WasabiKai is a ceramics program of the Senshin Buddhist Temple of Los Angeles.  The veritable institution has had a profound effect on the Japanese and Japanese- American community by its commitment to traditional arts, namely safeguarding Gagaku music, Bugagku dance, and introducing the first Taiko group…
We at ACTA were saddened to hear of the passing of Lillian Nakano in February of 2015. In 1936, Lillian Nakano was an eight year old growing up in Hawai’i. At that age, she was attracted to the sound of the shamisen and immediately began studying shamisen as well as…
Sometimes when a people survive the greatest of tragedies, art and culture is the first thing they turn to in order to continue. Although 90 percent of all Cambodian classical artists perished between 1975 and 1979 after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, those who did survive wandered out from…
Houman Pourmehdi is a master percussionist, well known for his diverse abilities as a musician, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, performing and recording in numerous ensembles and at a variety of venues. He was introduced to Persian music by his father, and received his first Tonbak at the age of three from…
Gardena-based master kutuu player Katsuko Teruya Arakawa served as a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2008 with apprentice Pamela Joy Afuso of Los Angeles. The Okinawan kutuu, more commonly known elsewhere in Japan as the koto, is a thirteen-stringed Paulownia wood zither played by…
Djivan Gasparyan (1928-2021) was an Armenian musician and composer based in Sherman Oaks, CA. He played the duduk, a double reed woodwind instrument related to the orchestral oboe. Born in Solak, Armenia to parents from Mush, Gasparyan started to play duduk when he was six. In 1948 he became a…
Grupo Folklorico Huaxyacac is folkloric dance group performing the regional dances of Oaxaca, Mexico. The performing group was founded in 1989 by the Regional Organization of Oaxaca which, two years earlier, introduced to California the first Guelagetza celebration which is a well-established and beloved event in their home state. Today…
Pasadena Community Job Center connects skilled day laborers, both men and women, for a variety of services. They have been a part of the community for 14 years providing over 12,000 jobs to skilled workers.  Affiliated with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, they are committed…
Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras is a Los Angeles-based ensemble theater group made up of day laborers. Since 2008, the ten-member troupe has developed fifteen short plays examining social justice issues such as worker and immigrant rights, building healthy families and workplaces, and exploring the creation of…
Ballet Folklórico Pilares de México was formed in 2008, offering instruction in regional Mexican folk dances to an initial seven children.  Currently, over 55 children and adolescents (ages 5-18) are an active part of the troupe, which performs at community events and venues in Orange County, including hospitals, churches, family…