Executive Committee at ROOTS Week 2019. Photo by Melisa Cardona.


It is our honor to introduce you to the 2020-21 Executive Committee Slate. This slate was chosen through an open nomination process, which brought forth a selection of very qualified nominees that were then vetted by the Executive Committee officers and staff. What you see here represents the slate as recommended by the Executive Committee on August 10, 2020.

Please review the slate and each individual’s bio, and then cast your vote using the form at the bottom of the page. Only Voting Members vote in Executive Committee elections; due to the pandemic-induced recession, we have waived all membership fees this year, so anyone who has been a Voting Member in the past is eligible to vote. You can vote on the proposed slate on the form below. Please note, this is a Yes / No vote on the entire slate – you will not vote on each individual member.

You have until Thursday, August 20 to cast your vote online. For those of you attending ROOTS Week, you can either cast your vote early online, or in person during the virtual Annual Business Meeting August 21-23. If you are unable to attend this year’s ROOTS Week, this early voting period is your opportunity to exercise your board membership and vote for the Executive Committee slate.

If you have any questions about the nomination process or the nominees themselves, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Monique Davis, Chair at moniquedavis648@gmail.com.

Thank you for being an active member of our participatory democracy!


2020-21 Executive Committee: Proposed Slate



Yvette A. Hyater-Adams, Chair  | Jacksonville, FL

Helms Jarrell, President | Charlotte, NC

daniel johnson, Secretary | Jackson, MS (Hinds County)

Samuel Valdez, Treasurer | San Diego, CA

At Large Members

Bob Leonard | Blacksburg, VA

King Shakur | Dallas, TX

Johnathan Clark | Knoxville,TN


At Large Members: Nominees 

muthi reed | New Orleans, LA

Stephen Clapp | DC, Washington D.C.

Stephanie V. McKee- Anderson | New Orleans, LA

Michael Murray | Columbia, South Caroline


2020-21 Executive Committee: Proposed Slate Bios


Officers: Returning


Samuel Valdez, Treasurer (he/him) | San Diego, CA

Samuel Valdez (PLAYWRIGHT/DIRECTOR/PERFORMER) graduated from San Diego State University in 1991 with a B.A. degree in theater arts, emphasis in directing. Between the years of 1992 to 2002 he directed a large number of Latinx plays such as ROOSTERS by Milcha Sanchez Scott, THE CONDUCT OF LIFE by Maria Irene Fornes, and THE GUITARRON by Lynne Alvarez. With 7 plays under his belt Mr. Valdez characterizes himself as a playwright. Some of his individual works include SOY YO/IT’S ME, P13-VIVE, AMBOS/BOTH and OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE (written in collaboration with Andrea Assaf). His most recent piece is a show speaking about the creation and development of man and how he as a Latino man with cerebral palsy fits into it, titled AND HE BECAME MAN. Mr. Valdez is an active member of his artistic community, and a board member of NPN/VAN.


Officers: Nominated


Yvette Angelique Hyater, Chair (she/her) | Jacksonville, FL

Yvette Angelique is a poet, writer and storytelling facilitator. She composes poetry, essays, and teaches writing workshops; She also works with artists, cultural workers, organization leaders and their teams—helping them unpack oppressive practices in their personal and system narratives. Messy work makes for great learning, healing, and good writing. She sometimes thinks of herself as a griot doula, because the work she loves best is when helping women and girls use storytelling to birth their voice. She works together with them to examine barriers, explore experiences, envision possibilities, and use their voice for advocacy. Her goal is to increase the representation of women’s voices in every discourse, in every subject. Yvette’s writing centers around the Black Woman’s experience as an artist, business leader, facilitator, community advocate, mentor, mother, sister-friend, daughter, and lover—not necessarily in that order! She studied educating adults in the workplace and in community-based learning, achieving a B.S. in Occupational Education and Workforce Training from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She continued her academic studies in creative writing for healing, crafting literary art, and for social justice, achieving an M.A. in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College and a Post Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. Curiosity and ingenuity takes her around the world to write and teach. She lives in Atlantic Beach, FL with her husband, and within seconds of a text between her two precious adult children.  Returning to ExComm, newly nominated as an officer.


