About ACTA

What are folk & traditional arts?

Folk & traditional artists are tradition bearers: people who transmit what they believe, know, do, and create with others who share a common heritage, language, religion, occupation, or region.  These expressions are deeply rooted in and reflective of a community’s shared standards of beauty, values, or life experiences.  Folk and traditional arts are, ultimately, passed on from one generation to the next and express a collective wisdom, rather than a unique personal aesthetic.


The Alliance for California Traditional Arts promotes and supports ways for cultural traditions to thrive now and into the future by providing advocacy, resources, and connections for folk and traditional artists.  From Ohlone basketry and African-American quilt-making to cowboy poetry and Vietnamese opera, California is home to hundreds of diverse traditions.


Photo of ACTA staff member Amy Kitchener

Amy Kitchener, Executive Director, co-founded the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) in 1997.  Understanding California’s unique position as the nation's epicenter for diverse cultural and multi-national communities, ACTA's work has focused on social change through grantmaking, capacity and leadership development, technical assistance, and bilingual program development.  Trained as a public folklorist with an M. A. from UCLA, Amy has piloted participatory cultural asset mapping in neglected and rural areas of the state and consults with other organizations and across sectors on this method of discovery and inclusion of community voices.  She continues to serve as a consultant for many national organizations and has taken part in two U.S.-China Intangible Cultural Heritage exchanges. She has published on a variety subjects involving California folklife, including immigrant arts training and transmission, and Asian American folk arts.  Amy and husband Hugo Morales are the proud parents of twin boys who dance and sing with regularity.  Contact Amy.

ACTA's Logo

ACTA's Logo Guidelines

ACTA's logo


For legibility, the minimum size the logo should be printed is 0.75".  The "stamp" format (left) is the main logo and should be used whenever possible.