ROOTS 34th Annual Meeting Program

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In 2010, Alternate ROOTS launches a three-year initiative, The Aesthetics of Diversity. It will explore issues and opportunities to advance a progressive agenda in the South through the lens of the Souths newest citizens, immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries, India, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Aesthetics of Diversity will examine questions of art and culture focusing on place in 2010, people in 2011, and traditions in 2012. The goal is to build bridges across and among diverse communities and inform discussions such that members of various communities have a lens through which to view how they may positively impact change in their community.


  • A L T E R N A T E R O O T S | 3 4 T H A N N U A L M E E T I N G

    Alternate ROOTS sprang into being in order to meet the distinct needs of artists who work in and with communities, artists who work for social justice, and artists who create work by, for, about and within communities of place, tradition, affiliation, and spirit. Founded in 1976 at the Highlander Center in New Market, Tennessee, R.O.O.T.S. was originally an acronym for Regional Organization of Theaters South. ROOTS quickly established itself as a thought leader in the field of communitybased arts and the only regional collective of artists committed to social and economic justice. In response to the needs of the growing field of community-based arts, ROOTS evolved to a multidisciplinary member-based and artist-driven organization. Member artists develop programs and ROOTS provides resources for the needs of these socially conscious artists working in the South.

    As a progressive arts organization, ROOTS is at the forefront of establishing model programs for regional cultural organizing in the US. ROOTS is an exemplary incubator for participatory democracy. Through the practice of our guiding principles - Equitable Partnership, Shared Power, Open Dialogue, Individual and Community Transformation, and an Aesthetic that embraces both beauty and justice - we continue to be a model program for regional organizing that is responsive to and reflective of the needs of this unique artistic community.

    A regional arts service organization with over 30 years of history, Alternate ROOTS is an invaluable national resource to artists, organizers and cultural workers. As a visible champion of activist artists, ROOTS is looked to for leadership, particularly in the Southern United States, where it provides its most direct services to its members. Alternate ROOTS provides the connective tissue for a distinct segment of the arts and culture field - artists who have a commitment to making work in, with, by, for and about their communities, and those whose cultural work strives for social justice. While this is a large sector in US arts and culture as many artists work in this way and share these aims, it is, for the most part, informally organized and collaborations are often the result of chance as much as choice. Alternate ROOTS is striving to increase those chances.


  • A L T E R N A T E R O O T S | 3 4 T H A N N U A L M E E T I N G

    THE DIRECTORFrom the desk of


    What a pleasure it is to return to this beautiful space nestled in the mountains of North Carolina to reunite with all of you after another year of spreading ourselves across many communities to do our lifework. We gather together in this space to share our experiences, learn from each other, and recharge to continue our art. Through this annual gathering we learn that we are not alone.

    The 34th Annual Meeting of Alternate ROOTS will once again allow us the space to expand our understanding of art created in, by, and for community, and how that art seeks to improve on the human condition.

    Please join me in welcoming the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture to this gathering as a producing partner. For years we have been cultivating the partnership to develop deeper engagement with Latino and Spanish speaking communities in the South. This partnership will help to foster greater access to the regions resources for this community and greater participation in ROOTS.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to engage the memberships creativity and inspiration as we prepare to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Alternate ROOTS. As a major part of the celebration ROOTS will produce its first national festival in Baltimore, MD on June 22-26, 2011.

    Once again, I welcome you all to the 34th Annual Meeting of Alternate ROOTS. Hopefully you will leave on Sunday full, collectively carrying with you the mission and vision of ROOTS. It radiates in our art, our partnerships, and our relationship with community. It is who we are.

    With peace and love,

    Carlton TurnerExecutive Director

  • A L T E R N A T E R O O T S | 3 4 T H A N N U A L M E E T I N G

    WELCOME!To the Alternate ROOTS Annual Meeting! From Our A.M. Co-Coordinators


    I have enjoyed being back in the role of AM co-coordinator this year, after a hiatus of 6 years, and am looking forward to a week filled with lots and lots of art and art making! Little did I know how much my life would shift and change when I made the decision back in 1997 to attend my first full ROOTS AM. But since that

    first magical time, my entire life has been upended and I have come to see the world through ROOTS-colored lenses. As we explore the notions of aesthetics and diversity and the rich tapestry of conversations that will surely flow from this intersection, I encourage you to embrace the magic of our intentional community, and imagine how you might find all of the ways it may continue to live after we say our farewells at the end of the week. And dont forget to sleep.

