March 19, 2024 Member News

ROOTS Week 2024. Photo: Melisa Cardona.


Delectable Art Offerings from Members & Atlanta Hospitality for Rhizome & Heal/Teal


In This Issue: 



The Cultural Organizing Team is looking for participants in the ROOTS Week Work Group.

Join our first planning meeting(s) for ROOTS Week 2024. These will be information sessions for new people who are interested in joining the work group and a welcome back for those who were members last year. There are two dates and times to choose from. Feel free to attend either one.

Wednesday, March 20 6pm ET

Thursday, March 21 12pm ET


Heal/Teal Team Retreat, Atlanta, Photo: Constance Collier-Mercado


The Heal/Teal Team held their annual Strategic Planning retreat in Atlanta from February 27-March 2, 2024. Topics included: gаthering a list of cultural healing offerings and best practices (reiki, land dances/movement, yoga, card pulls); visiting a local healing center; operationalizing liberation; prioritizing resources, and more! The Heal/Teal Team are ROOTS members responsible for upholding the organizational culture when dreaming about maintaining harmony with ourselves, with each other, and with the Earth. Folks at the retreat included Heal/Teal Team Members Dianne Green, Ann-Meredith Wootoon, Carolyn Renee, Christine Gautreaux, Kennae Miller, Taylore Adams, Sapphira Kelsey Lam, and Nathalie Nia Faulk together with ROOTS Staff Wendy Shenefelt, Paige Heurtin, and Constance Collier-Mercado.

If you’d like to join the Heal/Teal team, please email Nathalie Nia Faulk.



Photo: Constance Collier-Mercado

Atlanta-area ROOTers held a ROOTS Weekend Rhizome on Saturday, March 2. Eighteen people showed up to make deeper connections with each other. In the spirit of ROOTS’ communal nature, what started as an informal meet-and-greet turned into our signature circle formation with everyone getting a chance to share. Hot topics included: urban farming in both Clarkston and East Atlanta; teaching artists working with student refugees in Georgia; artists in rural Utah; art consultancy work and side knitting projects; turning the experience of being “Blacklisted” into performance art; ExComm Nominations; the Executive Leadership search; new healing justice centers in Atlanta; and mysterious art projects involving parachutes and claw foot bathtubs. Long story short: We can’t wait to get together again soon!

Are you interested in hosting a Rhizome event in your community? The Membership Team would love to support you! Schedule a phone call to talk about Rhizomes or email them for more information.



ILI Year 5 Cultural Intensive in Jackson, MS. Photos & video: Melisa Cardona, Jasmine Cannon & Ennis Carter/Social Impact Studios

For the first in-person Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) intensive of ILI Year 5, the Fellows, ILI Partners and team gathered in Jackson, MS. Hosted by ILI Partner the Mississippi Center for Cultural Production, the 4+ day intensive started in Jackson, traveled to the Mississippi Delta, and culminated in Utica, MS, Sipp Culture’s hometown. From museums, to panel discussions, to B.B. King’s hometown with a Blues juke joint, to the future site of Utica’s Main Street Cultural Center, the gathering brought the Fellows and attending ILI community together for arts & cultural learning, deep discussion, and understanding through hands-on experience and direct storytelling. Read more and watch videos HERE.



Membership Work Group Member Collage by Zaid Hameed


During ROOTS Week August 2023, the Alternate ROOTS Oracle of Synthesis (aka Membership Director), Aimee McCoy, began a spirited, invaluable, and overdue conversation to look at new ways of activating and engaging with members.

The Membership Team conducted a Rhizome tour and had numerous conversations with ROOTS members, staff, organizers, artists, and community members. While listening to the concerns expressed during these discussions, it became clear that there was a strong need to update the criteria, responsibilities, and benefits for members to help build a stronger, member-led organization with multiple pathways for leadership.

