Testimonials

For 26 years, ACFA has served the East Salinas and surrounding communities as a haven and a resource providing young people a safe after-school space with mentors, teachers, and role models who encourage creative expression and community engagement. Our instructors are trained in pedagogies that incorporate values of self-determination, personal empowerment and spiritual/cultural affirmation.

“This is the best day of my life!”

~An ACFA youth exclaimed when handed paint to decorate the “Play Me, I’m Yours ” community piano.

 “When Mr. Sarabia saw my interest in the Rondalla group and music, he showed me something that, at first, I didn’t understand but now am very grateful for. He taught me how to teach and reach to the young ones. When I returned to ACFA as an instructor, I felt like I was back in my second home. For one third of my life, I’ve benefitted from what ACFA offers to young people. And now, I want the kids from my community to have more of the same benefits that I had when I was growing up.  These kids have a center where they could come and enrich their lives with culture, music, and heritage.”

~Richard Andrade

 “Salinas is unfortunately known for its violent plagues of gangs, and I raised my children in the mouth of it all, but despite this, today I am extremely proud to say with all confidence that all of my children are drug and gang free.I can assure you that ACFA was there all the steps of the way.  At ACFA we found other options that gave my children a different path than the continued violence in our city.   My children always took classes at ACFA—one took up Aztec Dancing and two others picked up guitars lessons. While the oldest of my sons became an extraordinary guitar player, it is my youngest, Richard Andrade, that I am most proud. Richard started attending guitar lessons at ACFA at the tender age of six, with the Rondalla de Alisal and is now following in the footsteps of his mentor by teaching at ACFA.  I am proud that my children learned life principles that help them grow emotionally and in some way professionally thanks to the principles they learn at ACFA.  They have all found a ways to give back to their community because they know the needs of our people, and how much this place means for families like ours.  Poverty and social disjunction will probably always be in our neighborhood, but (God willing), so will ACFA.

~Ramona Rojas

 “More than a guitar lesson, or a painting class, ACFA gives us the opportunity to visualize our lives in a different place, if only for a moment.”

~Ramona Palacio

I feel blessed to know all the things Mr. Joshua Alfaro has accomplished and how he’s taught in so many different cities yet, to know he resides here in our community amidst his achievements is truly an honor. To be honest, at one point in my life I worked so hard to leave this community because of the issues I saw and experienced as a teenager. I thought I would never want to raise my children here in Salinas. However, life has it’s way of changing our paths. Now, I am a mother and still have the doubts of this community lingering in the back of my mind. After reading what Mr. Josh Alfaro has brought to this community brings a smile to my face and warmth to my spirit to know someone else has a desire to give this community something to value amidst the gang violence snd drug issues. With that being said, thank you to Mr. Josh Alfaro and all those who help the Alisal Center for the Fine Arts continue to provide our youth, elders and gente with something to have a different perspective on our community. Including my own. Si Se Puede!

~ACFA Parent

It was a great experience to see the behind the scenes of movie making and play production. Working with el Teatro Alisal at ACFA. I gained knowledge of the oral history of the community I serve as a teacher. I also got an opportunity to work with my fellow students on performances that helped in my classroom interactions with their learning.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with my son and see him grow in his oral communication, reading, and social interractions. He has learning disabilities and El Teatro Alisal gave him an opportunity to work at the level he was at and helped him to feel accepted and appreciated. For that I will always be grateful.  The plays out of El Teatro Alisal are community based and empower the audience to have a voice.

~Ana Maria Barrera ( ACFA parent/ participant)

Voted BEST place to see community driven Theater in 2014

The Monterey Weekly