2022 PROPOSED ExComm SLATE

Alternate ROOTS staff and ExComm, in early June at the ArtsXChange in Atlanta for a storytelling workshop led by member Shannon Turner of Story Muse. Photo by Leticia Contreras.

 

It is our honor to introduce you to the 2022 Executive Committee Slate. This slate was chosen through an open nomination process, which brought forth a selection of very qualified nominees. The nominees were then vetted by the Executive Committee officers and staff based on the needs and assets of the Executive Committee, and in order to maintain continuity of leadership. What you see here represents the slate as recommended by the Executive Committee on May 4, 2022.

Please review the slate and each individual’s bio below, and then cast your vote using the form at the bottom of this page. Only Alternate ROOTS Voting Members vote in Executive Committee elections. Please note: this is a Yes / No vote on the entire slate – you will not vote on each individual member.

Early online voting closes on Sunday, July 31. For those of you attending the virtual Annual Business Meeting (August 1-3), you can either cast your vote early online or while attending the virtual meeting. If you will not be attending this year’s Annual Meeting, 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 the Board President, Helms Jarrell at iamhelmsie@gmail.com.

Thank you for being an active member of Alternate ROOTS!

 

2022 Proposed ExComm Slate Bios

*Indicates someone who is a nominee to join the committee.

 

Officers

Chairperson – Stephen Clapp (he/him) | Washington D.C.

Stephen Clapp (he/him) is a Filipino-born cultural strategist, equity facilitator, change agent, performing artist and choreographer who maintains a professional creative practice as Co-Artistic Director for Dance Box Theater with his creative and life partner Laura Schandelmeier. Stephen is a co-owner of DC Vegan, the national capital region’s premier plant-based delicatessen specializing in cruelty-free and sustainable practices. His creative work aims to build social capital among communities with engagement through choreographic inquiry, devised theater performance, anti-oppression curriculum development and training, anti-racism facilitation, equity-based strategic planning, organizational development and cultural equity consulting. Stephen’s approach to community engagement and organizing employs movement-based arts-integration strategies that foster self-determination, innovative thinking, open dialogue, collective decision making, power analyses, resource development and creative problem solving. With over 25 years of professional experience using the arts as a tool for grassroots community development and creative changemaking, Stephen understands that the transformative evolution of individuals, communities, organizations and their systems is essential, valuable and timely. As a cultural worker, his creative practices are rooted in moving away from racist, neo-colonial and otherwise oppressive and problematic tendencies; towards a vision of equity, diversity and justice, where culturally marginalized voices are centered, honored, activated and celebrated. Stephen was a 2021 fellow with the Intercultural Leadership Institute, he is a member of the Pola Nirenska Award Committee, serves as a Creative Producer with Dance Exchange, and serves on the Executive Committee of Alternate ROOTS.

President – April Turner (she/her) | Charlotte, NC.

April C. Turner is a professional writer/producer  and content creator specializing in creating cultural arts  experiences designed to invite honest conversations about  difficult social issues. Her work also uses performing and literary art forms to document historical events, as well as  share cultural traditions.  An accomplished actress, writer, dancer, and theatre producer, Ms. Turner has had principal roles in more than 20 movies and television shows, as well as dozens of commercials and corporate videos. Among her favorite  credits are roles in made for television movies such as Eyeborgs (SyFy Channel) and the independent film adaption  of Truman Capote’s Other Voices, Other Rooms. Other  favorites include roles in productions such as Good  Behavior (TNT), Unanswered Prayers (Lifetime), Trinity  Goodheart (gmc TV), Army Wives (Lifetime), Ditch Digger’s Daughters (Family Channel), and Discarded Things (EarthMother Entertainment). Turner also plays Constance Watson in an episode of the critically acclaimed Showtime series, The Good Lord Bird.

Among her produced writing credits are the stage plays, C.O.T.O.: CHOCOLATE ON THE OUTSIDE, RESERVATIONS,  STARLIGHT AND MOONSHINE TIMES, PICKLE & LIL’JUNIOR,  NIKKY’S GONE and ONE DROP OF MY BLOOD. She has  successfully presented stage productions from New Jersey  to Florida to Oklahoma. C.O.T.O.: Chocolate on the Outside  was a featured production in the 1998 Piccolo Spoleto  Theatre Series and was a favorite at universities and arts  institutions in the ten years following. This contemporary  drama with comedy toured nationally, making a positive  impact in communities throughout the United States.  Turner’s residencies, workshops and theatrical  innovations have made her a favorite among arts  presenters, universities and cultural organizations. In  addition to being a prolific playwright and performer, Ms. Turner is a passionate dancer. For more than two decades,  her African dance performances and workshops have  enlightened, entertained, and promoted cultural  awareness. Ms. Turner is currently a guest artist at North Carolina  A&T State University’s theatre department, teaching  playwriting.

Treasurer – *Priscilla Smith (she/her) | Atlanta, GA

Priscilla Smith is the self-proclaimed Impresaria of No Tomorrow Underground, a venue and creative forum for artists and their audiences in Underground Atlanta, founded in 2021. She has presented performance art works solo and in collaboration in the streets and galleries of Atlanta since 1978. She served as executive director of Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery from 2008-2016, was a founding company member of ACME Theater that, from 1980 to 1990, presented original performance works ranging from improvisational contemporary opera to full-length original dramas. She created a closing performance event for the centennial symposium in observance of the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre, has collaborated with Beacon Dance and John Q and directed and produced over 35 evenings of student-created dramatic works at Horizons School and The Atlanta School in 21 years as an educator. She served on the founding committee and was performance coordinator for Art on the Atlanta BeltLine and was co-producer and co-founder of the 2010 Living Walls Conference. She served several terms on the Alternate ROOTS executive committee, including time as treasurer. In 2019-2021 she ran to represent Georgia State House District 34 in the general election and in a special called election. She holds a B.A. in speech and drama from Trinity University.

