ROOTS Week 2017: Call for Proposals

Kesha McKey performs an excerpt from Taken at the 2016 ROOTS Week & Reunion. Photo: Melisa Cardona.

ROOTS Week 2017
Alternate ROOTS’ 41st Annual Meeting & Artists’ Retreat
Back to the Basics – Down to the ROOTS
August 8-13, 2017 | Arden, NC

ROOTS Week Annual Meeting & Artists’ Retreat is six days of performances, art and organizing workshops, visual art exhibitions, late-night cabarets, and ROOTS’ annual business meeting, in a retreat-like setting in the mountains of North Carolina. Artists, cultural organizers, and their families come from across the South (and beyond!) for this one-of-a-kind gathering.

ROOTS Week 2017 is our 41st Annual Meeting. Last year, in celebration of our 40th anniversary, we honored the legacy and spirit of ROOTS, as well as some of the change-makers who brought us to this point. This year, with the theme of Back to the Basics – Down to the ROOTS, we’re paring back to create a retreat focused on some of the basics: artistic practice, organizing strategy, self care, and community building. For more on ROOTS Week, click here

We are seeking the following types of proposals:

  • Artmaking workshops & masterclasses
  • Films
  • Performances
  • Visual artworks/installations

Around the themes of:

  • Back to the Basics – Down to the ROOTS
  • Gender and Sexuality Liberation
  • Uplifting Unheard Voices
  • Racial Justice
  • Intersectionality

If you have a programming proposal, please fill out the following Proposal Form by [DEADLINE EXTENDED] Friday, April 28, 2017 at 5pm EST. Questions? Contact Wendy Shenefelt, Programs Manager, at or 404-577-1079. Thank you for your interest in this work –  we look forward to hearing from you!


Please note: In order to assist with the curatorial process, we encourage you to submit at least one work sample that is reflective of the proposed programming.

Work Samples: Work samples should be submitted as a Google document or URL.

  • Please save the document with your First and Last Name, and a description of the work sample (e.g. Janet Johnson Spoken Word Performance).
  • URLs: You can link your website, YouTube, SoundCloud, or other web platforms that contain examples of your work. If submitting a web-based work sample, please paste the URLs as hyperlinks in a Google document.

Length: Please keep these short! Think quality over quantity.

  • Written samples should be limited to 3 pages maximum and submitted as a Google document.
  • Limit audio and video samples to 5 minutes. A few clips no longer than one minute is even better.
  • If your sample is longer, include instructions that point reviewers to the minute and second where you’d like them to begin with notes about what they should pay attention to in particular.

Alternate ROOTS is an organization based in the Southern USA* whose mission is to support the creation and presentation of original art, in all its forms, which is rooted in a particular community of place, tradition, or spirit. As a coalition of cultural workers, we strive to be allies in the elimination of all forms of oppression. ROOTS is committed to social and economic justice and the protection of the natural world, and addresses these concerns through its programs and services.

*The ROOTS Region covers the Southern area of the United States: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.


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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.