February 27, 2020

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The beauty and power of the work of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts is in their insight that artistic and cultural practices are central to both healthy communities and transformative social change. Through the arts, we come to see that what is traditional is futuristic and what is futuristic grows from tradition. This guidebook offers a powerful framework for anyone interested in moving our communities from resistance to restoration and regeneracíon.”

-Jeff Chang, author and narrative/cultural strategist

ACTA is proud to announce the launch of our latest publication SaludArteBuilding Health Equity on the Bedrock of Traditional Arts and Culture. SaludArte is a reflection of nearly a decade of work in Boyle Heights as a part of the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative. Co-authored by Dr. George Lipsitz of UC Santa Barbara and ACTA, the bilingual publication explores what can happen when traditional artists engage cultural practices to address social determinants of health like structural racism, poverty, and other conditions that impact our ability to lead healthy lives where we live, work, and play.

ACTA’s work in the communities of Boyle Heights, Santa Ana, Merced, and the East Coachella Valley integrated traditional arts into BHC campaigns addressing these social determinants of health. The SaludArte publication focuses on ACTA’s work in Boyle Heights as well the other sites, adapted to local conditions. SaludArte is available both in English and Spanish, and includes an inventory of tools for carrying out this work in a number of community-based contexts.

Browse the publication below.

Bring arts and health equity tools into your work with SaludArte!

SaludArte: Building Health Equity on the Bedrock of Traditional Arts and Culture is ACTA’s bilingual guide providing an inventory of health equity tools and tactics. It outlines examples of what can result when we support traditional artists to use and experiment with their cultural practices to arrive at collective answers to a community’s social and political needs.

This guide is especially designed for the following groups and individuals:

Organizations, scholars, and groups working within community development, the social determinants of health, public policy, social work, community organizing, and community art who want to work with traditional arts practitioners committed to social justice work.

Self-identified traditional and community-based artists who would like to intentionally open their practices to support transformation within social justice spaces.

Artists who don’t identify as culture bearers or traditional artists but are interested in working with traditional artists in their community.

ACTA offers participatory workshops and seminars tailored to a variety of settingsuniversity classrooms, organizational or field-based gatherings, or community and cultural organizing spaces.

Invest in Youth Rally at City Hall, a part of Health Happens in Neighborhoods. Photo: E. Iñiguez/ACTA.

Workshop Themes

Healing the Self, Healing Community
Learn about traditional arts methodologies that center healing and restorative justice to transform communities and redefine political campaigns.

Collective Songwriting:  Re-Storying the Past, Present, and Future
Learn how collective songwriting can be used by a community to tell its own story, build analysis on their condition, and plan for transformation. 

Living Into the Work by Embodying Our Values
How can we create environments for social change where practicing and living the principles we are fighting for is as important as seeing those principles in policy change?

Re-Humanizing the Social Justice Meeting
Learn how the traditional arts methodologies of Arriving, Agreeing, Connecting, and Affirming (AACA) can transform your organizing from the inside out. 

Creating the Ground for Your Work: Cultural Asset Mapping
Learn how to lead a community-based mapping process as a foundation for social justice work rooted in the traditional and cultural arts.

Work at the intersection of traditional arts and culture, health, and community development is profoundly necessary and often difficult to grasp in its fullness. This documentation of and reflections on ACTA’s many years of work in this space—attention to both the compelling art and cultural practices carried out by activist artists, culture bearers and neighborhood residents and the often invisible work required to bring such programs to fruition—are critical to the advancement of more impactful practices and healthier communities.”
—María Rosario Jackson, Ph.D.
Institute Professor, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts &
Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Arizona State University

BHC Health Happens in Neighborhoods Youth Convivio. ACTA Artist Fellow Vaneza Calderon leading collective corrido writing workshop at Legacy LA, Boyle Heights. Photo: S. Aguilar/ACTA.

Contact us to learn more!

ACTA Program Manager Betty Marín | (213) 346-3257

This project is generously funded by The California Endowment.

Invest in California’s cultural wealth.

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