Artistic Assistance 2020 Project Development Recipients

Artwork & Photo by Liana Ambrose Murray.


Alternate ROOTS is pleased to announce the 23 recipients of the 2020 round of Artistic Assistance Project Development!

In July 2020, grants were awarded to 23 individual artists and cultural workers in the South to create unique projects, enhance their skills, and build community. Congratulations to this fantastic array of artists and cultural workers, who are helping to create a better South, and a better world!

Our long-running Artistic Assistance program provides up to $5,000 in direct support to individual artists and cultural workers in the South to enhance their skills, create unique projects, and build community.

Two Artistic Assistance funding cycles are offered each year– Project Development in the spring and Professional Development in the fall. Fall 2020 Artistic Assistance application information will be announced in mid-August!

Artistic Assistance 2020 Project Development Award Recipients 


  • Adrienne Dawes [Fayetteville, AR] : To support a two-week developmental workshop for the playwright’s new play “This Bitch/Esta Sangre Quiero,” employing diverse theatre artists from the NW Arkansas region. The workshop will culminate in a community performance offered free and by donation.


  • Ashley Minner [Baltimore, MD] : To support the development of a map of the Historic Lumbee Indian community of East Baltimore through a series of artistic collaborations.


  • D Patton White [Atlanta, GA] : To support Navigating Family: A multi-year project seeks to harness the energies of reorientation and evolution prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent cultural demonstrations to reimagine and expand the often narrow definitions of mother, father, and child through a deep engagement with the greater metro Atlanta area through story circles, hands-on workshops, and the collaborative creative development of a new performance piece and accompanying visual art exhibition.


  • Dada Ra [Atlanta, GA] : To support the Artiste’ virtual curriculum beta launch, 21st Century Peace Techniques for Artists.


  • Daniel Banks [Fort Worth, TX] : To support DNAWORKS’s adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s 1909 novella THE SECRET SHARER is a devised, ensemble performance integrating dance, music, sound, text, and projections. Considered an early queer text, THE SECRET SHARER explores fragility, tenderness, and intimacy in times of personal duress and societal discrimination. In response to both an increase in hate crimes against and the visibility of LGBTQQ2SPIAA+ youth suicides worldwide, THE SECRET SHARER provides a queer-centered space for resiliency and healing. The audience is an essential creative collaborator in the performance—spatially defining the perimeter of the space and sharing their own stories in real time as part of the piece.


  • Fernando Lopez [New Orleans, LA] : To support Caras Vemos, Corazones No Sabemos. A three-phased, mixed-media portrait project in which Karla Rosas and Fernando Lopez will combine Karla’s painting skills with Fernando’s documenting skills to create a series of portraits that spotlight key members of the greater New Orleans community who are shaping its history from the bottom-up and represent the “corazon” or “heart” of the city.


  • Helms Jarrell [Charlotte, NC] : To support mixed media artist, Helms Jarrell with restructuring her space and study in order to create and exhibit a body of exploratory work that exists at the intersection of faith, art, and social justice, entitled “Sanctuary.”


  • Hope Clark [Chestertown, MD] : To support ‘Climate Recovery’ which interviews farmers, watermen, business owners, and individuals in recovery from substance abuse, to look at personal and environmental challenges. Losing a son, starting a Recovery Home, acidifying waters, extreme floods, and droughts, these stories emerge to address addiction and climate change in a play framed to organize audiences.


  • Jessica Valoris [Durham, NC] : To support: Phone Home: Durham – a traveling sound installation exploring home as a practice. The installation serves as a meditative space that allows audiences to reflect on what home means and how it is created within the Durham community. Interviews will be conducted with pronounced Durham activists, healers, artists, and cultural workers to create an abstract sonic collage and interactive installation.


  • Jack Fischer [Weaverville/Asheville, NC] : To support completing drafts of the next three (3) chapters of the working manuscript white spaces: Notes on Race and Privilege for a (pretty darn) white Community.


  • Kathie deNobriga [Atlanta, GA] : To support artistic development as a director of a puppet theatre and prepare a new original work for touring.


  • Liana Ambrose-Murray [Asheville, NC] : To support building a body of visual artwork exploring ancestral memory and its relationship to the depths of our being.


  • Marlanda Dekine [Georgetown, SC] : To support Marlanda Dekine-Sapient Soul (gender non-conforming, Black, queer folk) in creating a digital & live spoken word poetry performance with composed soundscape through communion with local artists and the landscape of Plantersville, South Carolina, located in Georgetown county.


  • Mirra Shapiro [Berea, KY] : To support the creation of “Tree Book” centering Berea mothers and youth, sharing our collective stories of loss that have been stamped as “progress.” We strengthen our connections to each other and to this place under the canopy of the book-making process. Our workshop series will culminate with a book reading and forum, bringing our wider communities into the conversation.


  • Morgan Kinne [Charleston, SC] : To support “Tiny is Culinary” – a 12-month collaborative project working with Tiny Culinary Businesses to develop visual art experiences that initiate communication and collaboration and reveal the missions and experience of the culinary workers to the communities they feed.


  • NaTasha Thompson [Raleigh, NC] : To support The EDU Project: Latta – A movement-based work in response to the Autobiography and history of Rev.Morgan Latta and Latta University. This first iteration will result in a workshop/ presentation & community conversation.


  • Nicole Garnea [Berea/Louisville, KY] : To support Kentucky-based audiobook company, GoBunny Media, and Nicole Garneau in creating a professionally-produced audiobook of Garneau’s Performing Revolutionary: Art, Action, Activism.


  • Renee Benson [New Orleans, LA] : To support Requiem for a Stranger – an expansive work of music, movement-theater, community rituals, and sacred spaces that explores how grief – that is denied in American culture – exists in the vast heart space of humans. The project will create multiple spaces to hold grief, specifically a shared community ritual named “Gorgeous Offerings.”


  • Rodrigo Dorfman [Durham/Wendell, NC] : To support the development of Los Desobedientes (the Disobedient Ones) a feature documentary that follows the members of an extended family on both sides of the border, who believe nothing is impossible if you’re willing to break the rules.


  • SaBrina Jeffcoat [Colombia, SC] : To support S. O. Jeffcoat, Artist/ Lead Researcher of Royal African Co., in the continued research towards developing an alpha version of a secure and exclusive digital platform which will encourage artistic collaboration and successful employer/ employee matches.


  • Shanequa Rainey [Charleston, SC] : To support “843?” (pronounced as a phone area code) – a youth-led zine by TINYisPOWERFUL’s Rain Rainey and Aysha Bowens that aims to ask local artists and writers questions pertaining to local issues and topics in Charleston and the greater area.


  • Shanina Carmicheal [Jackson, MS] : To support Batanba – a space of personal growth, healing, and community building centering an intergenerational group of women and girls using gathering, intimate sharing, and dance therapy as tools to improve wellness.


  • Vibrina Coronado [Pembroke, NC] : To support a master craftsperson in costuming and puppet making in developing an apprenticeship program to support artistic development and strengthen the artistic skills of the younger generation of artists/craftspersons in a rural community.

*All projects take place within the Alternate ROOTS service area: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

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.