SFTPAA CEO and Artistic Director Sonny Alforque believes that it is very important to learn about one's culture, especially the younger generation.
"Like all cultures, the Filipino culture is slowly but continually evolving.
It is therefore very important to learn about one's culture in order not only to preserve the best of its original aspects but to appreciate how different generations have been reshaping it," he
also explained that with so many Filipino-Americans being of multi-racial and multi-ethnic parentage, schools and even families do not have the ability to thoroughly teach young people about culture-specific experiences.
"The lines separating cultural heritages become easily blurred.
By studying the Filipino culture, he
added, one gets to discover in even sharper ways its remarkable contribution to the celebration of diversity.
has three signature program-Sinag-tala: A Theatrical Revue, the Sinag-tala Theater Ensemble and the Sinag-tala Rondalla
In addition, the SFTPAA
also presents lectures, workshops and performances by visiting artists and scholars.
These programs, Alforque
mentioned is continually filling a longstanding void in nonprofit arts programming within Sacramento's Filipino community.
"Folk dance, hip-hop and musical groups come and go within our community," he
said and added, "But the Sinag-tala Theatrical Revue and its accompanying training program, which is now in their 20th year, have outlived them and so far enjoyed the longest, most unique and arguably most productive, history among them all.
Sinag Tala Theater Performers
Also, the Sinag-tala Theater Ensemble and Rondalla Project have served many participants and audiences through the years, while hundreds of community members have benefited from the Revue experience since 1990.
"Quite a number of them joined us as youngsters and have since moved on to careers as art students, educators, scholars, entertainment professionals, nationwide competition champions and founders or leaders of their own performing companies," said Alforque
"To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the project, we intend to honor our alumni in a fitting way because they embody the achieved goals of the SFTPAA
As always for nonprofit organizations, challenges in funding also come their way.
"While many Filipinos in the Sacramento region seem to enjoy arts experiences, it seems that still relatively few embrace the value of organized arts programming.
In short, while the visible product is appreciated, the difficulty and cost of delivering that product is not very well understood," Alforque
also stressed that the arts sink lower and lower as a priority for public and private funding because the community tend not to engage very much in its advocacy.
"And despite the distinction of being the region's only Filipino theater company and enjoying considerable community support, the SFTPAA
still has to invest twenty times the effort and resources that community members realize is necessary to sell tickets and raise money."
Another challenge is to continue improving the SFTPAA's footing within the mainstream non-Filipino community, where the competition for audiences and funding is even tougher, said Alforque