ROOTS Fest 2011

On Sunday evening for the closing of the Maryland Film Festival, I had the great pleasure of seeing the documentary “Sing Your Song”, about the life and work of Harry Belafonte. While the documentary was excellent, the real treat was that Harry Belafonte himself was present, and he participated in a talk back with local author, Taylor Branch. Harry Belafonte has always used his platform and notoriety to make real and positive change in the world.

For anyone similarly inspired to use art and culture to effect change in their community, Alternate ROOTS is hosting its 35th anniversary celebration, “ROOTS Fest” in Baltimore from June 22-26. Alternate ROOTS’ 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 it 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.”

I am serving on the National Honorary Committee for ROOTS Fest, which is now less than six weeks away. For five days in June, ROOTS Fest will bring artists, activists, educators, and community organizers together in Baltimore. It will take place at Coppin State University, the LOF/T, and on the “Highway to Nowhere”. From the 22nd to the 24th there will be aLearning Exchange called “Art, Culture, and Creativity”, which is a three-day process for visioning a practical application and implementation of art and culture for the enrichment of everyday life. Surrounding the Learning Exchange will be performances, interactive arts activities, and community conversations.

If you’re interested in becoming a partner, a volunteer, vending in the Marketplace, joining the One Voice Community Chorus, or presenting in the Interactive Arts Pavilion with Workshops, Activities, or Conversations, please visit or email to get more information. To see the roster of performers, check here. I hope to see you there.

Until next week–



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