East Baltimore Church of God ca. 1960s, Courtesy Rev. Robert E. Dodson Jr. This photo is part of Ashley Minner’s online exhibition, Safety In Numbers: Portraits of East Baltimore’s “Reservation”



We extend our congratulations to the Alternate ROOTS members who have received the 2022 Artistic Assistance: Project Development Partnership Grants. These resources, offering funding of up to $5000, aim to empower recipients in  creatively collaborating with community members across ROOTS’ service area.

MK Abadoo (Hopkinsville, KY) Hoptown by MK Abadoo is an evening-length dance work that immerses audiences in the Sistering methodologies of Black girls and women thriving together over generations. It is inspired by the near parallel lives of two women from Hopkinsville “Hoptown” Kentucky: MK’s mother Regina Bowden, and Black feminist writer bell hooks. Partnering with southern youth and elder-centered organizations, Hoptown creates a performance ritual guided by the potency of life-giving bonds formed in the dark spaces of one’s life. Here, the whispered power of vulnerable moments shared between four generations of Black women provide a blueprint for blooming in any place or time.

Stacey Allen (Missouri City, TX) Liturgy of Remembrance is an educational public art site-specific performance commemorating the lived histories of enslaved Africans who learned of their freedom under the Freedom Tree in Missouri City, TX. This public art performance will be free to the public as an educational opportunity for all ages of our community to commemorate the history of the Freedom Tree.

Rachel Austin (Staunton, VA) Meatballs with grape jelly. Ham rolls. Banana pudding. Orange jello with grated carrots. A performer wearing American flag boxing gloves singing that God is on her side.The Doubting Thomas Potluck (Deconstructing Fundamentalism) aims to be a both playful and poignant space of healing and sharing – shared food, sharing of experience through music and art, and acknowledging freedom in order to welcome healing.

Esmeralda Baltazar (San Antonio, TX) Ebb, The Life of One Organizer, is an animation that tells the story of the artist and community organizer, Esmeralda Baltazar. Filled with a series of traumatic experiences and Mexican folklore that has helped her feel empowered, she revisits memories of surviving several conflicts and health challenges. She uses animation to remake meaning, find hope, and re-establish a connection to community.

Daniel Banks (Fort Worth, TX) A multidisciplinary dance-theatre adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s 1909 novella The Secret Sharer.  This performance integrates dance, music, sound, text, and projections. Considered an early queer text, The Secret Sharer explores fragility, tenderness, and intimacy in times of personal danger and societal discrimination.

Doris Davenport (Cornelia, GA) This performance project is a part of the  International Event “100 Thousand Poets (and Other Artists) for Change.” Focus issues: climate crisis/environmental justice and worldwide misogynistic violence against wimmin (women). With 5-10 artists who speak truth and present solutions in poetry and any other relevant medium.

Jordan Flaherty (New Orleans, LA) Flaherty is working with a collective of artists and organizers making a short film called Space to Breathe, an abolitionist science fiction hybrid documentary filmed in New Orleans and set in a future where there are no prisons or police. The group of artists are creating this film to support movements for abolition in New Orleans and everywhere.

Shelby Hofer (Atlanta, GA) To create a book from an original play and launch a 3-city tour of the production, where a free book is given away.

Helms Jarrel (Urban, NC) The West Side Creatives (WSC) are exploring collective art making and cooperative economics. Quarterly for one year, each WSC artist will take a turn facilitating the others by teaching their individual process and media. As a practice of cooperative economics, the artists will split the sales or the pieces evenly among all four artists.

Marquetta Johnson (Atlanta, GA) Quilts and artwork will create a production of developing stories, percussion, and visual art prompted by trauma transformed by courage, fortitude, and resilience.

Christopher Kaministein (New Orleans, LA) Goat in the Road Productions (GRP) and the Historic BK House delve into New Orleans’ history to bring forth The Family Line, an immersive performance celebrating interracial labor organizing during the 19th century. The show intricately explores the dynamics of the 1892 General Strike, where almost 30,000 workers staged a walkout in the Crescent City.

Jiles King (Dallas, TX) BLK Experience Museum is an interactive celebration of Black Lives, Black History and Black Excellence seen through a popup of eight photo-worthy Instagramable spaces. In the wake of the Black Live Matter movement, we shine a light on the strengths and struggles of Black lives throughout history.

Darlyn Kuhn (Jacksonville, FL) JaxbyJax celebrates Jacksonville writers writing in Jacksonville.  We build community  by being diverse, inclusive, and equitable. We reach out to writers via workshops to improve their work, then bring them together with book lovers, educators, and literacy advocates.

Dayana Lee (Norfolk, Virginia) Virginia is not for lovers play production is a tantalizing tale of loving a home that does not always love you back, relatively and figuratively. The play production diverges all walks of art to form a beautiful masterpiece of storytelling for the voices often unheard, or unseen.