Helms Jarrell, President (she/her) | Charlotte, NC

Reverend Helms Jarrell is a member of the QC Family Tree community in Charlotte, NC where she and other residents seek to be kinfolk rooted in discipleship in West Charlotte through practices of creativity, prayer, and welcome. QC Family Tree is a community of hospitality and solidarity in a neighborhood that bears the wounds of economic injustice and racial oppression. Helms sees her role in the community as learner, momma, creator, gardener, yogi, preacher, pastor, and welcomer. Helms is an interdisciplinary artist who weaves stories together using mixed media, ceramics, needlework, and jewelry making techniques. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia and was ordained to ministry by First Baptist Church; Raleigh, NC in August of 2003. Her most recent projects have centered around neighborhood based work. Returning to ExComm, newly nominated as an officer.


daniel johnson, Secretary (he/him/they/them) | Jackson, MS (Hinds County)

daniel johnson is a multidisciplinary artist focused on agency, equity, and the formation of agreements. johnson roots the artistic process in collaborative, long-term relationships framing everyday life as unfolding, intersecting stories. Through deep listening, reflections on the nature of belonging, and facilitated community storytelling, johnson works with groups of people to harness their unique cultural expressions in a co-design process to disrupt power dynamics and realize shared intentions. johnson is an independent artist, curator, and educator who has designed and initiated projects with partners across sectors. Collaborators have included the communities unfolding from the Jackson Medical Mall, Hinds County Schools, Millsaps College, City of Jackson Mayor’s Office and Planning Department, Operation Shoestring, Mississippi Museum of Art, MS Department of Transportation, and Midtown Partners CDC. johnson is a 26-year resident of Jackson, MS where his roots lie; both sides of his family going back generations in Central and Coastal Mississippi. Returning to ExComm, newly nominated as an officer.


At Large Members: Returning


King Shakur (he/him) | Dallas, TX

King Shakur is a poet, spoken word artist and DJ from Dallas TX. He holds an MA in Public Leadership and a BA in Music Business and Marketing. He is the founder and president of Volunteering While Black, The South Dallas Youth Poetry Contest, Poetry and Waffles, and What the HHAP’s creative writing organization. Winner of the Memphis Book Festival “Artist of the Year” 2016, and The Black Caucus of Librarian’s Poetry Book of the Year award for Street Lights J’s and Hip Hop: The Makings of a Poet; and Mr. Shakur has been a featured performer in over twenty-five states. He has competed in and won several regional and national poetry slams and serves as a contracted creative writing instructor for several organizations, including the City of Dallas, Mecklenburg County, and Big Thought.


Jonathan Clark (he/him) | Knoxville, TN

Multidisciplinary Artist, Activist and Managing Director at The Carpetbag Theatre, Jonathan Clark, also known as Courageous, is a native of Knoxville, TN and Alumnus of the University of Tennessee. His professional performance career began at the age of thirteen with Carpetbag’s Youth Theatre Ensemble and has remained a performing artist ever since. Most recently, Courageous was selected from a Nation-wide pool of candidates for two prestigious opportunities; The National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation: Next Generation, presented by Pangea World Theater and Art2Action, and the Intercultural Leadership Institute, presented by Alternate ROOTS, the National Association for Latino Arts and Cultures, the PA’I Foundation, and the First People’s Fund.


Bob Leonard (he/him) | Blacksburg, VA

Bob Leonard is a theatre maker, writer, teacher and arts organizer at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, where he directs the MFA in Theatre program and is the primary advisor for the MFA program in Directing and Public Dialogue. His work includes: CriticalConnecXtions – an on-line digital platform for neighbor to neighbor, peer to peer communications and knowledge sharing amongst the emerging field of community cultural development; ensemble developed new plays; and interactive theater techniques to generate, express, and animate public dialogue and civic imagination in partnership with community organizing efforts. From 1975 to 1998, he founded and led The Road Company, a theatre ensemble based in Johnson City, TN, where he and the ensemble created more than 20 new plays. Leonard authored with Ann Kilkelly Performing Communities, An Inquiry into Ensemble Theater Deeply Rooted in Eight U.S. Communities. With Linda Burnham and Steve Durland, he co-founded the Community Arts Network. He is a founding board member of the Network of Ensemble Theaters and Alternate ROOTS.


2020-21 Executive Committee: Proposed Slate Nominees Bios


At Large Members: Nominees 


muthi reed  (they/them) | New Orleans, LA

muthi reed works with archives, digital media, story and design to generate fresh language and ways of seeing. They borrow from aesthetics of Black, Native and Queer life, the internet, interior studies, Ecology, migration form pattern and possibility.

Creative life partnerships include their work with Angela Davis Johnson in Hollerin Space and [TKE] the kinfolk effect with Sage Crump. Hollerin Space was selected as one of the cohort members for Alternate ROOTS 2020 program Partners for Change. TKE led ROOTS deep dive class COMMONS immersive leading up to and during the 2019 annual meeting. In 2019 muthi reed was awarded a fellowship with Black Spatial Relics, an ongoing project led by Arielle Julia Brown. They were a cohort member of the Intercultural Leadership Institute year 2 fellowship. They were an artist-in-residence with Clear Creek Creative (2017) led by Carrie Brunk, Bob Martin and Nicole Garneau, and Cucalorus (2017) led by Dan Brawley. In 2016, Hollerin Space participated in the Mississippi Museum of Art C3 program led by daniel johnson. Hollerin Space conducted a mini residency in 2015 with Gwylene Gallimard and Jean-Marie Mauclet in Charleston, SC. Muthi participated as a collaborating artist in New Orleans with Ecohybridity led by Kai Lumumba Barrow in 2015. They joined the Alternate ROOTS community in 2015 as a Joan Mitchell Visual Arts fellow.