A Membership Development Work Group (MWG), consisting of ROOTS members and staff, has been meeting regularly since September 2023 to build consensus around specific actions and concerns.

Opportunities are being developed for ROOTS members to learn more about the MWG’s proposals and to give feedback over the next few months. The MWG has reached a consensus on a few items so far, and we’ll present more each month in the Members’ Newsletters. Here are some things we propose:

  • A “voting” member orientation will be a prerequisite for General Members to become Voting Members.
  • Voting member candidates must attend an ExComm Virtual Field Trip to encourage broader participation with ROOTS’ Executive Committee. This is a new activity being developed now.
  • Voting Members will be eligible for increased support of up to $500 for hosting an in-person member Rhizome event. We believe supporting more complex projects can be a powerful way to unite members.

This report was prepared by MWG Members Carolyn Somers and Kathie de Nobriga. Additional Membership Workgroup participants include Sara Green (Excomm Member), Christine Gautreaux, Tanya Desdunes, Leia Lewis, Gwylene Gallimard, Helms Jarrell, Sapphira Kelsey Lam, Celeste Miller, Hannah Burt, Dianne Green, Camille Shafer, Ryan Rainy, Stefanie Tovar, Garrett Blaize, Omari Fox, Wendy Shenefelt (Interim Co-Executive Director), Lauren Fitzgerald (ILI Managing Director), Nathalie Nia Faulk (Cultural Organizing Programs Coordinator), Aimee McCoy (Membership Director), Ashlee Haze (Membership Services Assistant), Clarissa Crawford (Strategic Partnerships Director), and Zaid Hameed (Membership Services Associate). Thank you all for your work!



ALL members of Alternate ROOTS are invited to attend meetings of the Executive Committee and participate in governance! ExComm meetings are on the first Tuesdays of the month.

Upcoming dates:
Tuesday, April 2 at 5:30pm ET

Tuesday, May 7 at 5:30pm ET

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 862 8928 5127
Passcode: 198730

If you have any issues accessing the Zoom meeting, please e-mail Marina.

For previous approved meeting minutes, please e-mail Marina.





What: Rural Performance / Production Lab: Apply Now

Where: Utica, MS

When: Deadline April 3


The Rural Performance / Production Lab (RPPL) is a creative production process and residency program which supports the development of new art rooted in rural living, history, places, and bodies. Pronounced “ripple”, the intent is for artist voices to act as catalysts for broad community change. RPPL artists receive either direct funding or a configuration of an on-site residency with direct funding, mentorship and support from a dedicated team of advisors through the completion of the artists’ residency time. Awards range from $2500 – $15,000.

This opportunity is for artists living in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Sipp Culture is able to provide housing, planning support, studio space and can participate as a partner and consultant in the realization of bringing new Southern rural stories to the field. Selected artists will receive a residency, which is tailor-made to fit their developmental needs. Residencies take place at the Sipp Culture Office and White Oak Artist Residency in Utica, Mississippi.


What: Nanih Bvlbancha

Where: New Orleans, LA

When: Early April 2024


The opening of the completed Nanih Bvlbancha Indigenous earthworks project on the Lafitte Greenway, so-called New Orleans is currently on schedule to publicly open in early April. This project is an Intertribal collective stewarding the building of Nanih Bvlbancha as one of Prospect New Orleans Artists of Public Memory initiative. Gather in person, 1900 Lafitte Ave, New Orleans. For latest info, follow them on IG: @NanihBvlbancha


Wideman Davis Dance_Migratuse Reimagined_ Harpersville (1).jpg

What: Wideman Davis Dance presents Migratuse Reimagined: Harpersville

Where: Harpersville, AL

When: Friday, March 22 & Saturday, March 23 at 7:00pm CT


Wideman Davis Dance (WDD) will close out their year-long residency in Harpersville, AL with the premiere of Migratuse Reimagined (Harpersville). Wideman Davis Dance will transform the Harpersville Community Center into an immersive space of memory and reflection. Through an archive of interviews, dance, and digital media design, WDD will bring Black life to the center as a monument to human life and resilience in two FREE multi-disciplinary performances. Please join us on March 22 or March 23, 2024 at Harpersville Community/Senior Center, 39321 Alabama 25 Harpersville, AL 35078.

