Mas Masumoto, NEA Chairman Jane Chu, and ACTA Executive Director Amy Kitchener dance with Danzantes de los Diablos de San Miguel Cuevas at the close of the Town Hall hosted by ACTA at Arte Américas in Fresno.  Photo: Howard K. Watkins 

ACTA Shares California's Traditional Arts with NEA Chairman Jane Chu

By Amy Kitchener, Executive Director

Last month, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu made two site visits to California - in Fresno on September 20 -21, and Los Angeles on September 22-23. The Alliance for California Traditional Arts, in the role of state folklorist, served as the organizational co-host to National Council on the Arts member Mas Masumoto in Fresno, and worked to put the spotlight on the Valley's artists who are maintaining cultural traditions and expressions that are part of their community's history and identity.

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Photo courtesy of Dan Sheehy

ACTA Board Chair Dan Sheehy Awarded NEA National Heritage Fellowship

By Russell Rodríguez, Program Manager

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts is proud to announce that our board chair and dear friend Daniel Sheehy has been awarded the 2015 Bess Lomax Hawes National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. The NEA's National Heritage Fellowship is the nation's highest honor in the field of traditional arts, and each year the Bess Lomax Hawes Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.

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  Esailama Diouf (Photo courtesy of Esailama Diouf) and Nikiko Masumoto (Photo: Gosia Wozniacka)

ACTA Welcomes Two New Members to its Board of Directors

ACTA is pleased to announce that Esailama Diouf, PhD, and Nikiko Masumoto have recently been elected to its Board of Directors.  A teacher, dancer, and arts administrator, Dr. Diouf is currently the Director of Development for actor/activist Danny Glover.  Nikiko Masumoto is an artist, writer, and farmer based in California's San Joaquin Valley at Masumoto Family Farm.  Executive Director Amy Kitchener noted, "We are so pleased to have two such accomplished and highly regarded individuals join our board.  Their fresh ideas, insight, and service will be invaluable to ACTA."

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