    D. Patton White

    Welcome to the 34th Annual Meeting. This marks my 3rd Annual Meeting and my first time coordinating the event. This year, I am excited the we are embarking on a three year aesthetics of diversity initiative, continuing our undoing racism work and partnering with NALAC. Artists and cultural workers are in a prime position to address

    issues facing local communities all over the South and the world. I look forward to feeling your art, engaging in probing conversations with you, and sharing visions about how art and culture are driving forces to make this world a better place.

    In peace, art, and justice,Ebony Noelle Golden

  • A L T E R N A T E R O O T S | 3 4 T H A N N U A L M E E T I N G

    There are several different programs and services offered to Alternate ROOTS members. These programs have been developed by the membership in response to the needs of the field of community-based artists. Through these programs, ROOTS has impacted over 1,500,000 people in the Southeast over the past 30 years.

    Annual Meeting (AM) The Annual Meeting is the cornerstone program for Alternate ROOTS. It is a 5-day gathering of artists, activists, educators, youth, organizers, and cultural workers many of whom are ROOTS Board Members that provides professional development, networking, peer review of artistic projects, and opportunities for making art. This is the annual business meeting of the Board of ROOTS and is open to the public.

    Community/Artists Partnership Program (C/APP) C/APP is an annual grant that supports and promotes community-based residencies by providing resources of information, funds, and training to foster and support collaborations between artists and community-based organizations. ROOTS artists grassrootsorganizing methods are integral to C/APP projects and establish collaborations designed to give voice to community members, to empower individuals and communities who previously felt disenfranchised, to celebrate local and regional histories and culture, and/ or to build progressive change.

    Resources for Social Change (RSC) RSC is a training program of Alternate ROOTS devoted to teaching, sharing and exchanging ideas, methods and techniques for creating social change through the arts. The work that ROOTS member-artists do requires a commitment to forging equal partnerships with community members. Forging these equal partnerships demands a wide set of skills not usually taught in arts academies: deep listening; acceptance of differences; the ability to communicate across culture, race, gender, age, ability, and class; creativity and flexibility when faced with challenges; negotiation and conflict resolution skills; and the ability to share power equitably.

    Artistic Assistance Alternate ROOTS commitment to supporting the growth of individual artists extends to facilitating their evolution by providing funding for collaborations, workshops, travel and additional skill building endeavors. The Artistic Assistance Program bridges the fissure between grant sources and individual artists. Artistic Assistance gives small grants, which range from $250 - $1000, designed to provide both veteran and emerging artists with a source of critical funding to deepen and explore their creativity.

    Showcases and Festivals Festivals are designed to showcase the work of Alternate ROOTS members to a larger population of Southern citizenry, as well as foster a deeper relationship among, artists, presenters, educators, community activists and youth. Through festivals, Alternate ROOTS provides a forum for artists to expand their connection within Southern communities. Festivals also provide nontraditional and emerging presenters, who would otherwise make more commercial choices, an opportunity to bring professional community-based artists to their venues. Additionally, non-traditional organizations are enabled to become presenters for the first time.


  • A L T E R N A T E R O O T S | 3 4 T H A N N U A L M E E T I N G

    IMPORTANT INFO(You might want to know about what youve gotten yourself into)

    The ROOTS Annual Meeting is a fun, challenging, and life-altering gathering for many people. Because this is an experiential event, it may be difficult to describe the Annual Meeting to someone who has not attended before. Below are some questions to answer some of the things that might come up if this is your first Annual Meeting.

    In case of an emergency, what do I do?If the incident is in fact a real emergency, please consider that 911 might be the fastest and safest first line of defense. After that, or perhaps instead of, here are some other helpful numbers:

    Ebony Golden, AM Co-Coordinator, 919-423-