Croatian American Cultural Center

Croatian arts and culture

Founded by Croatian immigrants in 1857, the Croatian American Cultural Center perpetuates the rich performing art traditions indigenous to Croatia and the Balkans and presents contemporary American artists developing these traditions in new directions.  The Center has become a focal point in the San Francisco Bay Area for Slavic music, dance, and culture, presening seven annual festivals and several smaller concerts, offering master classes and workshops in traditional art forms, and documenting activities of the Bay Area Croatian community on their website.

As a grantee in ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program, the Center has received support for several of their community festivals and events.  In 2014, they received support for An Evening of Bosnian Sevdah & Dance, which will present six solo artists and ensembles rooted in Bosnian sevdah singing and kolo dancing.  The evening will close with a performance by Kitka, an internationally renowned Baklan women's chorus.

In 2013, they received support for their annual San Francisco Tamburitza Festival, a two-day event which included performance, master classes, a panel discussion on the significance of this tradition on Croatian-Americans, as well as many participatory dance events.  In 2009, they received support for their Bulgarian Music & Dance Festival, which included master classes  and a full-length concert.  In 2008, they received support for CroatiaFest, which included a photography exhibit and lecture tracing the community's presence in the Bay Area, tamburitza master classes, jam sessions, concerts, traditional foods, handicrafts, and group dancing.  In 2007, they received support for their St. Kiril and Methody Bulgarian Music and Dance Festival, featuring master Bulgarian performing artists, sing-a-longs, master classes, group dancing, children’s workshop, food, and wine.  In 2006, they received support for their San Francisco Tamburitza Festival, which included concerts, master classes, a jam session, a community sing-along, and a panel discussion.

In 2009, as part of ACTA's Traditional Arts Development Program, the Center worked with Lilla Serlegi to review all the tambura groups in the Bay Area, canvas the number of instruments available, interview teachers, and propose a new model for organizing the future teaching of tamburitza music in the Bay Area.

In 2005, the Center also participated in ACTA's Folk & Traditional Arts Mentorship Initiative, working with consultants with Alma Plancich and Maria Kesovija to develop an Artistic Program Development Plan.


Click on any image to view slideshow.

Singer Muhamed Kocan at a Bosnian community festival featuring Sevdah, a devotional singing style (Photo: John Daley)
Singer Rasima Alisic Klisturic at a Bosnian community festival featuring Sevdah, a devotional singing style (Photo: John Daley)
Youth dance troupe Mladost Bosne at a Bosnian community festival featuring Sevdah, a devotional singing style (Photo:John Daley)

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