Press Release: Alternate ROOTS Receives Highly Competitive EmcArts Innovation Award

Keyl McCord, 404-577-1079,
Shannon M. Turner, 404-577-1079,

Alternate ROOTS Receives Highly Competitive EmcArts Innovation Award

•    37-year-old arts organization to learn about old dogs and new tricks
•    Social change leaders tackle internal change 

ATLANTA, GA – Alternate ROOTS, a 37-year-old nonprofit service organization for arts & social justice in the US South announces that it is one of three organizations from across the country to receive an award from EmcArts to participate in the Innovation Lab for Arts Development Agencies.

EmcArts, is an NYC-based social enterprise for learning and innovation in the arts that “serves as a nonprofit intermediary for many arts funders, and as a service organization for the arts field around innovation.” (

This new pilot lab will engage the adaptive challenges of organizations that do not produce art, but rather provide services in support of an arts discipline, organizations and practitioners, or of a particular area of arts activities (such as arts & social justice in the case of Alternate ROOTS).

Organizations went through a highly competitive discovery process involving a series of written proposals and facilitated workshops around what they believed to be their “adaptive challenge.”

According to Keryl McCord, Managing Director, “We looked around and realized that our number one adaptive challenge, the thing that we really needed to address was our membership and governance structure. How will our key structures support a changed field in the 21st century?”

In the group’s summary of learning, “What we learned is that artists’ feelings of isolation brought them together, and a clear understanding that resources to support progressive activist artists in the US South were extremely scarce; both then and now. Thus it was of paramount importance that people knew each other, trusted each other, and were clear that they had shared values and commitment to the work. Now is the time to chart a course for the future that builds upon ROOTS’ strengths, skills, passion, and unique place it holds in the fields of arts and culture, social change, and social justice work.”

Alternate ROOTS proudly joins Dance USA and Theatre Communications Group (TCG), two other nationally renowned arts development organizations in receiving the award.

For more information on the organization, please

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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.