Artistic Assistance – Project Development

Paula Larke performing at ROOTS’ 40th anniversary celebration, ROOTS Week 2016. Photo: Melisa Cardona.




Dear members: please note these expansions to the Artistic Assistance guidelines below, in response to community needs around COVID-19:


  • Artistic Assistance funds can also be used to cover applicants’ project needs regarding COVID-19 relief and recovery. This will also be true for the fall round of Artistic Assistance Professional Development.
  • The project development timeframe has been extended by a year; it is now _______.



Alternate ROOTS’ mission is to support southern artists and organizers working at the intersection of art, community, and activism. Artistic Assistance 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.

Project Development grants support the development, creation, and presentation of members’ artistic projects.


Alternate ROOTS strives to be a resource for artists and communities throughout the South. With this in mind, the Artistic Assistance program goals are to:

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


(To be announced)

To support your application process, Alternate ROOTS offers proposal support, including Conversations of Intent, Technical Assistance Calls, and Proposal Coaching. For more information on these and other grant writing resources, click here.


Artistic Assistance Project Development: $250-$5,000

Project Development grants support the development, creation, and presentation of members’ artistic projects. Funds can also be used to cover applicants’ project needs regarding COVID-19 relief and recovery. This will also be true for the fall round of Artistic Assistance Professional Development.

Project Development funds can be used for, but are not limited to:

  • Administrative services / fees
  • Collaborative partnerships
  • Consultant and artists fees
  • Space rentals
  • Studio time
  • Supplies
  • Travel

No more than 50% of the funds can be used to pay the applicant. Funds may not be used for travel or registration fees to an Alternate ROOTS event (e.g. ROOTS Week or a ROOTS Weekend).

As part of our current strategic plan, created with member input, ROOTS seeks to support increased participation of youth, TGNCNBI2-S (Transgender, Non-Conforming, Nonbinary, Intersex, and 2 Spirit), Indigenous and Native American, Latinx, and disability communities in the South. Preference will be given to proposals centered around and created by members of these communities.

ROOTS is also interested in receiving applications from artists working in Alabama, Arkansas, and West Virginia. These states are an organizational priority.

With the rise in the number of Artistic Assistance applicants, priority may be given to applicants who have not received Project Development support within the past 24 months.

All projects MUST be completed by and 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.


To be eligible to apply for an Artistic Assistance grant, ALL of the following must be true for you:

  • You are currently a dues-paying General or Voting Member,18 years or older, living within the ROOTS region as of August 8, 2021.
  • You have completed your Alternate ROOTS membership profile
    • If you previously completed your profile, find your profile link by searching our membership directory here. To complete your membership profile, click here. If you need assistance with this, please contact Aimee McCoy:   
  • You have not received a ROOTS grant or partnership in the 18 months prior to the start of this cycle.
    • If you received a Spring or Fall Artistic Assistance award or Partners in Action award between September 2018 and December 2019, you are not eligible to apply for this round.
    • You may apply for this round of Artistic Assistance if you applied to Partners for Change, however, you will not be awarded both in 2020. Staff will coordinate with you if you are affected by applying to both programs.
  • Your project development takes place between _______ (extended by a year due to COVID-19).
  • You do not have any outstanding ROOTS grant or partnership final reports due.

First-time applicants are required to have a Conversation of Intent prior to submitting an application. To schedule a Conversation of Intent, email no later than

If you have more questions, please email or (404) 577-1079 ext 308.


Final applications are due by ______, by 5 pm EST.

To submit your application:

  1. Click the 2021 Artistic Assistance Project Development application form link here.
  2. Fill out the form.
  3. Attach application narrative and budget documents (download these below).

You will receive an email confirmation of your submission approximately 5-10 minutes after submitting it.


2021 Artistic Assistance Project Development Application: Download the Word Doc

You MUST fill out the entire document. Failure to complete all sections could affect your ability to qualify. Attach work samples to the application, and submit as one complete file. Note: The file size must not exceed 25 MB.

You can submit your application as a video or audio proposal, rather than a written one. Those submitting in alternative formats still need to complete the first eight fields on the Word application and must submit a budget document. Applications created using an alternative format will be judged by the same criteria as written proposals.

Artistic Assistance Budget Template: Download the Excel Form

This Budget Template may be used for Artistic Assistance applications. You may also submit your own budget document. Please clearly mark where ROOTS funds will be used for budgets that greatly exceed the request.

The Budget Template includes a Sample Completed Budget on the second tab, to serve as an example.


The Artistic Assistance granting panels are made up of cross-disciplinary artists, organizers, ROOTS members, and individuals from peer organizations. The panelists will use the following criteria to evaluate all applications:

30%: Articulation of Artistic Vision

Did the applicant clearly articulate the artistic vision and aesthetic direction of the project?

30%: Alignment with ROOTS Mission

Is the proposal rooted in a particular community of place, tradition, or spirit? How does it connect to social, economic, and/or environmental justice?

20%: Goals and Outcomes

Did the proposal clearly define the goals and outcomes that the applicant will use to evaluate the project? Are the applicant’s goals and outcomes realistic and feasible within the proposed timeline?

20%: Budget

Is the budget clear and accurate? Are the artist fees appropriate for the level of engagement required of participants?


Alternate ROOTS is committed to the protection of the natural world and the elimination of all forms of oppression. In addition to seeking projects 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.

Within ROOTS’ 2020-2023 strategic plan, we acknowledge our present community is not representative of all the people who call the South home. Keeping in our tradition of evolution and growth, we seek to build and deepen relationships with Native/Indigenous, Latinx, TGNCNBI2-S (Transgender, Non-Conforming, Nonbinary, Intersex, and 2 Spirit), disability, and youth communities. Applicants from these communities will be given priority  consideration. We are also interested in receiving applications from artists working in Alabama, Arkansas, and West Virginia. These states are an organizational priority.

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.