2022 Partners in Action Cohort

2022 Partners in Action Grantees, L-R from top: Free Feral (photo via 1beat), Tanya Desdunes (photo via Sfltimes), King Shakur (photo by Kamau Ozain), Thaddeus Davis (photo via University of South Carolina), Sarah Sloan (photo via Facebook), Umi IMAN (photo via @sequoiaascension)


December 1, 2022


Partners in Action grants encourage artist(s)-led partnerships with social service organizations, arts and cultural organizations, a group of teachers, community associations, an extended family, or a group organized around an issue, cause, or concern. The goal of the PIA Grants is to support work that is culturally rooted, clear in its objectives, and creative in its approaches.

Congratulations to these six Partners in Action Grantees, who will collectively receive an investment of more than $120,000 on behalf of the ROOTS community to support creative partnerships focused on social justice, climate justice, and cultural equity in grassroots communities throughout ROOTS’ 14 state region in the U.S. South:

Lead ROOTS Member: Tanya Desdunes
Location: Miami, FL
Artistic Discipline: Visual Art
Focus: Racial Justice / Equity
Collaborators: Hambidge Center Residency and YoungArts Foundation

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator Inc. (DVCAI) will host “From the Outside In: BIPOC Curatorial Cohort” to disrupt the power balance that currently exists within cultural institutions, where hierarchy prevents the selection of projects ———————————-and perspectives from BIPOC curators and artists.

Lead ROOTS Member: Umi IMAN
Location: Atlanta, GA & virtual
Artistic Discipline: Cultural Bearing/Organizing
Focus: Housing Justice
Collaborators: Sequoia Ascension and Core Dance

Sequoia Ascension cultivates the well-being of Atlanta’s Black American & Native American communities by way of movement and healing practices. Sequoia Ascension’s Artist Residency awards fellows one year of completely ———————————-subsidized housing and other artistic resources.

Lead ROOTS Member: Sarah Sloan
Location: Morehead City, NC
Artistic Discipline: Digital Media
Focus: Climate Advocacy
Collaborators: Land and People Productions, I Am Her (Sheresis Elliot), Narrative Arts

Coastal Healing Project is a community art and organizing project that seeks to link the impacts of climate change, trauma and community resilience. The ———————————-collaborators will use youth media (two cohorts of Black girls of color), ———————————-storytelling workshops, and collaboration with grassroots organizations in ———————————-Carteret County, NC to produce a community presentation.

Lead ROOTS Member: Free Feral
Location: New Orleans, LA
Artistic Discipline: Cultural Bearing/Organizing
Focus: Education
Collaborators: Alphabet Sound Observatory (ASO) and Girls Rock New Orleans (GRNO)

Alphabet Sound Observatory (ASO) and Girls Rock New Orleans (GRNO) seeks to open up their lending library of musical instruments for public use. They will ———————————-build an operation that includes a cataloging system, insurance, and ———————————-orientation materials to help ensure their members’ success with the gear.

Lead ROOTS Member: Thaddeus Davis
Location: Montgomery/Harpersville, AL
Artistic Discipline: Dance
Focus: Racial Justice / Equity
Collaborators: Montgomery Public Library, Montgomery Department of Cultural Affairs, Georgette Norman, Theo Perkins (Mayor of Harpersville, Minister, and Board Member of Klein Arts and Culture), Alabama Dance Council, and Klein Arts and Culture

———————————–Wideman Davis Dance (WDD) will extend the site-specific performance———————————–Migratuse Ataraxia.  Migratuse Reimagined will expand Migratuse ———————————–Ataraxia into a series of extended residencies that use performance,———————————–community engagement, and collaboration with community-based ———————————–artists to explore the connections between the pervasive ———————————–memorialization of white supremacy’s past and sites of ongoing ———————————–Black resistance.

Lead ROOTS Member: King Shakur
Location: DeSoto, TX
Artistic Discipline: Traditional Arts
Focus: Education
Collaborators: Desoto Independent School District (ISD), St. Anthony Academy, Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs

Art Inspired Healing seeks to provide arts healing activities and education to economically depressed areas of Southern Dallas. They will work with schools, ———————————-community centers and community partners to identify families to work with. ———————————-They will make all of their workshops free of charge, and provide free entry to ———————————-the open mic for those same communities.


Keep your eye on Alternate ROOTS emails, Facebook page, and Instagram for information on Partners in Action Grants and other opportunities to partner with Alternate ROOTS.

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.