Program Contact: Amy Kitchener, Executive Director
Fresno Central Office | firstname.lastname@example.org | (559) 696-2815
Rola del Dia Original Songs
ACTA commissioned local musicians with connections to Boyle Heights to compose original songs that represent the histories and current stories of the neighborhood, throwing light on Boyle Heights’ existence as the home some Japanese Americans returned to following incarceration during WWII, as the first stop for new immigrants from Mexico, as a sanctuary for mariachi musicians, and a changing landscape shaped by freeways, gentrification, and other changes. The songs debuted as part of ACTA’s weekly Rola del Dia series online, which featured interviews with the musicians touching on their inspirations, aspirations, and creative process. Check out the artist interviews here!
Community Documentation by Boyle Heights Residents
Residents are engaged in capturing the sounds and voices that make Boyle Heights home, reaffirming and making visible the cultural wealth of the community. This documentation is the basis of a community-driven archive of what it means to belong in Boyle Heights at pivotal moment in history.
In the winter and spring of 2021, ACTA will continue to lead collective songwriting sessions in the community of Boyle Heights working with base communities organizing around the rights of street vendors, community control of land for housing and growing food, restorative justice, and others. The traditional practice of collective songwriting contributes to strengthening community agency, supporting collective action on policy issues affecting residents through active participation in the process of gathering, composing, and organizing.
This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit calhum.org.
Singers from the Omnira Institute's Awon Omnira Choir create connections between the African-American experience and African spirituality through their sacred drumming and chants. Photo by Sonia Narang/ACTA.
Young performers from Au Co Vietnamese Cultural Center prepare for their performance. Photo by Sonia Narang/ACTA.
Students from the Au Co Vietnamese Cultural Center perform.
Rehearsal with musicians from La Familia Peña-Govea, a family of musicians who perform traditional Mexican songs with an activist Chicano perspective. Photo by Sonia Narang/ACTA.
La Familia Peña-Govea perform. Photo by Sonia Narang/ACTA.
ACTA Executive Director Amy Kitchener. Photo by Sonia Narang/ACTA.
Master of Ceremony Rhodessa Jones, co-artistic director of the acclaimed San Francisco theater company Cultural Odyssey and recipient of the prestigious U.S. Artist Fellowship. Photo by Sonia Narang/ACTA.
21-year-old Kurdish-Alevi musician Isik Berfin, who performed with her mother Özden Öztoprak. Their distinct Kurdish repertoire of songs stem from a Sufi spiritual tradition that has passed down behind closed doors, from Özden’s grandparents to Berfin. Photo by Sonia Narang/ACTA.
Audience members at the 2018 Sounds of California Concert in Bayview.
Hear from some of the artists who participated in the Sounds of California recording sessions in Mayfair in this video:
Hear L.A.-based musician Martha González of the band Quetzal speak about why it is important to highlight and share local culture at the national level:
Hear the performing artists from the 2015 concert in dialogue with each other and ACTA board president Dan Sheehy:
Learn more on our YouTube channel!
See and hear the cultural richness of California by subscribing to ACTA's YouTube channel! With documentaries, interviews, and performance videos, our channel takes you across the state of California through the traditional arts.