July 9, 2019

“My mother…had an altar all the time. Before Day of the Dead, she would embellish them with flowers from our garden. She passed this on to me, and it was her own spirit, her own passion for her traditions that I was so influenced by.”

—Ofelia Esparza

Watch ACTA’s Executive Director Amy Kitchener in conversation with L.A.-based altarista and 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza about Ofelia’s practice as one of the most respected and prolific altaristas in California. As a first generation Mexican-American, Ofelia continues a legacy of remembrance through her carefully constructed altars that honor the dead through visual and material offerings. Watch the video learn more about Ofelia’s life and work.

Video produced by Sara Aguilar in association with the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and The National Council for Traditional Arts for the National Endowment for the Arts.



Nominate an Artist for a National Heritage Fellowship from the NEA!

Do you know a master traditional artist whom you would like to recognize? Nominate them for a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts!

To honor and preserve our nation’s diverse cultural heritage, the NEA annually awards up to nine NEA National Heritage Fellowships to master folk and traditional artists. These fellowships recognize artistic excellence, lifetime achievement, and contributions to our nation’s traditional arts heritage.  They must be actively participating in their art form, either as practitioners or as teachers.

Visit the NEA website to learn how you can nominate an artist for this award.

DEADLINE: July 30, 2019

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