The Shady Lane mural in Coachella Valley was initiated in 1979 by Artistas Del Barrio and later restored and expanded through an effort coordinated by local leaders and arts organizations. Photo: Azusa Oda

Sounds of California: Engaging, Recording, and Archiving the State's Soundscape
by Amy Kitchener, Executive Director
ACTA is working on a new initiative called the Sounds of California - a multifaceted project involving performance, recording, archiving, and public dialogue about the cultural soundscapes of this state.

Among the fifty states, California is the most populous and one of the most diverse, comprised of people who, for many generations, have emigrated from all parts of the globe. It is home to the largest Native American population, and one of the largest populations of people who identify as mixed race. 

Today, at a time when public discussion around immigration policy is clamorous, one in four immigrants in the U.S. lives in California. The state has become one of the first states to achieve a majority of people of color.  With foreign-born residents representing more than a quarter of California's total population, Sounds of California maps an auditory journey of the music, songs, voices, and expressive sounds that contribute to a sense of belonging in diverse California communities. 

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ACTA Co-Produces the Sounds of California at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival
As part of ACTA's ongoing Sounds of California initiative, ACTA is proud to be co-producing the  2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, bringing the Sounds of California to the National Mall in Washington D.C. on June 29-July 4 and July 7-July 10. This program is co-produced with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Radio Bilingüe, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and the Smithsonian Latino Center.

This summer's Sounds of California program will present a series of concerts, performances, and activities, offering an auditory journey about how musical culture mirrors the movements reshaping the state and the nation today. We will feature artists who contribute to the soundscapes of California, who demonstrate the social power of music and cultural heritage.

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Chicana youth from East San Jose circa 1978-79.  Photo courtesy of Russell Rodriguez 

Reflecting on the Sounds of California
by Russell Rodríguez, Ph.D., Program Manager
I most recently spent some time going through the East Side Story Limited Edition CD Box Set, transferring the majority of the tracks onto to my iPhone. For those of you unfamiliar with this "classic collection," it is a compilation of what we called back in the 1970s and 80s, oldies -- not oldies but goodies, just oldies. These were the songs that were blasting from the lowriding '52 Bel Airs, '65 Chevy Impalas, or any of the immaculate motorized art cruising machines that cruised the thorough fairs of Whittier Blvd. in East LA, King and Story in San Jose, Highland Ave. in National City, the Mission in San Francisco, or around the plazita in Española, New Mexico, the "lowrider capital of the world."

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FandangObon performs at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles, 2015. Photo: Mike Murase

by Quetzal Flores, Program Manager
When I first met Nobuko Miyamoto, I was 19 years old and working as tech at the Japan American Theater. She was mounting a one-time performance, the production A Slice of Rice. I was completely taken by her presence and posture. Twenty years later, I invited her to be part of a panel discussion for the release of Quetzal's Imaginaries album, along with Robin DG Kelly, Russell Rodriguez, Sonali Kolhatkar and George Lipsitz. This would mark the beginning of our collaborative relationship as she immediately invited Quetzal to collaborate on an ecovideo project about cycling in Los Angeles called Cycles of Change.

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Photo: Pocho1 Visual Movement

ACTA Staff Transitions: Quetzal Flores and Suzanne Hildebrand to Pursue New Horizons

by Amy Kitchener, Executive Director

This month we announce two staff transitions, as Quetzal Flores and Suzanne Hildebrand leave their positions at ACTA. Both Quetzal and Suzanne have been a part of our long-term core staff and have played significant roles in ACTA's long term success. We are sad to see them go, but are equally excited for the new developments in their lives. We know they will both continue to be a part of the ACTA family in different roles.
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ACTA Announces Job Opening for Executive Assistant 
ACTA is currently seeking a full-time Executive Assistant to work in its Fresno headquarters.  The successful candidate will have strong organizational, writing, and communications skills, and experience working in a fast-paced professional non-profit environment.  The main purpose of this position is to support the Executive Director in daily tasks.  This position will also manage a database and serve as the IT liaison for the rest of the staff.

Please help us spread the word about this opportunity to work as part of the ACTA team! 

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Smithsonian Folkways CD Release Songs of Struggle & Hope by Agustín Lira and Alma
ACTA would like to congratulate Agustín Lira and Patricia Wells Solorzano for their new Smithsonian Folkways recording Songs of Struggle & Hope by Agustín Lira and Alma. Alma is the group name that includes Patricia Wells Solorzano, Agustín Lira, and long-time partner Ravi Knypstra, with a slew of guest artists such as Ravi Knypstra, Camilo Moreno and Alberto López (Quetzal) on percussion, accordionist Carlos Mendoza (Texas Maniacs), and others.

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Following our wonderful kickoff event at Brasil Brasil Cultural Center on June 12, ACTA's next Roundtable Series continues with Turntables and Traditional Music: Exploring Multiculturalism Through Vinyl Records on July 14 at Trópico de Nopal Gallery Art-Space.

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Photo: Still from Artbound episode "Artesanos/Artisans."

Deadlines for ACTA's grants programs are fast approaching!
Don't delay, apply today!

ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program
Deadline: July 15, 2016

ACTA's Apprenticeship Program
Deadline: July 15, 2016

Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Arts Activation Fund
Deadline: Rolling (next round of applications opens in July)

CONVERSATIONS ON Capitalization and Community
You are invited to attend a free half-day workshop, offered three times in the Bay Area. Conversations with Non-Profit Arts Organizations on Capitalization and Community. A project of Grantmakers in the Arts