Artistic Assistance – Professional Development

ROOTS Week 2019. Photo by Eli Lakes (edits by Melisa Cardona).



Artistic Assistance is a Strategic Partnerships Program that allows ROOTS to invest in our members’ artistic/creative practice and their work to build community. Alternate ROOTS’ mission is to support Southern artists and organizers working at the intersection of art, community, and activism. Artistic Assistance provides direct support to individual artists and cultural workers in the US South.

Two Artistic Assistance funding cycles are offered each year – Professional Development in the spring and Project Development in the fall.


March 31, 2022:            Application Launch + Conversation of Intent & Proposal Coaching
—————————-  – Requests Begin

April  12, 2022:              Proposal Support Call #1 (1:00 PM ET): The Proposal Narrative
————————– —   Register in advance for this call.

April  14, 2022:              Proposal Support Call #2 (3:00 PM ET): The Budget Spreadsheet
April 15, 2022:               Deadline to Request Proposal Coaching or Conversation of Intent

April 29, 2022:               Application Deadline (5:00 pm ET)

July  2022:                      Award Notifications

Please review all program information on this page, and then visit the How to Apply page for full application details, including proposal supports for applicants.


ROOTS strives to be a resource for artists and communities throughout the US South. The Artistic Assistance program goals include:

  • Strengthening the capacity and impact of artists and cultural organizers throughout the South by providing resources, including direct funding, to individual members.
  • Building strong partnerships and collaborations within and for the members that extend or deepen their presence within a community – at home or on the road.
  • Highlighting the assets or challenges of communities that are impacted by social, economic, and environmental injustices.


Artistic Assistance Professional Development grants support ROOTS members with funding to pursue opportunities that will advance their artistic/creative practice and further their careers. We recognize that funding for professional development can be a limiting factor in the progression of an artist’s practice and career, and we are invested in the artists that live in the communities we serve.

Artistic Assistance Professional Development Grant Amounts range from $250-$2,500. New Members (those with less than 12 months of membership) are welcome to apply for up to $1,000.

Professional development grants fund opportunities that will advance your artistic practice, profession, and/or career in some demonstrable way. Professional development activities build professional and administrative capacity, hone artistic skills, and strengthen the sustainability of the grantee’s practice, area of cultural production, and organizing work.

Eligible Activities

  • Activities must begin after application notification. For the upcoming April 29, 2022 deadline, the proposed activity must start on or after July 2022.
  • Examples include (but aren’t limited to):
    • Conferences, convenings, festivals
    • Professional/artistic training or workshops
    • Platform memberships
    • Purchasing technology or equipment that advances your craft
    • One-on-one work with consultants, coaches, and mentors
    • Costs incurred by moving your practice or programming online
  • To view the 2021 Professional Development Recipients, and the activities that were funded, click HERE.

Ineligible Activities

  • Requests to support the development, completion, or presentation of artistic work
  • Fundraisers
  • Funding for rent, utilities, other personal expenses, or to pay the applicant
  • Requests to support overhead, general operating expenses, or lost income
  • Activities that have already taken place or that will occur before application notifications are sent
  • Travel or registration fees to an Alternate ROOTS event (e.g. ROOTS Week or a ROOTS Weekend)

You can view the full Artistic Assistance Evaluation Criteria HERE.



To be eligible to apply for the Artistic Assistance program all of the following must be true:

  • 18 years or older living and working within the ROOTS service region by February 4, 2022.
  • Current dues paying general or voting member by February 4, 2022 who has completed your Alternate ROOTS membership profile.
    • To complete your membership profile, click here. If you previously completed your profile, find your profile link by searching our membership directory here. For assistance with your membership profile, please email
  • You have not received a ROOTS grant or partnership in the three (3) cycles prior to this current grant cycle. If you received an Artistic Assistance grant in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Fall 2021 you are not eligible to apply for this round.
  • You do not have any outstanding ROOTS grant or partnership final reports due.
  • Proposed activities must take place during the program period, from July 2022-July 2023.

Organizational Priorities
As part of our current 2020-2023 strategic plan, created with member input, ROOTS seeks to support increased participation of youth, trans/two-spirit/non-binary, SWANASAAPI (Southwest Asian/North African/South Asian/Asian/Pacific Islander) Indigenous, and Native American, Latinx, and disability communities in the South, as well as artists focused on climate justice and environmental advocacy. Preference will be given to proposals centered around and created by members of these communities.

We encourage applicants from Alabama, Arkansas, and West Virginia to apply. These states are an organizational priority.


As part of the partnership with the Alternate ROOTS community, the grantee agrees to credit Alternate ROOTS and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in all written materials. At the conclusion of the grant period, the applicant is required to submit a final report. If applicable, the partner will also allow ROOTS to share the project with the field and the ROOTS community to invite participation.

Please fill out this short form to share program info and photos.


Alternate ROOTS is committed to the protection of the natural world and the elimination of all forms of oppression. In addition to seeking applicants that reflect the aims, goals, and objectives of the program, ROOTS’ selection process considers geographic distribution, racial and ethnic diversity, TLGBQ representation, accessibility, and socio-economic diversity. This sets us apart from typical funding models.

To achieve these goals, the organization provides multiple formats to submit an application: written, video, audio, and large print. We strive to convene diverse peer panels reflecting the diversity we seek to achieve. The panelists review applications and recommend partners to ROOTS staff. Final decisions are made by staff to ensure that all program goals are met to the best of our ability.

If you have any questions, please email or call 404-577-1079 x308.

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.