April 22, 2024 Member News

Kathie DeNobriga, Garrett Blaize, and Nathalie Nia Faulk at ROOTS Week 2023. Photo: Mel Cardona



In This Issue: 



ROOTS Weekend: Whitakers, NC 2023. Photo: Mel Cardona.

Applications Open for Artistic Assistance: Professional Development Partnership Grants

The Alternate ROOTS Artistic Assistance Program is a beacon of support for ROOTS members whose work intersects with art, community, and activism. Artistic Assistance Professional Development grants provide ROOTS members with grants of $250-$2500. New members (less than 12 months of membership as of March 1, 2024) are eligible to apply for up to $1,000.

  • Monday, April 8, 2024: Applications open. Find information HERE
  • Friday, May 10, 2024 at 5pm ET: Deadline for Artistic Assistance: Professional Development
  • July 2024: Award Notifications
  • July 2024: Proposed activity begins on or after July 2024.

Please visit HERE for further information.

If you have any questions, please email partnerships@alternateroots.org.


Teens with a Purpose staff from Norfolk, VA at ROOTS Week 2023. Photo: Melisa Cardona.

May Membership Mayhem: Plan a Rhizome, Save the dates!

Mark Your Calendars! May is fast approaching, and we’re thrilled to announce our first-ever May Membership Mayhem—a month filled with engaging activities for our members. Look out for upcoming details and get excited!

This May, while we connect virtually, we also encourage you to host local Member Rhizome Events. Whether it’s a casual chat, a shared meal, or a creative workshop, these gatherings are a fantastic way to meet and bond with fellow ROOTers in your area. As a vibrant network of artist-activists and cultural practitioners across 14 southern states and DC, these in-person Rhizomes play a crucial role in keeping the spirit of ROOTS alive and thriving. Join us in creating meaningful connections this May!  To host a Rhizome gathering, simply email membership@alternateroots.org with “May Mayhem Rhizome Request” in the subject line and we will get back to you with details!

Anchor Events for May Membership Mayhem:

Thursday May 2, 6:30pm ET: Membership Work Group
The ROOTS Membership Work Group works closely with the Membership team to help review current practices and develop new initiatives for the ROOTS membership body. Open to all members. Register HERE.

Wednesday May 8, 12noon ET: Lunch Porch Sit with ROOTS Staff
Members are welcome to join staff at this weekly staff meeting! We’ll get to know each other better, have time for connection, questions, and more. Join the meeting HERE.

Thursday May 9, 6:30pm ET: Know Your Folks Live: Online + InDeep Release (King Shakur)  Time for the next episode of KNOW YOUR FOLKS LIVE!  This time, we are going Virtual! Join us as we speak with ROOTS Members about their life, art, and missions. Our hostess, Ashlee Haze, will interview three very special ROOTS Members. Register HERE.

Thursday May 16, 6:30pm ET: Strategic Partnerships Review / Preview Part 1
This will be a review of the impact and progress of Strategic Partnerships over the last three years and a preview of what is to come next (May 30 session). Attending Members will have an opportunity to help curate the feedback session. Register HERE

Thursday May 23, 6:30pm ET: Membership Work Group Report Out + Party Time Virtual Meetup The ROOTS network spans across the south, and sometimes, travel is not feasible. We are launching a connecting and networking opportunity with ROOTS Virtual Meetups. We want to help create spaces to deepen our connections with each other and build new and vibrant relationships. Join us for this Virtual Meetup initiative. Register HERE.

Thursday May 30, 6:30pm ET: Strategic Partnerships Review / Preview Part 2
Strategic Partnerships will reconvene to discuss the feedback and recommendations from the May 16 conversation as well as the Member-hosted Rhizomes dedicated to exploring that information. Register HERE.


Join the 50th Anniversary and Investment Strategy Work Groups!

ROOTS is gearing up for its 50th anniversary in 2026-27, a landmark event that will not only celebrate our history but also kickstart a major fundraising drive to secure our future. As part of this momentous occasion, we’re forming two crucial work groups: the 50th Anniversary Committee, focusing on celebration planning and fundraising, and the Investment Strategy Committee, which will guide the utilization of the $3 million grant we received from MacKenzie Scott in 2020. This is a unique opportunity to shape the future of ROOTS, involving regular meetings and some work in between. We’re inviting members to join us in this exciting journey. If you’re interested in contributing to either or both committees, please fill out THIS FORM by Friday, April 26, 2024. For more details or questions, reach out to Paige at paige@alternateroots.org. Let’s make history together!



