Alliance for California Traditional Arts
About The Salon
What are traditional arts? From Native Californian Kawaiisu basketry and language, to African-American quilt-making, Mixtec guelaguetzas and Hmong maykhong wedding negotiation chants, Western saddlemaking, or sacred Afro-Cuban batá drumming, Vietnamese opera and son Jarocho luthiery, California is home to hundreds of diverse traditions. Some folk and traditional arts have been brought to California from other countries or regions and have taken root here to become interwoven with the state’s cultural landscape and identity. Others have prospered long before California was ever a state, developed here by indigenous cultures and sustained today on and beyond California’s over 130 tribal reservations and rancherias.
Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) Associate Director Sherwood Chen will share rich examples of ACTA’s participating artists and organizations statewide, and discuss the community-driven power and the staggering beauty and diversity of a complex, vital, and oft underrepresented sector of arts practice in California today.
Joining Sherwood will be featured artists and ACTA participants Flavio Alvarez and Flavio’s grandnephew and protégé Carlos Gonzales. Flavio serves as Wanaragua chief amongst a group of drummers, dancers, and singers in Los Angeles—including Carlos—who represent, celebrate and sustain Garifuna language, dance and music, forms deemed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Together Flavio and Carlos will share Garifuna history and culture, talk about what it means to pass on tradition, and how these traditions live and flourish in Los Angeles today.
About The Salon Presenter
Guided by the principles of cultural democracy, diversity and equity, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) strives to ensure that California’s future holds California’s past by providing services to support the state’s myriad living cultural heritages and to increase access to resources and opportunities for folk and traditional artists.
Above: Garifuna master artist Flavio Alvarez (left) and his apprentice Carlos Gonzales (right) hold a Wanaragua headdress worn by Flavio the night before during the New Year’s Day 2009 Wanaragua processions.
Image courtesy: Sherwood Chen, ACTA 2009
Labels: ACTA, craft, traditional arts