Malinda Lowery (Robeson County, NC) “Lumbeeland” is a television series about an Indigenous family in North Carolina that reclaims its power against corruption and theft. As much as they wish to punish those who stole from them, their efforts lead them to punish themselves as well. The series is about our grief from intergenerational traumas, and how anger affects our ability to move through this grief with love.

Celeste Miller (Sautee-Nacoochee, GA) A creative filmmaking residency with myself as choreographer/project director Jimmy Johnston, filmmaker Ace McColl; and composer Chip Epsten working with local musicians. The film’s focus is two elders coming together to consider aging and disability. Centering on Jimmy, former contractor and carpenter with Parkinson’s, and Miller, a dancer/choreographer with a hidden disability as a result of cancer, we ask: What does it mean to flourish, as an alternative mind set to the medical industry’s emphasis on “cure”?

Ashley Minner (Baltimore, MD) Safety In Numbers: Portraits of East Baltimore’s “Reservation” will be an online exhibition, hosted on, featuring photographs sourced from various archival collections, of American Indian people who were part of Baltimore’s “reservation” in its heyday. This exhibition is being co-curated by three members of Baltimore’s present-day American Indian community.

Michael Murray (Columbia, South Carolina) This project is a series of free group therapy sessions specifically designed to give Columbia artists the community and mental/emotional support needed to sustain their artistic practice.

Ilknur Ozgur (Dallas, Texas) “nolongerland” explores what it means to be “from” a place that no longer exists. Artstillery will illustrate how the disbanding of Yugoslavia left artist Goran Maric and many others without a nation to be “from.” This immersive experience will implement projection mapping, holograms, virtual reality 360 recordings, special effects, scrim work, advanced digital projection interactions, qlab sound programming elements, original sound design, and live music.

Calvin Phelps (Pike County, MS) McComb Made is a community and economic development initiative led by Pike School of Art – Mississippi in partnership with the Greater Hope Ministry shelter. The initiative employs and empowers people experiencing poverty and homelessness through paid job training, access to a healing community, and meaningful employment in a collective arts-based business enterprise.

Kunya Rowley (Florida City/ The Everglades, FL) Belonging & Place is a multidisciplinary performance inspired by The Everglades, answering the question: What does it mean to belong? The performance includes original vocal soundscapes and texts by artist Kunya Rowley, along with curated art songs written by Black composers. Kunya will be joined by additional Black & Brown artists to help tell the story of connection to land, the histories of Black ancestry seeped in the soil of South Dade, and the songs told and untold.

James Sanders Jr. (South Texas, TX) Sanders’ project is a film about Lakota healer Hal Robinson who uses Medicine based on the Lakota concept “walking the Good Red Road.” Through shadow stalking, he uses everyday interactions to discover internalized belief systems. Robinson’s teaching stories help stalk limiting ideas of self-image.

Kevin Staggers (Columbia, SC) The purpose of Cre8 is to determine the feasibility of hosting quarterly gatherings showcasing Black artists in Columbia, SC through a series of focus groups to provide underserved artists opportunities to display and sell their works while sharing their stories via an open panel discussion.

Khalisa Thompson (Durham, NC) Griot & Grey Owl: Black Southern Writers Conference is a proposed annual three-day writing conference for Black writers throughout the entire Southern region. Durham, NC is known as the birthplace of Black Wall Street, and is a hub for vibrant Black history such as sharecropping, entrepreneurship, artistry, and activism. The vision is to reimagine the typical writing conference experience and surround attendees in a cultural immersion with unique workshop locations that foster creativity and provoke them to tell a story such as museums, art galleries, historical sites, libraries, forests, and more.

Jessica Valoris (Rockville, MD) Rememories of Blue Mash is a filmed community ritual that honors the legacies of Black fugitivity in Montgomery County and Washington, DC. Enslaved people subverted the plantation system and created networks of solidarity and care through practices of marronage and fugitivity. Through a collaborative devising process, Rememories of Blue Mash invites viewers to consider how these histories can inform current movements for reparations and liberation.

Charmille Walters (Miramar, FL) “Token, Toll, and Trauma (T3)” is a part of Rhythmic Rapture’s Ancestral Archive. The T3 project looks at the impact of racial injustice. The vision will manifest with a balance of intuitive and analytical approaches. Expert consultants in ancestral studies and psychology will be interviewed. The project gives space (not solutions) for participants to shift thinking and be-ing, preferably to peace and understanding.

D Patton White (Atlanta, GA) Moving Bodies/Moving Minds/Moving Hearts is a repertory dance concert of new works by a diverse cross-section of under-represented choreographic voices. Beacon Dance will commission new works by several Atlanta area choreographers who are bridging art and social justice as we seek to give a voice to those who have been and continue to be marginalized.

Tamara Williams (Charlotte, NC) The project Long MEmories is an evening-length performance including dance, music and  digital installation honoring African American Ring Shout traditions and ancestry. The mission is to continue to share, preserve and celebrate African American history, culture and heritage, while telling narratives of African American through Ring Shout, gospel hymns, and oral traditions.


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.