Partners in Action 2018-19 Cohort

Partner in Action Cattywampus Puppet Council, What the Water Tells Me.

Alternate ROOTS is pleased to announce the five projects that comprise our 2018-19 Partners in Action cohort. From July 2018-December 2019, ROOTS will partner with these five projects by providing a combination of project funding and technical support, based on the needs of each project. In project support and technical assistance, this cohort will receive $80,000 in support.

At its heart, Partners in Action works to illuminate the centrality of cultural organizing as a major tool for grassroots movement building in communities throughout the region. Now in its fifth cycle, and preceded for nearly two decades by the Community/Artist Partnership Program, Partners In Action builds equitable and reciprocal relationships between artists, cultural organizers, and communities. Through local actions, projects, and activities, these partnerships connect social justice issues and policies to social and economic justice and practice. Alternate ROOTS considers our support of these partners an investment in the future success and sustainability of the organizations as well as the communities they serve.

Congratulations, to our 2018-19 PIA cohort: Art2Action, Word on the Street, CattyWampus, Women Healing Empowering Women, and Sanctuaries. Read on for more details about each project.

Art2Action (Tampa, FL)

“War, Peace and Reconciliation: A Community Co-Creation Project” will sustain and expand Art2Action’s work, connecting previous programs and bringing people together across seemingly impossible divides.  It will deepen relationships with veterans, and build substantive new relationships with refugees in the Tampa area. Moreover, it will bring these communities together to share artistic experiences, find common ground, and reveal hidden truths. It will also educate and challenge the Tampa community by illuminating real stories of War and Peace, and creating dialogue across political lines.

Catty Wampus (Knoxville, TN)

Rachel Milford will produce Samuel’s Fire, a hip-hop, puppetry, and dance production that seeks to unveil the ways in which colonization and slavery continue to perpetuate in our country and culture and affect both colonizer and colonized. This collaborative theater piece will explore how finding our creative voices (“fires”) and tending each other’s fires can build power in community and fuel resistance. Samuel’s Fire will be presented in multiple venues in Knoxville, including four community schools. As part of these performances, project partners Cattywampus Puppet Council, Good Guy Collective, and African American Appalachian Arts Inc, will offer workshops exploring the show’s themes and facilitating program participants in the telling of their own stories of power through the use of multiple artistic mediums.

Sanctuaries (Washington DC)

Sanctuaries believes that everything comes from the cultural wellness of a people. Trained multicultural workers are their answer to uprooting oppression around social justice. Sanctuaries’ Art for Social Impact program trains local artists on how to organize on the front lines of grassroots justice campaigns. It also prepares them to teach other organizers how to work equitably with the artists in their local communities. We are the only program in the DC-metro area that offers this type of partnership and preparation.

Women Healing Empowering Women (Houston, TX)

Women Healing Empower Women’s (WHEW) Extraordinary Elders Film Project (EEFP) seeks to share the amazing life stories of African American senior citizens in the Houston area through the medium of short form documentary, with interviews conducted by youth, to form intergenerational bonds. EEFP is a vital collaborative project platforming elders, their truths and narratives, while recording historical achievements of native Houstonians for future generations unaware of the richness that exist in their hometown. The EEFP complete product will screen to the public and residents of Houston’s historic Third Ward and Sunnyside, with video shorts and full length interviews shared online.

Word on the Street/La Voz de Los Jovenes (Asheville, NC)

Word on the Street/La Voz de Los Jovenes (WOTS/LVLJ) centers the creativity and leadership of teens of color in the production of a bilingual online arts and culture magazine for youth. It provides a platform for youth to creatively express their experience, hopes, and vision for the world. After a summer training institute, the WOTS “Squad” meets afterschool twice a week for project-based learning in arts and culture, career and college-focused skill building in publishing, digital media, marketing, public speaking, and more. WOTS provides creative opportunities to focus on and understand community issues in order to effect systemic change.

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.