Stephen Clapp (he/him) | DC, Washington D.C.

Stephen Clapp is a cultural strategist and change agent who maintains a professional creative
practice as Co-Artistic Director for Dance Box Theater with Laura Schandelmeier. His work is mission driven with a passion for developing creative solutions to strategic and logistical challenges. At the intersections of the performing arts, social justice and service to the field of dance, Clapp has engaged with communities of children, teens, adults, seniors, artists, organizers, administrators, executives, trustees, and veterans. His approach to community engagement and organizing employs movement-based arts-integration strategies that foster self-determination, innovative thinking, equitable communication systems and creative problem solving. Clapp earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the George Washington University in dance performance and choreography after receiving a full university fellowship for a research-based climate change communications dance project. His current work includes choreographic inquiry around racism, movement-based anti-oppression facilitation, music composition for dance, and strategic development consulting for individuals and organizations in the arts and food service industries.

After working as a grants manager for over 9 years under the mentorship of Carla Perlo and
Deborah Riley at Dance Place, Clapp served as Executive Director for Dance Metro DC from
2012-2018. During his tenure with Dance Metro DC, he rebuilt the organization from an online
calendar listing to a highly impactful regional arts service provider. Clapp has toured nationally
and internationally with Dance Box Theater, ClancyWorks Dance Company, CatScratch Theater,
Kinding Sindaw, and was a founding member of the Boston-based ensemble, The Other Theater.

Clapp serves as a board member and facilitator with Alternate ROOTS and believes that the creative sector is uniquely positioned to foster and model innovation that can transform communities towards lasting and positive social impact. Clapp understands the necessity for arts and small business professionals to take on many roles in order to achieve individual and community goals. His experiences with entrepreneurship and stewardship for small businesses and the arts have brought him to hold multiple responsibilities that span resource development, marketing and communications, personnel management,relational development, strategic planning, program development and implementation, board relations, management consulting, organizational assessment, contract negotiations, arts presenting, choreography and performance.


Stephanie V. McKee- Anderson (she/her) | New Orleans, LA

Stephanie V. McKee- Anderson is an artist, organizer and cultural strategist born in Picayune MS and raised in New Orleans. She is the Executive Artistic Director of Junebug Productions, Inc. an organization birthed out of the Free Southern Theater (FST), which was formed in 1963 as one of many cultural arms of the Civil Rights Movement. FST would eventually be a tremendous influence on the BlackArts Movement. Mckee has a long history of creating powerful performances that she strategically leverages for social change.  McKee is a 2018 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Fellowship recipient and under McKee’s leadership, Junebug Productions was a recipient of a Surdna Foundation’s Artist engaged in social change award for Homecoming Project, and the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Theater Project grant for Gomela to Return/Movement of Our Mother Tongue which was her directorial debut. McKee serves on the board and executive committee of National Performance Network, is a member of Alternate ROOTS, a 2007 New Voices emerging Leader alumnus, a 2015 Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Leadership Fellow and a Group Leader for the 2017 APAP Leadership Fellow Cohort.


Micheal Murray (he/him) | Columbia, South Carolina

Michael A. Murray is a literary and visual artist out of Columbia, SC who has always allowed his

love for art and community to steer his sense of purpose in the right direction. During his tenure as mentor and Director of Poetry at the Rebuilding Individual Character Habits (R.I.C.H.) program, Michael has attained tremendous insight into the often misunderstood, but always inventive minds of the black artistic southern youth. That insight carried over into his foundation of the NU GRWTH Artist Collective, the co-founding of The Prologue Writing Group, and continued collaborative efforts with other activists and organizations to create programming centered around the development, support, and sustainability of local artists. As a photographer and poet, Michael has had several works featured in Tapp’s Art Center, The State Newspaper, Access Magazine, The Carolina Panorama, and more. As a community organizer and Founder/Manager of Playlixt LLC, he has curated over four years of innovative events

showcasing the many faces, voices, and styles of performance art, including Blue Note Poetry, Laughs & Lyrics, Our Words—Our Way!, and Afrobeats & Poetry to name a few.


Please cast your ballot during Early Voting! Voting closes on Thursday, August 20, 2020.

403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden

Alternate ROOTS supports the creation and presentation of original art that is rooted in communities of place, tradition or spirit. We are a group of artists and cultural organizers based in the South creating a better world together. As Alternate ROOTS, we call for social and economic justice and are working to dismantle all forms of oppression—everywhere.