2017 Partners in Action Cohort Meeting in Richmond, VA. Photo: Jasmine Roberts. 


Important Dates 

Application Process


For information on Partners for Change eligibility requirements, click here; for information about the program, please read Partners for Change: What am I Getting Into?




Application Open:                                    Monday, February 3, 2020

Proposal Coaching Requests Due:         February 5-March 5, 2020

Last Technical Assistance Call:               Thursday, March 5, 3:00-4:15pm EST

________________________________                Join by video:

_______________________________                  Join by phone: (646) 876-9923 / Meeting ID: 789 333 830

Draft Proposal Due*:                              Thursday, March 5, 2020, by 5 pm EST

Proposal Coaching Ends:                        Sunday, March 8, 2020

Final Application Due:                             Tuesday, March 10, 2020, by 5 pm EST

Notification of Community Visits:         Monday, May 4, 2020

Decline Notifications:                             Monday, May 11, 2020

Community Visits:                                   May 15 – June 30, 2020

Final Notifications:                                  Thursday, July 30, 2020

*Draft proposals are optional but highly encouraged.


Between February 1-June 30, 2020, 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 Conversations of Intent, Technical Assistance Calls, and Proposal Coaching.

Conversation of Intent

Each applicant is encouraged to schedule a Conversation of Intent, an opportunity to speak with a team member about your proposed project. To schedule a meeting, please email or call the office at 404-577-1079 ext. 304.

Technical Assistance Calls 

Alternate ROOTS’ 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:

Proposal Coaching

Alternate ROOTS provides free 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. Submitting a draft proposal is optional, but highly encouraged, especially for new or previously unfunded applicants.

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 ext 304 and speak with Ashley Walden Davis, Director of Strategic Partnerships.

Proposal drafts at all stages are welcome. You can bring your draft to the session with your coach, or submit it with your coaching request so that your coach has time to review it before your session. Draft proposals and coaching requests are due Thursday March 5, 2020 by 5pm EST. Please submit draft proposals to



Final applications are due Tuesday, March 10, 2020 by 5pm EST.

To submit your application:

  1. Click the 2020 Partners for Change submission 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.

2020 Partners for Change Application: Download the Word Doc

You MUST fill out the entire document. Failure to complete all sections could affect your ability to qualify. Link work samples in 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 seven 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.


Partners for Change Budget Template: Download the Excel Form

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

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

Partners for Change Sample Budget: Download the Excel Form


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 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: Monday, May 4, 2020. Only those applicants who advance to the next round will receive Community Visits. All other notifications will be made by May 11, 2020.

Community Visits: May 15-June 30, 2020. In addition to Community Visits, we may also engage in phone conversations with project teams as needed during this time.

Final Notifications: July 30, 2020

Partners in Action cohort members participating in ROOTS Weekend: Richmond, April 2017. Photo: Jasmine Roberts.


Proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria:

30% Community Partnership 

  • Demonstrates a strong, committed partnership between the applicants and their partner(s); partnership intent and goals are clear and shared.
  • There are opportunities for local artists to engage in the project (if applicable).
  • Project demonstrates strength, commitment, and active engagement of the community partner(s).

15% Articulation of Artistic Vision 

  • 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% Demonstration of one or more of the Resources for Social Change (RSC) Principles.  (For more on RSC history, click here; to learn more about the Principles, click here.)

  • 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 within the project – 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, artist fees, and administrative time and capacity? Does the budget address all expenses outlined in the project and application?
  • Click here for the Partners for Change 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.