How to Apply for a Partners in Action Grant

Free Movement, a 2017-18 Partners in Action project, organizes the Black Man Running 5k,
a community-wide effort around making racial and health justice a reality in Wilmington, NC. 


Application Open: November 15, 2017
Proposal Coaching: November 20, 2017-January 17, 2018
Preliminary Proposal Due*: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 by 5pm EST
Final Application Due: Monday, January 29, 2018 by 5pm EST
Notification of Community Visits: March 8, 2018
Community Visits: March-May, 2018
Finalist Receive Notifications: June 15, 2018

*Preliminary proposals are optional but highly encouraged.

Application Process

Who And What Kinds Of Projects Are Eligible?



Between November 2017-May 2018, the application process will take place in three phases:


Because we believe that proposal writing should not be a barrier to artists accessing funding, we offer our members several different supports during the proposal development process including Technical Assistance Calls, Conversations of Intent, and Proposal Coaching. 

Please Note: The ROOTS office will be closed from December 19, 2017-January 2, 2018. Any phone calls or emails received during that time will receive responses when the office re-opens in the new year.

Conversation of Intent

Each applicant is encouraged to schedule a Conversation of Intent, an opportunity to speak with a Programs Team member about your proposed project. To schedule a meeting, please email or call the office at 404-577-1079.

Technical Assistance Calls 

Alternate ROOTS’ Programs staff will hold group Technical Assistance Calls, where applicants can call in and ask questions about the application and selection process. 

Technical Assistance Call Dates:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 10am EST

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 2pm EST

Last Chance Technical Assistance Call: Monday, January 8, 2018 at 12pm EST

RSVP Required: In order to access the Technical Assistance Calls you must RSVP. You can RSVP up to 30 Minutes before the conference call. Please email with the following information to RSVP: First & Last Name, Email Address, Date & Time of Call (specify Partners in Action).

Proposal Coaching

Submitting a preliminary proposal is optional, but highly encouraged, especially for new or previously unfunded applicants. (E.g. Every member of our current cohort submitted a preliminary proposal last year.) Drafts at all stages are welcome. Please submit them to by January 10 at 5pm EST.

Alternate ROOTS provides proposal coaching for applicants interested in taking advantage of this service, which is dedicated time for applicants to call in and talk through their application.

Proposal Coaches are hired consultants, experts in the field who can help you gain insight into connecting your proposal relevance to the program goals and objectives. Proposal Coaches cannot advise if your project will be selected. To schedule a meeting with a proposal coach, please email with “Proposal Coach” in the subject line. You may also call the office at 404-577-1079 and speak with Wendy Shenefelt, Programs Manager.


Final applications are due January 29, 2018 by 5pm EST.

To submit your application:

  1. Click the 2018 Partners in Action application form link here.
  2. Fill out the form.
  3. Attach application narrative and budget documents.

Word: 2018-19 Partners in Action Application
PDF: 2018-19 Partners in Action Application

This Budget Template may be used for Partners in Action applications. You may also submit your own budget document:

Excel: Partners in Action Budget Template
PDF: Partners in Action Budget Template

The following is a Sample Completed Budget, to serve as an example:

Excel: Partners in Action Sample Budget
PDF: Partners in Action Sample Budget


The Community Visits are designed to provide a more in-depth view and understanding of the proposed project(s), the partners, and the community. Some of the things the Community Team considers are the level of readiness, commitment to implement the proposed project, and how ROOTS’ resources as a partner may best be utilized.

The Community Visits are a key element of the selection process, and are therefore required of all applicants who advance to this round. Please plan for an activity related to this proposal during this time frame.

Notifications of Community Visits: March 8, 2018. Only those applicants who advance to the next round will receive Community Visits. All other notifications made by March 15, 2018.

Community Visits: March-May 2018. In addition to Community Visits, we may also engage in phone conversations with project teams as needed during this time.

Final Notifications: June 15, 2018

At ROOTS Week 2017, Last Call presented Alleged Lesbian Activities, an original performance set inside Franki’s Bar. Photo: Melisa Cardona


To be eligible to apply for the Partners in Action Program, all of the following must be true for you:

  • Applicants must be a project lead and a current dues paying member, 18 years or older living within ROOTS’ service region.
  • Applicant must have been a general or voting member by November 1, 2017.
  • If you became a ROOTS member within the last 12 months, you must have at least one other ROOTS member as part of your project or on your advisory team.
  • You have not received a ROOTS grant or partnership within the last 12 months (February 1, 2017- February 1, 2018).
  • You do not have any outstanding ROOTS grant or partnership final reports due.
  • While projects may be underway before the program period begins, project activities specifically supported by Partners in Action must take place during the program period, from July 1, 2018-December 30, 2019.

Successful projects will address one or more of the following objectives:

  • Uprooting oppression around race, economics, or social justice
  • Examining practices or policies that cut across the intersections of race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, immigration, access, ability, and/or location
  • Upholding the values of individual and community transformation
  • Engaging diverse segments of the communities in actions that strengthen the community as defined by the applicant
  • Researching or creating new artworks or collaborations with a community, an organization, an individual and/or other ROOTS members in the region
  • Developing new relationships or strengthening existing ones between artists/arts organizations and non-arts groups
  • Creating cultural exchanges between/within immigrant communities


Proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria:

30% Community Partnership

  • There is a clear and strong relationship between the artist and the partners
  • Demonstrates a strong, committed partnership between the applicants and their partner(s), clarity of intent, and thoughtful goals and objectives
  • There are opportunities for local artists to engage in the project (if applicable)
  • Projects demonstrate strength, commitment, and active engagement of the community partner(s)

15% Articulate artistic vision of the project

  • Is it clear how the use of the arts, and the contributions of artists will support and inform the process/project?
  • Clear articulation of the artistic vision that supports the project
  • Does the Lead Artist have a history of community based work for social engagement?

20% Demonstrates one or more of the Resources for Social Change Principles of Engagement

  • Power is shared among all members of the partnership/project based on an understanding that power is always present and can be demonstrated through varying levels of actions and abilities
  • Partnership is equitable: all parties treat each other as peers/equals
  • Through Open Dialogue, a safe space is created for the sharing of ideas and the solving of problems.
  • There are aspects of Individual and Community Transformation, an understanding that personal change can lead to community change

20% Goals and Outcomes

  • There are collective goals and outcomes at the root of the partnership/project
  • There is a process to evaluate the project
  • Project activities are realistic and feasible within the proposed timeline
  • The potential for long-term impact and/or continuation of creative experimentation is addressed in the process

15% Budget is appropriate for the scope and scale of the project

  • Does the budget accurately reflect the materials, in-kind donations, venue, artists, and administrative time and capacity? Does the budget address all expenses outlined in the project and application?
  • Click here for the Partners in Action Budget Template you may use for your budget.
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.