Alternate ROOTS works at the intersection of art and activism to support artistic production concerning communities of place, tradition, or spirit. The organization has been committed to sustaining socially engaged practice and increasing the visibility of artist-activists for the last thirty-five years. Alternate ROOTS began as an acronym for Regional Organization of Theaters South, and rapidly became the only regional artist group dedicated to community-based arts initiatives and social and economic justice. As the field of community-based art practice grew, ROOTS expanded into a multidisciplinary, artist-run, member-based organization in which members brainstorm and organize socially engaged programs and receive resources for their projects. ROOTS also serves as a model for regional organization and offers a training program, Resources for Social Change, which teaches art as a tool for social reform with an emphasis on the principles of shared power, equal partnership, open dialogue, and aesthetics of transparent processes. In 2010, Alternate ROOTS was ranked by Philanthropedia as one of the top seventeen nonprofit arts organizations in the United States. Their service region now extends to Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Founded 1976 in New Market, TN.