Calling all ROOTers!There are two ways that ROOTS members can become involved with RSC. One is join the "Innovation Ensemble" that meets monthly by conference call to plan activities. This working group is open to any ROOTS member who is interested in
… learning more about the Principles of Community Engagement,
… working to integrate these Principles into ROOTS' ongoing operations and programs, and
… helping to document, evaluate and reflect on this work.
If you are interested in joining this on-going discussion, contact email@example.com to be placed on the RSC listserv.
If you are interested in a deeper engagement, consider joining the Facilitation Team. The Team consists of experienced RSC members who plan and implement Learning Exchanges and plan semi-annual retreats to support peer learning.
You can participate in the Innovation Ensemble without becoming a Facilitator, and vice-versa. While there is no formal screening process for joining the Ensemble, there is a simple process for declaring your interest in becoming a Facilitator.
Members who declare their interest by answering the questions below are first considered "shadows" on a facilitation team until they have had a chance to become thoroughly grounded in the Principles and demonstrate their capacity to lead, manage and facilitate a group learning experience.
If you are interested in joining the circle, please complete this Declaration of Interest by preparing a two-page response to the following questions:
- Describe a specific community arts project you were involved in. What impact did it have, on you and on the community? We're interested in how you engaged with community.
- What are your Guiding Principles as an artist or cultural worker working in community?
- What do you want to learn?
- Why are you interested in joining RSC?
Current RSC FacilitatorsStephen Clapp - Mt. Rainier, MD
Stephen Clapp is a dance artist, choreographer, theater artist, composer, and writer. He has performed nationally and internationally with CatScratch Theatre, ClancyWorks Dance Company, The Other Theatre and as a collaborating artist with Laura Schandelmeier. Clapp has been nominated for four Metro DC Dance Awards: Excellence in Sound Design (2006 and 2007); Emerging Choreographer (2005); and Outstanding Individual Performance (2003). In 2006, he received an Individual Artist award from the Maryland State Arts Council for Solo Dance Performance. Clapp has had works presented by Dance Place (DC), the Goose Route Dance Festival (WV), The Other Theatre (MA) and the DC Improvisation Festival. Clapp has collaborated with Laura Schandelmeier on full-evening duets including Rappaccini’s Daughter (2004), The Dragons Project: Power Play (2006), Portals (2007) and is currently creating Haunted with Schandelmeier and musical duo Chloe and Leah Smith of Rising Appalachia. Clapp has toured throughout the East Coast and has facilitated arts-based anti-racism workshops with partners from Alternate ROOTS (Atlanta, GA). Together with Schandelmeier, they have had works presented by Dance Place, Madcap Players (DC), the Goose Route Dance Festival, Joe's Movement Emporium (MD), Alternate ROOTS and the University of Maryland. Clapp served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Alternate ROOTS from 2005-2007 and is an active facilitator/trainer with the Resources for Social Change program. In partnership with Schandelmeier, Clapp has facilitated community workshops for adults and youth. He currently teaches youth at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, Maryland.
Jaehn Clare - Atlanta, GA
Jaehn (pronounced "Jane”) Clare is a theatre artist with more than thirty years experience as an actor, director, producer, playwright, touring artist, teaching artist and arts administrator. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts (University of Minnesota), and an MA in Dramatic Literature (University of Essex). Jaehn has worked with a variety of professional theatre companies both in the US and abroad, and she has written a number of original scripts, including two solo performances. Since the mid-1980s, Jaehn has presented and performed at diverse conferences across the country. She is a published writer whose work has appeared in four issues of Melpomene magazine, and her essay “I Wasn’t Born a Mermaid” is included in the anthology From There to Here, original work by individuals who have survived spinal cord injury. Jaehn has taught acting, creative writing, creative movement, improvisation, arts integration, and access and inclusion practices to diverse learners of all ages, in the US and internationally, and she was a member of the 2006 inaugural class of VSA arts Teaching Artist Fellows. She is a Georgia Wolf Trap Teaching Artist, and a member the Georgia Council for the Arts Teaching Artist Bank, as well as the Touring Artist Roster, and Southern Artistry. In residency, workshop, and classroom settings, Jaehn works to engage the participants’ enthusiasm for authentic self-expression, and to empower teachers to tap into their own creativity as a valuable tool for enriching the learning environment for everyone. As an artist with an acquired disability, Jaehn is committed to contributing positive public images of persons with disabilities in the arts and education communities, and to fostering the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in arts and education settings. She is currently employed as the Director of Artistic Development with VSA arts of Georgia, where she manages a small non-commercial professional visual art exhibition space, as well as professional development and arts education programs.
