Master artist Peter de Guzman and his apprentice Jasmine Orpilla demonstrate Philippine pangalay dance at a 2019 Traditional Arts Roundtable Series event in Leimert Park. Photo: Timo Saarelma/ACTA, 2019.

Traditional Arts Roundtable Series

Sharing practices and resources for a more sustainable arts field

Since 2008, our Traditional Arts Roundtable Series (TARS) has been designed to strengthen intercultural traditional arts networks and to offer opportunities for traditional and tradition-based artists and arts advocates to learn from one another through dialogue, technical assistance, networking, and sharing of community-based arts and culture. 

Organized into curated seasons, often in direct collaboration with partnering organizations across our California communities, each season of TARS anchors a common region or theme, or centers particular needs of the larger field of cultural practitioners and grassroots organizations holding up these valuable forms.

The Traditional Arts Roundtable Series (TARS) is a statewide program series produced by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Browse seasons below:

2020: Cur’Arte in San Francisco

In early 2020, ACTA will relaunch its Bay Area sessions with Cur’Arte: A Traditional Arts Roundtable Series. Cur’Arte is a take on the Spanish word curarte or “to heal (you).” Our term highlights arte, or art, to emphasize the health benefits that the arts offer to creators, participants, and audiences.

ACTA has been at the forefront of studies, discussions, and practices centered on the many roles that traditional arts play at the intersection of community and public health. We are eager to deepen and highlight these contributions in an emerging field in the Bay Area. This series of free roundtable sessions will take place in different venues in San Francisco where Spanish and English interpretation will be provided. There will be one session in each of the following months: January, February, March, and April of 2020. Cur’Arte is generously supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Please stay tuned for more detailed information!

San Francisco TARS Contact: Julián Antonio Carrillo, Program Manager
San Francisco Field Office | jcarrillo@actaonline.org | (415) 346-5200


2018-2019: Ritual + Improvisation in Los Angeles

For 2018-2019, our TARS season focused on themes central to traditional arts practice, like long-held expressions of ritual and custom, while at the same time acknowledging that artists are constantly improvising and adapting to the needs and context of the time. This season was a co-production with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, with additional curatorial support from the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC). Partial funding for this program was provided by the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. The TARS series in Los Angeles is generously supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Additional support provided by the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Los Angeles TARS Contact: Jennifer Joy Jameson, Program Manager + Media Director
Los Angeles Field Office | jjameson@actaonline.org | (760) 805-8002

 

Honoring NEA Heritage Fellow Madame Sosei Shizuye Matsomoto, Chado Tea Master

December 1, 2019 at JACCC

ACTA launched the Ritual + Improvisation in L.A. program season by honoring 1994 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow Madame in Japanese Chado Ceremony, Madame Sosei Shizuye Matsumoto and members of the Urasenke School of Chado in Los Angeles. Following a demonstration of a Chado tea ceremony and an interactive tea-brewing workshop led by the Urasenke School, roundtable participants engaged in a dialogue around the needs of traditional artists in places like L.A. View Photos

 

Cultural Sustainability from the Inside, Out

February 21, 2019 at JACCC

How do artists find balance between growing and sustaining the work within their communities of practice with the desire to share and “teach” a wider public? This event focused on cultural sustainability for the traditional arts in the region. We shared a dynamic conversation engaging Los Angeles-based artists and cultural leaders, including presentations from Lucumí priest and folklorist Dr. Ysamur M. Flores-Peña, performer Nobuko Miyamoto of Great Leap, Inc., president of the Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United, Inc., Cheryl Noralez, and House and Ball practitioner Sean Milan Garçon of Reach L.A.  View Photos

 

Theories of Change and Transformative Cultural Practice

April 17, 2019 at JACCC

In partnership with Arts in a Changing America, ACTA presented this TARS program as part of the REMAP: LA Cultural Equity Summit in Los Angeles. We were joined by local artists and activists Juana Mena, Ofelia Esparza, Rosanna Esparza Ahrens, Omar Ramirez, and Quetzal Flores in conversation with Black Studies scholar Dr. George Lipsitz. Together we engaged in interactive small group sessions centered around cultural organizing strategies rooted in traditional arts, listening and learning from one another to explore methodologies for social change. With the help of these artists and the leadership of Dr. George Lipsitz, ACTA will soon be publishing a guide to these strategies centered on building healthy communities through traditional arts.  View Photos

 

Cultural Funders’ Roundtable

May 16, 2019 at William Grant Still Arts Center

This program was held at an important Los Angeles community art center in the West Adams neighborhood, the 40-year old William Grant Still Arts Center. ACTA invited a panel of local and statewide California funders to present funding opportunities for organizations and individual artists. Representatives came from the California Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the City of L.A.’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and of course, ACTA. The core of the event were meet and greet sessions in small groups, rotating each funder so everyone in the room had a chance to ask questions of all funders.

 

Gathering of Southern California Apprenticeship + Living Cultures Awardees

June 15, 2019 at The World Stage

On June 15, 2019, ACTA hosted its last Traditional Arts Roundtable Series event (TARS) of the 2018-2019 season at The World Stage in Leimert Park. Our final session invited recent L.A./So Cal Apprenticeship and Living Cultures awardees to the table to network, build community, and dig deep on cultural transmission and its importance for sustainability of these rich cultural practices. We invited 2018 Apprenticeship recipients Peter de Guzman and Jasmine Orpilla who focused on Philippine Pangalay dance, Mary Alfaro who was learning Requinto romantico music, and Wilfried Souly and Aaron Mason in West African dance and drumming. We also heard from Living Cultures grantees Centro Cultural Techantit who celebrated Mayan cultural traditions, and the Ukrainian Arts Center who presented on their Psyanka festival and cooking classes. View Photos

Participants learn to make matcha under the tutelage of the Urasenke School of Chado at JACCC in Little Tokyo. Photo: Timo Saarelma/ACTA, 2018.

Students of the Urasenke School of Chado prepare matcha in a traditional tea ceremony at JACCC in Little Tokyo. Photo: Timo Saarelma/ACTA, 2018.

Korean dancers and Apprenticeship recipients DaEun Jung and Melody Shim learn about Psyanka, or decorative eggs, from Daria Chaikovsky of the Ukrainian Arts Center at The World Stage in Leimert Park. Photo: Timo Saarelma/ACTA, 2019.

Master artist Peter de Guzman and his apprentice Jasmine Orpilla demonstrate Philippine pangalay dance at The World Stage in Leimert Park. Photo: Timo Saarelma/ACTA, 2019.

Altarista and ACTA Artist Fellow with Building Healthy Communities in Boyle Heights leads participants in a cleansing ritual connected to her work relating traditional arts and health at JACCC in Little Tokyo. Photo: Timo Saarelma/ACTA, 2019.

ACTA Program Manager Quetzal Flores leads discussion on cultural organizing strategies rooted in traditional arts practice at JACCC in Little Tokyo. Photo: Timo Saarelma/ACTA, 2019.

Next slide

Full archive of TARS programs coming soon.


Funders

TARS in Los Angeles

The Traditional Arts Roundtable Series (TARS) is a project of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. This program series is a co-production of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, with support from the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. Partial funding for this program was provided by the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. The TARS series in Los Angeles is generously supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. Additional support provided by the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

TARS in San Francisco

The Traditional Arts Roundtable Series (TARS) is a project of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. The Cur’Arte season of TARS is generously supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Invest in California’s cultural wealth.

Every gift is a commitment to a culture bearer, and the people of California.

DONATE