ACTA Meets with Bay Area Artists


ACTA - Posted on 05 August 2005

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Article and photos by Mari Pongkhamsing, ACTA's Special Projects Coordinator

Liberian dance

On July 24, 2005, ACTA’s Board of Directors and staff had the opportunity to meet with several artists who had participated in the Apprenticeship Program, the Traditional Arts Development Program, and the Folk and Traditional Art Mentorship Initiative. The board invited the guests to their San Francisco meeting as a way to connect with some of the artists in the Bay Area. ACTA’s board meets twice a year in different locations throughout California and tries to connect with the field by meeting with local partners, organizations, and artists.

Board member Chike Nwoffiah, ACTA’s Vice President of External Development, led a round table discussion with Charya Burt, Naomi Diouf,and Herminia Albarrán Romero, all former master artists in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program and participants in other programs as well. The artists talked about their training and their experiences as traditional artists in California. They noted that working with ACTA had helped them connect with other artists and arts organizations and gain greater exposure for their work. Agreeing that traditional artist gatherings with performances for the public would be a useful way to network and introduce their work to new audiences, the artists made suggestions for future program development. The board and staff considered these suggestions for future programming in their strategic planning meeting.

Classical Cambodian dance

At the end of the evening, the artists gave demonstrations of their work. Herminia Albarrán Romero, recent winner of the NEA Heritage Fellowship for her Mexican paper arts, showed slides of her altars and papel picado creations. Naomi Diouf’s daughter and apprentice, Kine Marcella demonstrated the Klakan, a puberty dance from the Kru people of Liberia. Charya Burt taught everyone how to perform some traditional hand positions and basic movements before she demonstrated a classical Cambodian dance piece.

 

Master Mexican papel picado artist Herminia Albarran Romero

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