Hope Clark - Chestertown, MD
Hope Clark, a dancer and Associate Artistic Director with Elizabeth Streb from 1991-1999, designed and directed Kid Action from 1993 -1999. Now a national trainer for Community Matters’ Safe School Ambassador Program, she works with students and adults on how to prevent mistreatments in public schools through learning strategic skills, role plays and small-group support networks. Her master’s thesis in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management from the SIT Graduate Institute, a qualitative study on the Alternate ROOTS Resources for Social Change (RSC) program's principles of community engagement was informed by the ‘Ongoing Dialogues” project, a year long documentation and listening project at RSC Learning Exchanges in 2009 conducted with Gwylene Gallimard. Hope is on the Board of the African American Heritage Council of Kent County, MD Inc. working on cultural equity with founder Karen Somerville.
Kathie deNobriga - Pine Lake, GA
Kathie deNobriga is a founder and current member of Alternate ROOTS, a service organization for community-based artists in the South; she served as ROOTS’ executive director and planning/development director for ten years. During that time she co-edited an anthology of new plays from the southern theatre and initiated a consortium to create the Community Arts Training Directory, now available through www.communityarts.net. Kathie’s early careers include managing/artistic director of the Footlight Players (adult and youth community theatre) at the Temple Theatre in Sanford NC; Visiting Artist for the NC Arts Council; and an acting ensemble member with The Road Company of Johnson City, TN. She holds a Masters in Theatre from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. A Fellow in the Rockefeller Foundation's Next Generation Leadership program, Kathie is currently serving a third term as mayor pro-tem on the City Council of Pine Lake, Georgia, where she is an advocate and practitioner for arts and community development. She is an independent consultant for numerous grass-roots arts organizations, state arts agencies, and foundations interested in building organizational capacity. She is also a board member for Art in the Public Interest, Little Five Points Community Center, and Alternate ROOTS, and a certified mediator.
Gwylene Gallimard - Charleston, SC
Gwylene Gallimard was born in France and lives in Charleston, SC since 1984. She holds an MFA in Multimedia (Concordia) and in Visual Communication ENSAD (Paris). Her artworks, often with Jean-Marie Mauclet include two French cafes; art installations about the health insurance industry, the fast food phenomenon, homelessness, religious beliefs, the memorialization of the past. She created the “Charleston/Atlanta/Alaska Challenge”, a participatory art and education program, culminating with an outdoor large-scale installation and a series of large paintings. Mauclet and her have been the lead artists of the multi year programs “My Journey Yours” with Refugee Family Services; “The Future is on the Table”, an international project; "Why do they want to be rich without us", dealing with gentrification issues and "Olympia", a residency and art installation about the life and transformation of two cotton mills and their villages. Her medium ranges from 5 miles of ropes to canvas to video. Gallimard specializes in collaboration with artists, non-artists, and communities. Awards in the States include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the SC Arts Commission, Alternate Visions, Spoleto Festival USA, the SC Humanities Council and Alternate ROOTS.
Sheila Gaskins - Baltimore, MD
Sheila Gaskins is an actress/ playwright/ activist/ teacher and lover of all humanity. She is currently working on Last House Standing, a community play about the “Highway to Nowhere” in Baltimore where 5,000 people were forced out of their home so the government can make a short-cut to the Baltimore business district. She has been active in theatre since she was six years old. Sheila has facilitated and led discussions on a myriad of topics including race relations, gentrification, issues of class, stereotypes, etc. Her acting credits include The Wire, Last Comic Standing, and The Salon with Vivica A. Fox. She works in a special needs private school as a teacher's assistant.
Ebony Noelle Golden - Brooklyn, NY & Durham, NC
Ebony Noelle Golden is a cultural worker, artist, Cave Canem Fellow, and creative director of Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative. She earned degrees from New York University (M.A.-Performance Studies), American University (M.F.A.-Poetry), and Texas A & M University (B.A.-English/Poetry). A 2009 Pushcart Poetry Prize nominee, Ebony has taught, published and performed widely. Her work has been supported by New York University, SpiritHouse, Alternate ROOTS, We Shall Overcome Fund, Fund for Southern Communities, Soul Mountain Poetry Center, North Carolina Humanities Council, State of the Nation, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. She is currently writing "again, the watercarriers", a poetry and performance collection about legacy, trauma, healing, and migration.
