California Arts Council Welcomes New Managers

State arts agency announces Angela Dee Alforque, Katherin Canton, and Adam Quintana in staff leadership positions

The California Arts Council formally announced today the addition of three new staff managers, onboarded at various times in recent months. Angela Dee Alforque, Katherin Canton, and Adam Quintana will serve the public in their specific roles in support of the state arts agency’s mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all.

Biographical information and details about their positions are included below, in alphabetical order by name:

Angela Dee Alforque (she/her/hers) joins our staff as Director of Program Services, tasked with managing and measuring performance of arts funding opportunities. She leads the Programs staff and Council committees in the development and implementation of all program policies, processes, and systems to ensure proper funding expenditure.

Alforque grew up in South Sacramento and moved back in June 2020 to becloser to her parents and family, and to join the California Arts Council in her new position. Her previous positions include Performing Arts Director at Parker School on the big island of Hawai’i, tenured professor of theater arts/ethnic theater at Sacramento City College, and adjunct dance instructor at California State University Sacramento. A singer, actor, dancer, choreographer, and theater director, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in drama/social science and Master of Arts in multicultural American history and performance at CSUS, and earned her Doctorate of Education in educational leadership at Saint Mary’s College of California. A first-generation Filipina American and second-generation artist/educator, her foundation in cultural arts practice includes serving as Associate Director for the Sinag-tala Filipino Theater & Performing Arts Association; training and performing with Ebó Okokán Afro-Cuban Drum & Dance Ensemble; and studying hula with Hālau Ka Ōpuʻu, Hālau Manaola, and the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hāmākua. She lives with her husband, Mario Hill, who does behavioral therapy with young people on the autism spectrum, and also teaches Afro-Brazilian capoeira; and their daughter, Malaya, a freshman at Wagner College (currently studying remotely) as a theater design/technology/management major.

“I’ve come on board to the CAC during a global pandemic, tumultuous social action, an uncertain economy, and a state on fire due to global warming and urban development. All of these provide deeply challenging obstacles to overcome, and also tremendous opportunities for evolution,” Alforque said. “The arts hold the key not only to the survival of California, but also to a fundamental shift in how we relate to one another as human beings within our cultural landscape. Having recently moved back to Sacramento after living and working for eight years in Hawai`i, there is an aspect of aloha that feels critical to practice here: We must take the time to catch our breath and move forward with mindfulness and compassion. I feel grateful to be a part of the CAC and inspired by all the work that the staff does to serve our state during this time.”

Angela can be reached at angela.alforque@arts.ca.gov.

Katherin Canton (they/them/theirs) joins the CAC staff in the new position of Race and Equity Manager, responsible for implementing the agency’s racial equity plan and priorities and providing strategic direction for institutionalizing racial equity.

Canton, based in Huichin (occupied Chochenyo Ohlone land/Oakland), is a re-indigenizing GuateMayan weaver, healer, cultural organizer, and facilitator raised on Yelamu (occupied Ramaytush Ohlone land/San Francisco) and Huichin. Benefiting from California’s commitment to community arts education, after being a youth leader with Bay Area arts groups they co-founded the Oakland Creative Neighborhoods Coalition, co-directed Emerging Arts Professionals SF Bay Area, co-coordinated the Keeping Space Oakland Cultural Ambassador Program of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust, served as an organizer with Arts for a Better Bay Area, became administrative director at the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco and the first Western regional organizer of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, and was the cultural equity policy director of Peacock Rebellion and the founding Program Manager of Oakland’s Just City Cultural Fund. As the CAC’s Race and Equity Manager, they continue a lifelong journey of learning how to be in right relationship with themselves, neighbors, the land, and ancestors, particularly to queer and trans Black, Indigenous, communities of color.

Canton said, “The brilliant Toni Morrison sums up why I am at the CAC as the Race and Equity Manager: ‘I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge-even wisdom. Like art.'”

Katherin can be reached at katherin.canton@arts.ca.gov.

Adam Quintana (he/him/his) joins the CAC staff as our new Operations Services Manager, managing agency budgetary and fiscal operations, and overseeing the development and implementation of State facility and office management policies, protocols and procedures.

With over 14 years of service for the State of California, Quintana has a lifelong passion for oil painting, art history and general appreciation for the arts. He is a graduate of California State University Sacramento and holds a B.A. in sociology and an M.A. in business management.

“It is a privilege to work for the California Arts Council alongside the agency’s dedicated employees who work tirelessly in support of the agency’s mission, vision and values as well as the agency’s strategic framework,” Quintana said. “Art surpasses time and distance to remind us of what is possible. In art, we can express our creative selves and our humanity. Art connects people in a way that few other things in life can.”

Adam can be reached at adam.quintana@arts.ca.gov.

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The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Jaime Galli, Larry Baza, Lilia Gonzales Chavez, Jodie Evans, Kathleen Gallegos, Stanlee Gatti, Donn K. Harris, Alex Israel, Consuelo Montoya, and Jonathan Moscone. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.

The California Arts Council is committed to increasing the accessibility of its online content. For language and accessibility assistance, visit https://arts.ca.gov/about/about-us/language-communications-assistance/.

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