Elise Witt’s Community Singing Workshop at ROOTS Week 2023. Photo: Mel Cardona

Join the ROOTS Week Work Group!

The Cultural Organizing Team is hosting our next ROOTS Week Work Group meetings in time for May Membership Mayhem. If you are interested in joining the ROOTS Week planning process, or have questions about how to present your artwork/performances at ROOTS Week, the next work group sessions are for you!

Applications to present at ROOTS Week are going live soon, so we’re answering questions about what we’re looking for. There are two dates and times to choose from. Feel free to attend either one.

Thursday, May 1 at 5:30pm EST
Register HERE

Friday, May 2 at 12pm EST
Register HERE


Executive Leadership Search Continues

Alternate ROOTS is excited to launch our search for the next Executive Leader. This pivotal step comes after a detailed, collaborative effort to craft the perfect job description, spearheaded by our Executive Leadership Search Advisory Task Force and the Executive Committee. We’re now inviting applications to steer ROOTS into the future.

We seek a leader who respects our legacy, can forge a visionary path forward, embodies our values in action and policy, and skillfully navigates the complexities of our organizational structure. Our search is grounded in our principles, embracing innovation while honoring the hard work that defines us, as captured in ROOTS’ inaugural song.

If you’re ready to lead and shape the future of Alternate ROOTS, we encourage you to apply.
Position description and application information HERE.

Our search is supported by the distinguished members of the Alternate ROOTS Executive Leadership Search Advisory Task Force, Executive Committee, and others committed to finding a leader who will guide us with passion and vision.


Town Hall Graphic Notetaking by Lisa Q. Mount at ROOTS Week 2023. Photo: Melisa Cardona

Upcoming ExComm Meetings 

ALL members of Alternate ROOTS are invited to attend meetings of the Executive Committee and participate in governance! ExComm meetings are on the first Tuesdays of the month.

Upcoming dates:

May 7th at 5:30pm ET

June 4th at 5:30pm ET

Join Zoom Meeting HERE
Meeting ID: 862 8928 5127
Passcode: 198730

If you have any issues accessing the Zoom meeting, please e-mail Marina at: marina@alternateroots.org


———————————————News From Members 



Who: Jeri Katherine Howell
What: Sleeping in the Woods Songwriter Festival
When: Friday, May 17- Sunday, May 19 (Jeri’s performance May 19, 10:30 AM EST)
Where: Hidden Ridge Camping in Monticello, KY
More info: jerikatherinemusic@gmail.com
Festival website: https://www.sleepinginthewoodsfestival.com/
Jeri Katherine’s website: jerikatherinehowell.com
Instagram: @jeri.katherine
Facebook: @jerikatherinehowell

Jeri Katherine Howell won the Sleeping in the Woods Songwriter Festival contest! Enjoy her performance and those of 20+ songwriters at the festival May 17-19 at Hidden Ridge Camping in Monticello, KY, celebrating the mystical alchemy of songwriting.


What: Applications for the 2024 Summer Documentary Institute are now open!
When: April 26, 2024 deadline
Who: Internship is available for youth ages 14 to 22 who are  located in Central Appalachia)
More Info: https://www.amiappalshop.org/apply

Since 1988, the Appalachian Media Institute (AMI) has provided opportunities for young people from central Appalachia to explore their communities and develop their creative skills through the arts and media. Over the course of the summer, youth (ages 14 to 22) explore the basics of video and audio production, view and discuss documentary media, and learn how to produce and distribute meaningful media about community issues and traditions.

This year’s Summer Documentary Institute will expand upon AMI’s tradition of innovative media training with an 8-week program that utilizes documentary storytelling as a means to explore, produce and share youth-led visions for central Appalachia’s future. Youth interns will experience a broad range of workshops on media production, including podcasting, media campaign strategy, digital filmmaking, photography and web-based storytelling taught by regional artists. The Appalachian Media Institute is a program of Appalshop based in southeastern Kentucky.


