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The Association for Cultural Equity (ACE), housed at the Fine Arts Campus of New York City's Hunter College, was chartered as a charitable organization in the State of New York in 1983. It was founded by Alan Lomax to explore and preserve the world's expressive traditions with humanistic commitment and scientific engagement. Alan Lomax was a musicologist, writer and producer who spent his life capturing in sound, photographs, video and research what today is termed our "intangible heritage." The central value of his career was the promotion of cultural equity as the need for every culture to express and develop its distinctive heritage, believing it should be recognized as a fundamental human right. His "Appeal for Cultural Equity" anticipated by decades UNESCO's 2003 declaration to safeguard intangible oral heritage.

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