Mentor artist in Arabic frame drumming, Faisal Zedan (R), with his 2021 ACTA apprentice Nicole Hoffschneider (L). Photo courtesy of the artists.
Announcing ACTA's 2021
Apprenticeship Recipients
Now entering its 21st year, ACTA's Apprenticeship Program awarded 21 artist pairs with a total of $63,000 this year to encourage the continuity of the state's living cultural heritage through one-on-one mentorship.

ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program contracts exemplary mentor artists to offer intensive training and mentorship to skilled apprentices. Contracts of $3,000 are made with California-based mentor artists to cover their fees, supplies, and, if safe, their travel. Participants work closely with ACTA staff to develop and document the apprenticeships, culminating in opportunities to share results of their work with the public. In the last two decades, ACTA has awarded 385 contracts to outstanding traditional artists and practitioners across the state.

The 2021 Apprenticeship Program cohort of 42 artists (21 pairs) represents California’s breadth of cultural diversity and intergenerational learning. The pairs range from mentor artists in their late 70s to an 11-year old apprentice, spanning from San Diego to Humboldt Counties. These apprenticeships continue thriving traditions, including indigenous California cultural practices like Karuk women's ceremonial dress making, the traditional foodways of the Ohlone table ceremony, handgame songs of the Maidu tradition, and Dunlap Mono basketry. Others celebrate traditions which have taken root in California, and originally hail from the American South, or West Africa, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Afghanistan, Syria, and indigenous New Zealand.
Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions in Folk and Traditional Arts
One month left to apply!

Administered by
The Alliance for California Traditional Arts

Applications are OPEN for the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions in Folk and Traditional Arts. Ten commission awards of $150,000 will support the creation of 10 new works in the folk & traditional arts to premiere in the Bay Area between 2021 - 2024. The commissions will fund projects based in performative genres, including dance, music, storytelling and theater, and other traditional arts expressions that have a strong performative element, according to the community of practice. View an info session about this opportunity here.

DEADLINE: March 8, 2021
Celebrating 2020 National Heritage Fellows

March 4, 2021
The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, will present “The Culture of America: A Cross-Country Visit with the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellows,” on March 4, 2021 at 5 PM PST. Join storyteller Queen Nur as she hosts a virtual trip across the country, taking viewers into the homes and communities where the 2020 National Heritage Fellows live and create. The pre-recorded virtual presentation will be webcast free to the public at No RSVP needed. Check out a beautiful preview for the event here.

ACTA is especially pleased to celebrate 2020 Heritage Fellows and California cultural treasures Zakarya and Naomi Diouf (of Oakland-based Diamano Coura West African Dance Company) and Hugo N. Morales (of Fresno's Radio Bilingue radio network). Learn more about these California artists and advocates here!

See you there!
ACTA's Quetzal Flores Featured by Sounds of Health Network
"My hope is that there is a healthy ongoing dialogue between community organizations, nonprofit organizations, and artists where these cultural convening methods are then implemented on a deeper level so that the everyday practice of a community involves art and culture."

As part of the launch of the new Sound Health Network, organizer and ACTA Program Manager Quetzal Flores spoke with cognitive neuroscientist John Iverson of UC San Diego about his creative approach to social activism.

Fond Farewells
Join us in wishing farewell to two ACTA staff members as they transition to new opportunities!
Marcella Lopez-Schmidt joined ACTA to support cultural practitioners and their communities to thrive. Her sincerity and passion shone through in her work as a coordinator in ACTA's Arts in Corrections program. Marcella is moving on to a position at the Fresno Housing Authority where she will apply data to address homelessness, especially in response to COVID-19.

"During my time at ACTA, I learned that equity is embedded in cultural bearers' processes and practices. When we center these communities we can achieve justice for people and excellence in our work. I will continue to apply these lessons to all of my future work."
ACTA's Executive Assistant Crystal Murillo has contributed greatly to the daily functioning of ACTA. She brought her breadth of technical skill, her swift problem-solving, and her dependability to the administration of ACTA across all programs. Crystal is taking a new position at Prima Wawona, the largest producer of stonefruit in the country located in Crystal's hometown of Cutler-Orosi.

"I knew what the traditional arts were before joining ACTA, but I didn't realize the work it took to keep these traditions alive in California. I will forever be an advocate and speak often about ACTA's contributions."
California Arts Council Launches New Individual Artist Fellowships Program

The California Arts Council has announced the opening of a new fellowship program intended to recognize, uplift, and celebrate California artists as part of its 2021 grant opportunities. The Individual Artist Fellowships will support artists from a broad spectrum of artistic practices, backgrounds, geographies and communities, whose work addresses themes such as race, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

The Individual Artist Fellowships will support artists, 18 years of age and older, at key moments in their careers, elevating their capacity for continued contribution to the field and our state. The grant identifies three career tiers at which artists may benefit from this support:
  • CAC Emerging Artist Fellows – $5,000 per award (approximately 70 artists to be supported)
  • Artists with between two and four years of artistic practice.  
  • CAC Established Artist Fellows – $10,000 per award (approximately 50 artists to be supported)
  • Artists with between four and 10 years of artistic practice.
  • CAC Legacy Artist Fellows – $50,000 per award (approximately 10 artists to be supported)
  • Well-established artists with 10 or more years of artistic practice.
What music would you like to see on the next Golden Record?

The Brandenburg Concerto 300th Anniversary Project asks: What music would you like to have heard on the Voyager Golden Record that they did not include? Or put another way, what list of music would you want to represent all of humanity and human history that might be launched on a future Golden Record that would travel through space for the next 5 billion years?

What is the Golden Record? Read about the original Golden Record from the Voyager spacecraft here.
Five grant opportunities with the California Arts Council are open for applications. These grants prioritize relief & recovery for California’s creative artists and businesses impacted by COVID-19, and are available for both organizations and individual artists.
Deadline: various, beginning 02/11/2021

ACLU Northern California is currently seeking proposals from artists interested in becoming their first-ever artist-in-residence. The 2021 residency will embed an artist or creative worker in an ACLU NorCal project for a year-long collaboration to bring art-based and creative strategies to the ACLU’s work and to engage impacted communities. The artist will receive a $16,000 stipend, along with up to $10,000 for materials.
Deadline: 02/21/2021

NDP Production Grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts provide funding to artists/companies to create new dance works and touring subsidies to the U.S. organizations who bring those works to their communities. Production Grants are awarded to 20 dance projects annually through a competitive two-stage application process. 
First Deadline: 03/01/2021

CDP NextGen grants are designed for youth media organizations in support of emerging California media makers age 18 and under. CDP NextGen invites applications from California-based nonprofit organizations and public agencies with established track records in youth media programming to provide training and support to emerging media makers in the creation of short, insightful nonfiction films and/or podcasts that tell original stories about life in California today. Eligible applicants may apply for funding up to $15,000.
Deadline: 03/15/2021
Want to learn how you can support the work of ACTA?
The Alliance for California Traditional Arts is the California Arts Council's official partner in serving the state's folk and traditional arts field.