Secretary – *Sacil Armstrong (she/her) | Roanoke, VA

For more than 25 years, Sacil (suh-SEEL) Armstrong has connected people and opened minds, getting folks from very different backgrounds to come together for common causes. As a self-care and social justice facilitator, her motto is no blame, no shame, no guilt because blaming and shaming get in the way of learning and being. She uses evidence-based self-care techniques that not only make us feel good, but also increase our mental and emotional capacity to handle difficult conversations about topics like racism and oppression. She uses facts to bind the past to the present and helps clients brainstorm for practical and effective ways to create change.

Sacil has been a marketing director for a regional science museum, served as the adult programming and PR specialist for a library system, and successfully led a grant-funded grassroots movement to reduce violent crime in a high-crime low-income “neighborhood” of 30,000 people. She is also a Certified Zentangle Teacher, using abstract art as a form of meditation.

 

At Large Members Members

Stephanie McKee Anderson (she/her) | Picayune, MS

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.

Michael Murray (he/him) | Columbia, SC

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.

*Ace McColl (she/her) | Atlanta, GA

Ace McColl is an Atlanta based filmmaker and editor. Her work leans into the experimental, telling intimate stories around femininity and gender conceptions through visceral means. Often auto-biographical, her filmmaking toes the line between performance and video art through her incorporation of multimedia elements. Her sharply edited experimental short Soma/tics was featured in several gallery exhibitions across the Southeast before premiering at the WonderRoot Independent Film Series where it took home the Wonder Film Award. It went on to screen nationally at festivals including Cucalorus Film Festival and Indie Grits. Her latest film Be Kind, Please premiered at the 2020 Atlanta Film Festival. Deeply rooted in the growth of the Atlanta film community, she has served as a member of the film committee at Eyedrum and as a film coordinator for LadyFest Atlanta. As a film & TV editor she hones her craft across genres. She has worked with Netflix, Vice Media, Discovery Channel, and Tyler Perry Studios among many others. She holds a B.F.A. in Film & TV Production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a member of the IATSE Local 700 Editors Guild.

*Victoria Meek (she/her) | Dallas, TX

Vicki Meek has over 40 years of arts administrative experience and board development skills which includes community arts development expertise. She is a nationally recognized artist who has exhibited widely and had a career as an arts administrator, working in both state and local arts agencies as a Senior administrator. She also served as Executive Director of a nonprofit visual arts institution. Meek served on the Board of National Performance Network and was Chair for two years. Currently, Meek is a full time artist who is Chief Operating Officer and Board Member of USEKRA: Center for Creative Investigation, a non-profit retreat for creatives founded by internationally acclaimed performance artist Elia Arce. Vicki Meek is Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s at-large appointee to the Dallas Arts and Culture Commission and the Public Art Committee.

*Ashley Walden Davis (she/her) | Atlanta, GA

Ashley Walden Davis is the Founder and Executive Director of Unlock Creative LLC. Ashley is a proven leader, change agent, and visionary. Ashley has 15+ years of experience as Creative Producer working in nonprofit management and community-based arts business administration. She is driven by authenticity and a love of people.

Unlock Creative is a social enterprise whose mission is to nurture, grow, and sustain Black creative leadership. We work strategically to design systems and structures where Black people and people of color thrive personally and professionally, both within organizations and independently. We center joy, love, racial, and cultural equity in all our programs and services.

Ashley is also the Founder and President of the National Black Women’s Creative Cooperative – a worker-owned limited liability cooperative and mutual aid network of Black women creatives. Our mission is to liberate Black Women from oppressive and toxic work environments, generate wealth owned and stewarded by and for us toward a goal of political and financial freedom.

*Charmille Walters (she/her) Hollywood, FL

Charmille Walters is a solution-centered creative worker with professional experience as a teaching community artist, arts administrator, and stagehand. Activism began in 2006 with membership to Alternate ROOTS, Power U Center for Social Change, and as an original member of the Miami Emerging Arts Leaders – a program of Americans for the Arts. She loved to advocate for impactful projects and hold million-dollar arts organizations accountable as a panelist for the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Youth Enrichment Program and Community grants. Every election since 2012, she enjoys the civic duty work of a Field Voting System Technician to ensure every vote in her little corner of the world is counted.

Ms. Walters is the President of Rhythmic Rapture, a non-profit organization dedicated to the healing powers of music and dance through education and preservation. Ms. Charm, as known by her students, is committed to passing 25+ years of performing arts experience onto the next generation of creative thinkers and movers. Students benefit from accomplishments such as local crew for celebrity music concerts, Broadway musicals, plays, dance concerts, and live televised shows. She is a proud member of the Roadies of Color United (R.O.C.U.) Association and works at state-of-the-art multi-space venues through the I.A.T.S.E. Local 500 hiring hall. Charm has also produced educational and spiritual events with renowned artists and scholars as a Program Coordinator at Florida International University after she received her B.A. in dance.

To participate in Early Voting, please cast your ballot HERE by Sunday, July 31.

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.