Program areas at Alternate Roots
For the year ended December 31, 2021 ROOTS operated the following programs:(i)Partners in Action (PIA)PIA is ROOTS flagship partnership program supporting that part of the mission which is the intersection of arts, community, and activism. Artists and their community partners identify an issue, challenge, or need in their community. Community visits are conducted to ascertain the strength and commitment of the partners, their readiness to undertake the work and how ROOTS resources as a partner may best be utilized. ROOTS then selects a small number of projects to work with where ROOTS serves as a third partner, leveraging its internal capacity. In addition to direct support, from $5,000 - $20,000, ROOTS offers technical assistance to support logistics, administration, finances, fiscal sponsorship, or marketing and publicity as needed. (ii)Artistic Assistance Professional Development (AA)AA Professional Development provides small grants from $250-$2500 to support the professional development needs of individual artists. Grants have been provided to help provide artists with opportunities to advance their artistic/creative practice and further their careers. Professional development grants fund opportunities that will advance a members artistic practice, profession, and/or career in some demonstrable way. Professional development can include but is not limited to, mentorship, attending a training, workshop, or conference, and purchasing technology or equipment that can advance their craft.(iii)AA Project DevelopmentAA Project Development offers artists grants from $1000-$5000 to support the development, creation, and presentation of artistic work. This program is mission critical as it speaks to that part of the mission of artists who create original work. A material difference between ROOTS members and most other network or service organizations in the field is the funding. Funds to develop a project, especially for individual artists, are often the most difficult support to secure. There are only a handful of foundations, or government arts programs that individual artists are eligible to apply to. Thus, for southern artists, Artistic Assistance Project Development is a rare opportunity to fund new work.(iv) ROOTS WeekendRoots Weekends are a series of six three-day regional gatherings for artists and cultural organizers that started in the fall of 2015. ROOTS Weekends have allowed us to have a more consistent presence throughout the year, growing our membership and regional awareness of ROOTS throughout its fourteen-state region outside of its signature event, ROOTS Week. ROOTS has hosted ROOTS Weekends in New Orleans, LA 2015, Eatonville, FL, 2016, New Market/Knoxville, TN, 2016, Dallas, TX, 2016, Richmond, VA, 2017, Atlanta, GA, 2017, Jackson, MS, 2018 and Jacksonville, FL, 2019. Over 1,200 artists and cultural organizers have had the opportunity to deepen engagement, learning, and sharing. Further, a significant part of the project includes documenting the experience and lessons learned from each gathering to share the experience and learning with the field.(v)ROOTS Week Annual Meeting and Artists RetreatFor 43 years, the ROOTS Week Annual Meeting & Artists Retreat has been the organizations signature event. ROOTS Week is a one-of-a-kind gathering six days of performances, art and organizing workshops, visual art exhibitions, and ROOTS annual business meeting, in a retreat-like setting in the mountains of North Carolina. Artists, cultural organizers, and their families come from across the South (and beyond!), joining an ever-growing, ever-changing network of people committed to building a just world through arts, community, and activism. It is the place to show new work, share work in progress, build new relationships, create collaborations and reunite with lifelong friends and colleagues. (vi)The Intercultural Leadership Institute The Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) is a year-long intensive leadership program for artists, culture bearers, and other arts professionals. ILI is a collaborative program of Alternate ROOTS, the First Peoples Fund, the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures (NALAC), and the PAI Foundation. The effort grew out of the direct experiences of the leaders of these founding cultural organizations. ILIs intercultural approach emphasizes overlapping experiences, shared spaces, and mutual accountability and seeks to challenge dominant social norms while honoring differences in histories, traditions, vocabulary, and more. As a peer cohort, ILI intercultural leaders hone personal and professional skills to affect local, national, and global communities and promote a shift toward greater awareness, resourcing, and action in the broader field of arts & culture. There have been two ILI cohorts (30 participants each) with the third cohort planned for 2021. (vii)Partners for Change (PFC)Partners for Change is our newest artist support program and a manifestation of our strategic commitment to ending racism and other oppressions through catalytic investments of $75,000 in direct funding over three years to artists and cultural organizers in the South. Our partners also receive up to $25,000 per year of technical assistance. Partners for Change offers support and resources needed for cultural workers and organizations to build their capacity to work more strategically towards a more just world. Partners for Change funds social justice partnerships in grassroots communities throughout ROOTS fourteen-state region in the U.S. South.Solidarity FundThe Solidarity Fund provides one-time grants to ROOTS members who are individual artists, and cultural workers living and working in the US South experiencing financial emergencies or hardship specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Solidarity Fund 2.0The Solidarity Fund 2.0 provides one-time grants to individual artists, cultural workers, and small arts organizations in the US South experiencing financial emergency or hardship specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic.