Resources For Social Change


Resources for Social Change (RSC) was a training program developed by ROOTS from the early 1990s to 2013 that taught ideas and techniques to create social change through art. The program began in recognition of the need to institutionalize ROOTS’ knowledge in the field. RSC trainers were artists experienced and schooled in the methods of using and bringing art into communities that traditionally may not have considered the important role that the arts can play in addressing oppressions and effecting social change. RSC taught methods for initiating and building partnerships between cultural workers and their community partners, and ways of using the arts as “search engines” in community work. The RSC program provided training, mentorship and peer education to artists, cultural workers, arts administrators, students, and community activists from diverse cultures and disciplines, using local community artists to present case studies of model projects taking place within their communities.

The program developed as a part of its core curriculum the following five principles of working in community:

  • Shared Power
  • Partnership
  • Open Dialogue
  • Individual and Community Transformation
  • Aesthetics of Transparent Processes

Additionally, two notable publications by members of Resources for Social Change remain valuable contributions to the field and are still used by members and our organization: The RSC Workbook and The Partnerships Work Kit.

Program Sunset

In 2013, with our latest strategic plan, Alternate ROOTS decided to transition toward the idea that we are all resources for social change.  As such, Resources for Social Change has become an organizational principle, embedded in all programs and threaded through all our actions and decisions, rather than a stand-alone program, or group of people. The processes that have been developed by this program over the last 20 years are being codified into the fabric of ROOTS’ programmatic and organizational structure.

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.