ACTA Reports on Traditional Arts as Enduring Social Practice in California

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Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) shares a recently published report, Communities of Change: Traditional Arts as Enduring Social Practice in California’s Bay Area, commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and written by Amy Kitchener, Executive Director, and Lily Kharrazi, longtime ACTA program specialist. What began as an internal report on Bay Area traditional arts practices and artist/culture bearers preceding the Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions in Folk & Traditional Arts call for proposals, became an expanded public-facing report.

Communities of Change discusses and interrogates definitions and terminology of the field, and describes case studies illustrating some of the larger issues and nuances inherent in this discipline, such as tradition and innovation, concepts of indigeneity, and cultural immersion as a teaching model. The report lists major cultural communities and related art forms across the wide band of 11 Bay Area counties, and shares snapshots illustrating the contours on a county-by-county basis. Additionally, it examines some trends in a Bay Area ethos of activism which have contributed to how traditional arts have been supported and undervalued in society and by the funding community. Finally, it concludes with recommendations and implications for the broader arts field and the philanthropic sector.

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