What: Advocacy Project for the Teaching Artist Field
Who: Jeff Mather & John Doyle
Where: Lake Claire Cohousing Common House, 265 Arizona Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
When: Wednesday, May 8, 2024, 4:30-6:30pm ET
More Info: mathersiteart@bellsouth.net

Resource links for teaching artists:  

https://teachingartists.com (put yourself on the Asset Map)

Jeff Mather and John Doyle invite Georgia teaching artists to attend an artist-initiated gathering on May 8 to develop strategies for effective advocacy for the teaching artist field. They are using the same story prompt cards from Eric Booth’s new book, Making Change: Teaching Artists And Their Role in Shaping a Better World, that were used for the workshop at ROOTS Week in August. There are several ROOTS artists on the Georgia Council for the Arts Teaching Artists Registry and we are leading the way, showing artists new to the field how advocacy work and social justice activism are integral to being a teaching artist. We are asking everyone to bring something to sip or munch on.



What: Proyecto Nakba
Who: Estefania Vega
Where: Bethlehem and other places in Palestine
When: Event has passed
More Info: loveisrevolutionary@gmail.com

Proyecto Nakba was a mystical theatre art project that took place at the apartheid wall in Palestine. The project highlighted the catastrophe walls, occupation, and colonialism have on bodies, but also how bodies, life, and love are stronger.



What: Jaylexyphotography
Who: Jessica Alexis
Where: Dallas, TX
When: Ongoing
More Info: jaylexyphotography@gmail.com
Instagram @jaylexyphotography

I am a branding, Event, Wedding Portrait Photographer.


Plug Your Events on Social & Member News!

The Alternate ROOTS Community wants to support your events. Here is how to get the word out through our channels:

Member News Email: To share your announcement in the Member News, please fill out this form by the first day of the month. Submit news by May 1, and it will be shared in the May 20 Member News.

Alternate ROOTS Facebook Group: If you want to share something on a shorter time frame, please join the private ROOTS members Facebook group where you can share your news with over 500 ROOTers in real time

Alternate ROOTS Instagram Repost:

  1. Send a Direct Message (DM) with your graphic (JPG) to @alternateroots on Instagram. 
  2. Please include your name as it appears in your membership profile.
  3. We will add your graphic to our stories, and tag your Instagram handle.
  4. Please give the Communications Team 2-5 business days to post.
  5. Feel free to tag us in posts or stories, however if you want to be included in  @alternateroots (on Instagram) stories you must DM us.


—————————————Office Hours at ROOTS 


Operations Team Office Hours

The Operations Team provides the resources that staff members and teams need to perform their duties, and ensure that our organization is complying with legal and financial requirements on our road to fulfilling our mission. We are responsible for:

  • Human Resources
  • Legal & Finance Compliance
  • Budget Management
  • Providing Resources for Staff

Office Hours: Thursdays from 12 – 1pm ET
404-577-1079 #301
Email Us (marina@alternateroots.org)

Cultural Organizing Team Office Hours

The Cultural Organizing Team maintains in-person and virtual relationships with existing members and partner organizations across 14 states by hosting ROOTS Week, ROOTS Weekends, Porch Sits, Coffee Pop-Ups, Phone Calls, Emails, and Zoom Sessions.

  • CO Team sits on the Governance Council of Southern Movement Assembly, is a lead partner in the Southern Power Fund, a partner organization of the Intercultural Leadership Institute, and represents ROOTS’ in the field via ROOTS’ Justice Advocacy Fellow who serves as a pipeline to the organizing efforts of our members.
  • We manage year-round programming for the Intercultural Leadership Institute and support member-led work groups across various stages of development (e.g. YOOTS, UpROOTing Ableism, Gender Equity, Indigenous Working Circle, Heal/Teal, etc.)

Office Hours: Mondays from 11:30am – 1:30pm ET
(404) 975-1856
Email Us (programming@alternateroots.org)

Membership Team Office Hours

During office hours, the Membership team can be reached by phone to answer any questions and assist with any membership matters.

Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday: 11am – 2pm ET
(404) 577-1079 EXT. 302
Email Us (membership@alternateroots.org)

Communications Team Office Hours

Want to reach out to a Communications staff person?

Office Hours: Thursday: 9am – 11am ET
(404) 577-1079 EXT. 303

Email Us (communications@alternateroots.org)


Have news you want to share with your fellow ROOTS members? Fill out this form! 



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.