Sheila Kerrigan - Chapel Hill, NC
Sheila is on hiaitus.
Paula Larke - Stone Mountain, GA
Paula Larke’s work is concentrated in the areas of violence prevention, substance abuse awareness / prevention and environmental stewardship. She integrates poetry, storytelling, vocals, instrumentation on djembe, bass, banjo and guitar with theater- based teaching techniques. Through these talents Paula creates environments for self-discovery and healing, bringing social consciousness, joy, motivation and appreciation of diversity to her audiences. Paula is a veteran of the professional stage in New York, the Visiting Artist Program of the North Carolina Arts Council and Department of Community Colleges, the North Carolina Touring Program and innumerable residencies, keynote addresses and workshops throughout the U.S. Her training in violence prevention and peacemaking is through CTI (CONNECT Training Institute) in New York City, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Children’s Creative Response to Conflict, Inc., as well as over two decades of community organizing and education work throughout the Southeast. Within her organization, VOICES IN THE TREETOPS, Inc., Paula mentors other artists, youth and older adults, in the integration of arts and social justice activism. Her inclusive method of teaching unites individuals and agencies of widely diverse cultures, religious affiliations, races and economic backgrounds, etc. in the process of becoming positive and effective “villages”, working for the well being of all.
Bob Leonard - Blacksburg, VA
Bob Leonard teaches in Theater and Cinema at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, where he is the Director of the MFA in Theatre Arts and the Primary Advisor for the Stage Management, and Directing and Public Dialogue MFA programs. He is the founding artistic director of The Road Company, a community-based theatre ensemble in Johnson City, TN, 1975–1998. At Tech since 1989, Bob’s directing projects include: Never In My Lifetime, Dream Of A Common Language, Nickle And Dimed, Far Away, Abingdon Square, The Trestle At Pope Lick Creek, and Living Darwin. His work in community projects includes: “Leadership Through the Arts” in Southside Virginia; The Christiansburg Institute in Christiansburg, VA; the Culture Works Project in Baltimore, MD; and On The Table, Sojourn Theatre, Portland, OR. He is a co-director of the Community Arts Network (CAN), and a founder of the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) and Alternate ROOTS. Bob is a trainer/facilitator with ROOTS’ Resources for Social Change.
Jeff Mather - Atlanta, GA
Jeff Mather is a community-based artist and has conducted over 100 residencies since 1990. He has a BA degree from Hobart College in Proxemics, the study of space as language, a branch of anthropology. Jeff is best known as a site sculptor, however many of the site generated projects that he directs involve cross-disciplinary collaborations with performing artists. He has been a commissioned artist for the Fulton County Public Art program and for Art in Freedom Park in Atlanta. Jeff has twice been awarded Community/Artist Partnership grants by Alternate ROOTS. In 2009 his C/APP partnership with the Madison Morgan Cultural Center in Madison, GA culminated in the multi-generational performance project, Madison in 3 Directions. He has served as a teaching artist for the Georgia Council for the Arts since 1990 and for Young Audiences since 1992. He has been artist-in-residence at the High Museum, The Carlos Museum in Atlanta and the Morris Museum and the Art Factory in Augusta. He is the lead artist for the multi-school Onsite/Insight program in Atlanta and also serves on the board of directors of the Atlanta Partnership for Arts in Learning (APAL), an arts infusion organization. Since 2007 Jeff has also been coaching digital storytelling at the South Atlanta School of Law & Social Justice and in 2010 became the lead artist for the Woodruff Art Center in a digital storytelling pilot program with Grady High School, with funding from the Turner Voices program at Turner Broadcasting.
