Atlanta, GA

Community Highlight: Alternate ROOTS

Sophie-Ann McCulloch
Orimi Protograph/Unsplash

ATLANTA, GA — Alternate ROOTS is a group of artists and cultural organizers based in the Southern USA with 44 years of history.

The organization calls for social and economic justice and is working to dismantle all forms of oppression — everywhere. As a progressive arts organization, ROOTS is at the forefront of establishing model programs for regional cultural organizing in the US.

They provide a connective network for a distinct segment of the arts and culture field, especially for artists committed to their communities and those whose artistic work strives for social justice.

The nature of this work spreads us far and wide from each other, so collaboration, peer sharing, and combined impact can be a challenge. Alternate ROOTS helps sustain artistic development, increased visibility, and stability as activist artists and cultural organizers.

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, DC.

Originally, Alternate ROOTS was founded in 1976 at the Highlander Center in New Market, Tennessee, and the name ROOTS came from the acronym for “Regional Organization of Theaters South”. ROOTS quickly established itself as a thought leader in the field of community-based arts. It is the only regional collective of artists committed to social and economic justice.

Due to the growing field of community-based arts, ROOTS has 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.

To learn more about Alternate ROOTS, visit

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