Master artist Julie Dick-Tex and daughter/apprentice Mandy Marine studying the art of Western Mono beaded collars.
Working Through the Issues with Beads and Threads

By Russell Rodríguez  

" I'm just Indian being an Indian." 
 ~Mandy Marine

Visiting with artists in our Apprenticeship Program is often a re-orienting process: It is a reminder of why we place such value in culture-based art forms, why we practice them, or why we document them. In Fresno, California, Master artist Julie Dick-Tex, who participated in our 2016 cycle of Apprenticeships, mentored her daughter, Mandy Marine, in the Native tradition of Western Mono bead work. Their creative process reminds us what it means to claim and live our cultures out loud.
The year has started with incredible contention between the nation's highest official and communities of color, native, immigrant, and refugee communities throughout the nation. The President and the new governing cabinet have invested efforts to repeal and enhance legislative mandates that permit them to dismiss, disassemble, divide, de-territorialize, and basically disregard peoples and communities, reminding many of us how the struggles for a civil society or just basic human rights are non-ending. The executive mandate to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act; travel bans on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen; and immigration sweeps targeting the non-violent undocumented are but a few executive actions that illuminate direct attacks on people of aggrieved communities.

Photo: Craig Kohlruss
Congress Appoints ACTA's Amy Kitchener to Trustee Position at the Library of Congress

By Jennifer Joy Jameson

California's traditional artists and arts advocates have a new representative at our nation's official repository for archival folklife materials. Executive Director and ACTA Co-Founder, Amy Kitchener, received her Congressional Appointment to serve on the Board of Trustees for the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress on February 27, 2017.
Amy states, "I am honored to serve as a congressional appointee to the American Folklife Center, especially during this moment in history. The existence of the AFC affirms the critical role that government should play as a steward to preserve and present American folklife-helping us discover, remember and celebrate who we are as a people. I'm pleased to serve as the only California representative on the Board of Trustees in my work as the founding executive director of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts." Amy explained that the trustees are responsible for stewarding and guiding the center. According to the AFC,  the board meets several times a year in Washington, D.C. to "review the operations of the Center, engage in long-range planning and policy formulation, and share information on matters of cultural programming."

Image courtesy Americans for the Arts
In light of the President's proposed budget aiming to eliminate all federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), ACTA has linked arms with Americans for the Arts and thousands of other organizations
Here are three quick actions you can take:
  1. VOICE your concern in 2 minutes or less. Contact your elected officials in the House and Senate to ask them to fight for full funding for the NEA via this helpful tool  from the Americans for the Arts' Action Fund.
  2. LEARN more about the NEA grants in your region.  Click here to search the NEA's grant database by city, zip code, or congressional district.
  3. ENGAGE your social media channels. Share resources from local and national arts organizations by including the following hashtags: #ArtsVote, #SaveTheNEA, #StandfortheArts, and by tagging your elected officials.

ACTA is pleased to announce that Marisa Martínez has joined ACTA as a project coordinator for its Arts in Corrections program.

Born and raised on the east side of Los Angeles, Marisa Martinez comes from a family of artists, progressive educators, and conscious thinkers. From an early age she was exposed and engaged in the Eastside arts scene. A performing artist, singer, and songwriter, Marisa also studies traditional Mexican folk music with a community of Mexican and Chican@ musicians in Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Education from UCLA, and comes to ACTA with years of community arts-based organizing and development experience, as well as an early childhood education background. She was a political and cultural organizer during her college years within student organizations, working around issues of race, politics, class, LGBTQI issues, and the arts.

Sandi Romero, community organizer and culinary cultural treasure.

ACTA Launches Promise Zone Arts Cultural Asset Mapping Project in Los Angeles

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts is pleased to begin work on the Promise Zone Arts project, a two-year cultural asset mapping program that will celebrate the cultural treasures of the Los Angeles Promise Zone. The federally-designated LA Promise Zone is a collective impact, anti-poverty initiative that provides resources and leadership to public, non-profit, and community-based organizations working in Central Los Angeles. Promise Zone Arts seeks to illuminate the value of neighborhood cultural assets - the people, places, and things that residents find culturally, historically, and aesthetically meaningful - and make them visible as essential in making our communities more sustainable and livable.

Victor Pang of Pacific Island Health Partnership, and ACTA board member Joel Jacinto open the discussion with a traditional Hawaiian chant of welcome and blessings.

Angelenos Gather for Food and Fellowship at Traditional Arts Roundtable

New and longtime friends and participants of ACTA programs gathered on March 2nd for our LA  Traditional Arts Roundtable Series  at  Trópico de Nopal Gallery Art-Space  in Echo Park. The Los Angeles series of roundtables is generously supported by the  Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors  through the  Los Angeles County Arts Commission . Participants visited with each other, enjoyed tacos and  pan dulce , and shared perspective on what it means to carry on, or support the sustainability of a cultural art form in today's unique social and political climate.

Make a Difference Through Your 2016 State Tax Return

California taxpayers can support arts education programs this tax season through the California Arts Council's Keep Arts in Schools Fund.  Individuals may make tax-deductible contributions in amounts of $1 or more through the Voluntary Contribution portion of 2016 state tax returns. Over the past three years, we have raised more than $250,000 annually to directly support California arts education programs.
Donations from our Keep Arts in Schools Fund are critical to the California Arts Council's efforts in increasing access to arts education statewide. 
The Alliance for California Traditional Arts is the California Arts Council's official partner in serving the state's folk & traditional arts field.
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