Laura Schandelmeier - Mt. Rainier, MD
Laura Schandelmeier is a Teaching Artist and Trainer for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and is a certified Teaching Artist in Maryland and Washington, DC. In this capacity she: Facilitates arts integration residencies for youth that also function as Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators; Leads Professional Development Workshops; and Trains Teaching Artists across the United States. Laura has been a member of the Resources for Social Change Program (RSC) of Alternate ROOTS since 2005 and Alternate ROOTS Board Member since 2006. She had the privilege of working under the mentorship of Nayo Watkins and Robert Leonard at the 2006 ROOTS Annual Meeting and has since been a facilitator for many RSC Workshops and Learning Exchanges. Laura is Co-Artistic Director of Dance Box Theater, Inc. (DBT) with her husband, Stephen Clapp. The mission of DBT is to support the creation and development of dynamic, finely crafted and engaging public performances; and to empower communities through partnerships, workshops, residencies and arts-based education. DBT’s goals are to present performing arts that catalyze individual and community transformation; and to strive for the elimination of oppression in all its forms.
Priscilla Smith - Atlanta, GA
Priscilla Smith has been creating original performing, visual, and literary art and music in and around Atlanta for more than 30 years. She was a founding member of ACME Theater. She was Co-chair of the Arts and Remembrance Committee of the Coalition to Remember the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot, for which she produced a memorial gathering for descendants at South-View Cemetery and the closing ceremonies at the Rialto Theater. A 30-year member of Alternate ROOTS, she has served several terms on the Executive Committee, including two years as treasurer. She has taught and directed high school students in performances of their own devising as part of her work at Horizons School since 1996. She joined the Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery board of directors in February 2008 and has served as Executive Director since October of 2009. In 2010 she has worked with Art on the BeltLine, a program that commissioned and presented over 40 works of temporary public art and performance.
Carlton Turner - Raymond, MS
Carlton Turner is the Executive Director of Alternate ROOTS, a 34 year-old southern based member service organization dedicated to supporting artists working in communities across the south. Carlton is also artistic director and co-founder, along with his brother Maurice Turner, of the performing group M.U.G.A.B.E.E. (Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early Extinction) a group composed of two brothers performing a theatrical blend of jazz, hip-hop, spoken word poetry and soul music. M.U.G.A.B.E.E. is currently working with Mondo Bizarro to create a multi-year performance project on issues of race and racism in the United States. Carlton also works as a lead convener with Voices from the Cultural Battlefront: Organizing for Equity. This network is an ongoing 20-year international conversation about the role of art and culture in the struggle for human rights, including social justice, cultural equity, and a healthy natural environment. Hundreds of activists who are grounded in the cultural life of their local communities, who represent a variety of fields (including education, art, health, and youth services), and who are from all seven continents have participated in these conversations.
Current RSC Shadow Facilitators (Facilitators-in Training):
Trey Hartt - Richmond, VA
Trey Hartt’s primary focus is dismantling racism. He is the Associate Director for The Conciliation Project using theatre as a tool to spark dialogue, currently located in Richmond, Virginia and has four years of facilitation experience. Trey has been engaged with Resources for Social Change for the past two years. He identifies as a theatre artist, activist, facilitator, arts administrator, and holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Omari Fox - Charleston, SC
Omari Fox, painter, poet, and educator. founder of BCARTI (Benedict College Art Intelligentsia), Founder New Danger Hip-Hope INKorporated, a visual and performing arts mentorship/activist group.www.wernewdanger.com). Alternate ROOTS Hip Hop Activist Scholarship Recipient in the inaugural class of 2004, former Vice-Chairman of the Board Alternate ROOTS 2008-2009. A former art teacher on South Carolina’s infamous Corridor of Shame now retired and living his art full time. Fox has developed his own unique style of visual art he’s coined HOP Art, short for Hip-Hop Art, a hybrid of images and text with a plethora of quotables from public figures, celebrities, and his own detailed rhyme schemes addressing everything from War and politics, romance, to spirituality and ‘unracism-ethnicity over race.’ For Fox the form is the protest, the activism is the content, but never content with message alone.
Melanie St. Ours - Seattle, WA
Melanie St. Ours is an actress, director, and community-based performance artist. Past work includes co-directing the critically acclaimed production How to Be a Human, directing the Washington DC V-Day 2009 production of The Vagina Monologues, founding and directing Acting Up, a theater company of homeless and formerly homeless performers (a partnership with Picture the Homeless: Bronx, NY), collaborations with the viBe Theater Experience, work with Michael Rohd on The Race, and The Rumi Project, an interactive performance piece she developed and performed while on fellowship in New Delhi. Melanie also works extensively as a teaching artist, does online hotline crisis intervention work with RAINN, and is a nationally certified massage therapist. Melanie holds a BFA in Acting and Applied Theatre from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.