7:00 p.m. Dessert Sampling and Mingling

7:30 p.m. Performance

Dress to impress!

This event is made possible by the Mellon Foundation with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Alternate Roots, and the International Association of Blacks in Dance. Wideman Davis Dance would like to thank our community partners for the Monuments project residency in Harpersville: The Town of Harpersville, The Wallace House, Kim Riggins, and the Alabama Dance Council. FB @widemandavisdance, IG @widemandavisdance

Register and select only one performance date. Register soon because space is limited. Performances are free.


What: Antenna seeks Development and Administrative Interns

Where: New Orleans, LA

When: Summer / Fall / Spring (ongoing)



Antenna is seeking curious students who are interested in Arts Administration: programs and development to support the administrative team in weekly operations.

General Intern Description: Undergraduate or graduate student interns will assist the administrative team with weekly programs, operations, development and grant writing, reporting and special projects. A knowledge of art, design, and the culture of New Orleans, as well as experience with creating documents, spreadsheets, and social media is helpful. Fall, Spring or Summer terms.

Development Intern Position Description: This position would support Antenna in developing digital content for fundraising campaigns, supporting grant writing, supporting the regular maintenance of donor lists and donation acknowledgements, grants research. Up to10 hours per week. $17 per hour.

Operations Intern Position Description: This position would support Antenna’s operations at both Paper Machine and the Antenna Gallery Space. The role would include organizing digital documents, supporting the organizing of documents, information, and tracking for various projects and partners. Up to10 hours per week. $17 per hour.

Apply at this google form. (ongoing)


What: three witches shakespeare’s As You Like It

Where: Louisville, KY

When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday March 22, 23, 24 7pm ET


IG: @three_witches_shakespeare

​​three witches shakespeare is a queer, feminist theater company focused on innovative classical theater. Their production of As You Like It welcomes our audience into a theatrical world rooted in Queer joy, community, and liberation. These themes are integral to the story of Rosalind and Celia’s escape from an oppressive regime into the vibrant Forest of Arden. Rosalind dresses in drag to keep the pair safe, and discovers themself anew in Arden–which, in our hyper-contemporary version, is reimagined as a Queer nightclub in Kentucky. This play, directed by Mollie Murk, runs for two weekends in March at Play Louisville and features an overwhelmingly queer cast and leadership team made up of women and nonbinary artists exploring gender, love, and companionship with a thrilling complexity and authenticity. Play Louisville, 1101 E Washington St, Louisville, KY. Tickets HERE.


What: Shadow Stalker: A Documentary by James Sanders

Where: online video link, free to the public,

When: accessible 24/7/365


James Sanders’ documentary video showcases Hal Robinson, an indigenous healer. In his private counseling practice, Hal uses Medicine called “shadow stalking,” based on the concept of “walking the Good Red Road.” Hal’s teaching stories help listeners to discover internalized limiting beliefs about self-image, a “shadow” self that is responsible for their interpersonal problems. Watch video HERE.


What: UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA & Creative Writing Workshop

Where: St. Mary’s College, Maryland

When: Tuesday, March 26-Thursday, March 28, 2024

Jose Torres-Tama is performing “UNITED STATES of AMNESIA“ at Saint Mary’s College in MD, outside DC, and offering a creative writing workshop. It’s a three-day residency from Tuesday, March 26 to Thursday, March 28, 2024. “AMNESIA” was supported by Alternate  ROOTS’ Artistic Assistance: Project Development Program.

