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

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Members & staff meet in pilot phase

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.

ATLANTA, GA (PRWEB) December 18, 2013

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.” EmcArts can be found online at http://emcarts.org.    

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 visit http://www.AlternateRoots.org.

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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.

*Alternate ROOTS' service region is the geographic area of the United States often referred to as "The South": 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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