ROOTS Week 2019

ROOTS Week 2019
Alternate ROOTS’ 43rd Annual Meeting & Artists’ Retreat
Tuesday, August 6 – Sunday, August 11, 2019
Lutheridge Conference Center; Arden, NC (near Asheville)

Preview the ROOTS Week program book HERE and the schedule HERE!

ROOTS Week Annual Meeting & Artists’ Retreat is a one-of-a-kind gathering – six days of performances, art and organizing workshops, UpROOTing Oppressions sessions, visual art exhibitions, our famous 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!), joining an ever-growing, ever-evolving coalition of people committed to building a just world through arts, community, and activism.

This year, we’re turning our attention towards Class and Power, in response to a conversation that opened up at ROOTS Week 2018. Because this started as a conversation, we’ll be continuing in that spirit – approaching this theme as an open, iterative dialogue among our community of artists and activists. And so we’re starting with questions. Questions like:


  • What do we mean by class and class privilege? What do we mean by power? How are they related?
  • How does class intensify or lessen intersecting identities like race, ability, and gender? How is class connected to environmental injustice?
  • How do we understand class in ways that are accountable to the history of race as an originating and driving force in our current system? (E.g. not using class analysis to trump race analysis.)
  • How does all of this impact us as artists and activists? How are our practices, our fields, our movements shaped by and responding to class?
  • What are our legacies and practices of resourcefulness? Of manifesting abundance? Of working within/against/beyond the capitalist economy in creative, values-aligned ways?

We’ve got a lot to talk about! And over the course of the year – before, during, and after ROOTS Week – we’ll be holding space for collective learning around these questions.

As we move into this conversation, we acknowledge the time and place in which we’re having it. In a country and economy built on dispossession of land and labor through a myriad of forces beginning with colonization, slavery, environmental destruction, and an unjust immigration system. At a time when wealth inequality is soaring, when vast disparities exist along lines of race, gender, ability, citizenship. And within an organization that affirms the value of artists’ and activists’ work, that advocates for the equitable distribution of resources to cultural workers in the South, and that includes a call for economic justice within our mission statement.

We hope you’ll join us on this journey of collective, community learning – in preparation for collective, community 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.