What: Aliens, Immigrants & Other Evildoers Performance & Live Art Lecture

Where: Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA

When: Wednesday, April 3 & Thursday, April 4, 2024

Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, GA is presenting Jose Torres-Tama to perform an excerpt of “Aliens, Immigrants & Other Evildoers” and offer a “Live Art” lecture on performance and visual art projects that address the Immigration issue. The performance takes place Thursday, April 4, and on Wednesday April 3, he is offering a drawing workshop called “The Art of Portraiture” at the Morris Museum, as part of a two-day residency there.

What: 2nd Annual Poetry Without Borders Verse & Music Festival

Where: Cafe Istanbul, New Orleans, LA

When: Sunday, April 7, 2024

One-day poetry and music festival celebrating Honduran women poets Jennifer Pagan and Edith Romero, and a number of other Black & Brown poets.


What: Big Tiki and The MaiTais

Where: Orlando, FL

When: Sunday, March 24, 7-9:00pm ET

ROOTS Member Toni Shifalo, washtub bass player.

Spring Luau at Lil Indies in Orlando with Big Tiki and the MaiTais featuring original tunes by Florida’s most unique Tiki Pop band: two ukuleles and a washtub bass. Preview tunes to be released on our upcoming album. Lil Indies Cocktail Bar, 1036 N Mills Ave, Orlando FL 32803, next door to Will’s Pub.



The Alternate ROOTS Community wants to support your events. Here is how to get the word out through our channels:

Member News Email: To share your announcement in the Member News, please fill out this form by the first day of the month. Submit news by April 1, and it will be shared in the April 22 Member News.

Alternate ROOTS Facebook Group: If you want to share something on a shorter time frame, please join the private ROOTS members Facebook group where you can share your news with over 500 ROOTers in real time!

Alternate ROOTS Instagram Repost:

  1. Send a Direct Message (DM) with your graphic (JPG) to @alternateroots on Instagram. 
  2. Please include your name as it appears in your membership profile.
  3. We will add your graphic to our stories, and tag your Instagram handle.
  4. Please give the Communications Team 2-5 business days to post.
  5. Feel free to tag us in posts or stories, however if you want to be included in  @alternateroots (on Instagram) stories you must DM us.





Operations Team Office Hours

The Operations Team provides the resources that staff members and teams need to perform their duties, and ensure that our organization is complying with legal and financial requirements on our road to fulfilling our mission. We are responsible for:

  • Human Resources
  • Legal & Finance Compliance
  • Budget Management
  • Providing Resources for Staff

Office Hours: Thursdays from 12 – 1pm ET

404-577-1079 #301

Email Us (

Cultural Organizing Team Office Hours

The Cultural Organizing Team maintains in-person and virtual relationships with existing members and partner organizations across 14 states by hosting ROOTS Week, ROOTS Weekends, Porch Sits, Coffee Pop-Ups, Phone Calls, Emails, and Zoom Sessions.

  • CO Team sits on the Governance Council of Southern Movement Assembly, is a lead partner in the Southern Power Fund, a partner organization of the Intercultural Leadership Institute, and represents ROOTS’ in the field via ROOTS’ Justice Advocacy Fellow who serves as a pipeline to the organizing efforts of our members.
  • We manage year-round programming for the Intercultural Leadership Institute and support member-led work groups across various stages of development (e.g. YOOTS, UpROOTing Ableism, Gender Equity, Indigenous Working Circle, Heal/Teal, etc.)

Office Hours: Mondays from 11:30am – 1:30pm ET

(404) 975-1856

Email Us (

Membership Team Office Hours

During office hours, the Membership team can be reached by phone to answer any questions and assist with any membership matters.

Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday: 11am – 2pm ET
(404) 577-1079 EXT. 302

Email Us (

Communications Team Office Hours

Want to reach out to a Communications staff person?

Office Hours: Thursday: 9am – 11am ET
(404) 577-1079 EXT. 303

Email Us (



Have news you want to share with your fellow ROOTS members? Fill out this form! 


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.