional arts work, ACTA has recorded an affirmation of cultural identity, a sense of belonging, and a purposeful manner of communal engagement that occurs through the practice of the traditional arts, all of which contribute to the holistic wellbeing of individuals and communities,” says ACTA Executive Director Amy Kitchener. “Shared practices like culturally rooted music, dance, material arts, and visual arts have tangible restorative effects on health and wellbeing. The Cur’Arte roundtable series brings artists and health specialists together to explore the link between traditional arts practice and health benefits both in theory and in practice.”

New Omnira photo by RJ Muna_SMALL_cropped

Singing Wellness in Unison Postponed

Out of an abundance of caution and to align with current public health recommendations regarding COVID-19, we’ve made the decision to postpone our March 28 Singing Wellness in Unison traditional arts roundtable event in San Francisco. We endeavor to reschedule this event with our partners at the Omnira Institute, the Community Music Center, and UCSF in the summer. We will keep you informed of any future updates to our public programming. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Saikhnaa Byamba performs the Mongolian ritual dance bielgee. Photo: P. Sanchez/ACTA.

More photos

Visit our Facebook page for more photos from the first Cur'Arte roundtable in January 2020


The Cur’Arte series of roundtables launched in January with the inaugural session Embodying Tradition as Health Practice at the Theatre of Yugen. We were joined by local artists and health advocates Kumu Kau’i Peralto, Yuriko Doi Walker, Sheila Devitt, Saikhnaa Byamba, and Elma Bataa in conversation with an audience composed of doctors, public health students, artists, and the general public. Through a moderated session led by ACTA staff, presenters talked about the balancing and restorative qualities of Aloha ʻĀina and the spiritual origins and foundations of Japanese noh and kyogen theater. After a contextualization and performance of bielgee, a Mongolian ritual shamanic dance, the event ended with an invitation to it—audience, staff, and presenters joined in a circle to experience bielgee.


“I think that the TARS event is groundbreaking and visionary. What we learned at the TARS event is that these traditions are not just about self or cultural expression, they are about building one’s mental, physical, and spiritual capacity. These art forms are not luxuries practiced only to make people feel good. These traditions are actually saving lives. I am so thankful to ACTA for highlighting the quiet power of these forms.”

—Celine Schein Das
Executive Director and Co-Founder, Chitresh Das Institute

 Since 2008, ACTA’s statewide Traditional Arts Roundtable Series has been designed to strengthen intercultural traditional arts networks and to offer opportunities for traditional and tradition-based artists and arts advocates to learn from one another through dialogue, technical assistance, networking, and sharing of community-based arts and culture. Organized into curated seasons, often in direct collaboration with partnering organizations across our California communities, each season of TARS anchors a common region or theme, or centers particular needs of the larger field of cultural practitioners and grassroots organizations holding up these valuable forms.

Note: all in-person events are cancelled due to COVID-19

All in-person events have been postponed due to public health concerns surrounding COVID-19. We will update this page with more information as it becomes available.

Participants at the January 2020 roundtable event "Embodying Tradition as Health Practice" at the Theatre of Yugen. Photo: P. Sanchez/ACTA.

Sheila Devitt from the Theatre of Yugen dances "Usagi" (The Rabbit). Photo: P. Sanchez/ACTA.

Saikhnaa Byamba leads all participants in the Mongolian ritual dance bielgee. Photo: P. Sanchez/ACTA.

Panelists and participants gathered for a Traditional Arts Roundtable at the Theatre of Yugen, San Francisco. Photo: P. Sanchez.

Kumu Kau'i Peralto shared the restorative qualities of Aloha ʻĀina. Photo: P. Sanchez/ACTA.

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Julian Carrillo Staff Photo Headshots by Shweta Saraswat, Oct 3, 2018


ACTA Program Manager Julián Carrillo | (415) 346-5200

Cur’Arte is generously supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission. Additional support provided by the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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