Kalingafornia Laga & Kalingafornia Young Weavers
The Founders: Dance unites Jenny Bawer Young and Holly Calica
They met at Malonga Center of the Arts in Oakland and became friends. Discovering they had a shared love of traditional arts, they shifted their energy from dance to weaving. As dancers, they knew the close relationship a dancer has with her regalia. With this in mind, they applied for the 2012 Master/Apprenticeship Program of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Much to their surprise, Jenny was awarded a contract and a year of weaving lessons with Holly began. Jenny’s dream is to preserve the tradition and be able to pass it to her daughter. The Master/Apprenticeship was the first step to seeing this dream come true.
The Circle: More Weavers Study with Jenny Bawer Young
News of laga weaving spread in the FilAm cultural community of the San Francisco Bay. People stepped forward requesting permission to learn to weave. In order to preserve the laga tradition, Jenny and Holly founded Laga, CA Circle. In 2013 the Alliance for California Traditional Arts awards a “Living Cultures” matching grant to Laga, CA Circle’s Fiscal Sponsor, KulArts, for the expansion of the number of students. With five new weavers, Laga, CA Circle is born. Project Coordinator Holly oversees Laga, CA Circle’s outreach and educational weaving demonstrations as Kalinga Culture Bearer, Jenny Bawer Young, conducts intensive weaving sessions in her home. To meet these weavers and learn about their experiences, read their stories on our blog.
Kalingafornia Young Weavers: Jenny’s Dream is Born
In 2014, a new weaver joins Laga, CA Circle. Again, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts awards another “Living Cultures” grant to Laga, CA Circle through its Fiscal Sponsor, KulArts. The grant institutes the beginning of “Kalingafornia Young Weavers” program by providing weaving opportunities for children and teens. Jenny’s dream comes true. Her daughter, her daughter’s friends and Laga, CA Circle’s family members will have the opportunity to learn laga. They will also enjoy a summer camp with weaving activities and learn more about Kalinga Cultural Heritage. A dream is manifested and the preservation of laga, Kalinga backstrap weaving, is a reality in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Laga, CA Circle’s 2014 “Kalingafornia Young Weavers” project introduced laga to children and youth. Beginning with Jenny’s daughter and family members and friends of Laga, CA Circle, Jenny has been teaching children and youth in her home. Families gathered in the summertime to weave, eat, hike, play music, learn more about Kalinga Cultural Heritage and enjoy nature with their families. With the “Kalingafornia Young Weavers,” funded by the Alliance of California Traditional Arts (ACTA) under the Fiscal Sponsorship of KulArts, the tradition of Laga is being preserved and passed on to younger generations. In addition to the individualized lessons in the “Kalingafornia Young Weavers” program, Laga, CA Circle members provided key demonstrations for children, youth and their families for the Sama Sama Summer Immersion Program in Berkeley, the Filipino American Heritage Festival at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, “2 Blocks of Art” at the Bayanihan Community Center in San Francisco, and the Amung 2014 gathering of KANA (Kalingas of North America Network) in South San Francisco.
About Master Weaver Jenny Bawer Young
About the Mabilong Weavers