Partners for Change: Program Overview

2015 Partners in Action Cohort Meeting, Orlando, FL. Photo: Ariston Jacks. 



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.



Through Partners for Change, ROOTS will provide funding to artists, cultural workers, and small organizations of color to deepen our investment in strengthening the network of artists, communities, and partnerships in support of a progressive southern movement. Partners for Change will provide provide $25,000/year over three years (for a total of $75,000) as well as matching dollars in technical assistance, support, and services to projects, led by artists, art collectives, and small arts organizations of color, that imagine and practice more racially just systems and structures. Partners for Change is co-designed in partnership with the Surdna Foundation.



Partnership/Project Dates: While projects may be underway before the program period begins, activities specifically supported by Partners for Change must take place during the program period, from August 2020 – April 2023. 

Eligibility: To be eligible to apply for Partners for Change, ALL of the following must be true for you:

  • Applicant self identifies as a person of color; if applying on behalf of an organization, the organization must be led by people of color.
  • Applicant is a project lead and a current dues paying member of Alternate ROOTS, 18 years or older living within ROOTS’ service region – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.
  • Applicant has been a general or voting member for at least one year by the application due date, March 10, 2020. (Meaning, you would have become a member by March 10, 2019.)
  • If applying on behalf of an organization, project/program budget must have operating budgets under $250,000 in each of the past 3 years.
  • Applicants do not have any outstanding ROOTS grant or partnership final reports due.

Projects Supported: Projects that imagine and practice more racially just systems and structures, proposed by artists, or artists collectives of color and small arts organizations led by people of color. Individual artists are encouraged to apply.

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

  • Examine practices or policies that cut across the intersections of race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexuality, immigration status, access, ability, and/or location.
  • Uphold the values of individual and community transformation.
  • Research or create new artworks or collaborations with a community, an organization, an individual and/or other ROOTS members in the region.
  • Engage diverse segments of communities in actions that strengthen the communities as defined by the applicant.
  • Develop new relationships or strengthen existing ones between artists/arts organizations and non-arts groups.
  • Create cultural exchanges between/within immigrant communities.
  • Create work that can be documented and communicated for adaptation by other artists and communities, specifically in the realm of policy advocacy.


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, TLGBQ, disability, and youth communities. Applicants from these communities will be given special consideration.


Interested in applying? Click here to read Partners for Change: What am I Getting Into? and then read the How to Apply page.

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.