THE CHARLESTON RHIZOME COLLECTIVE   is an art-in with community group, where education, art and activism intersect. By design we are grassroots, inter-racial and inter-generational.

Our group is diverse in race, age, income, talent, education, professional occupation … and this is reflected in the activities and projects we initiate. Many of us are born and raised in Charleston; others are 1st generation immigrants. Through the arts we amplify the voices of neighborhoods absent from public and private plans: social, cultural and economic. We envision communities where issues of exclusion and inequities in Economics, Housing, Education and Business no longer exist. For us belonging means celebrating all histories and cultures as we build a future together.

Members of the Rhizome have met through various projects as artists, educators or administrative assistants including Spoleto projects like “Places with a Past: site-specific Art in Charleston”, “Rehearsing the Past”, “Making Art Making Home” (a partnership with Alternate ROOTS Resources for Social Change). In the process the core group of the Rhizome Collective developed a deep interest in the Social Forums and participated with video projects in “Another South is Possible” (Durham), “Another world is Possible” (Nairobi) and “Another US is Possible” (Atlanta).

Projects like “The Future is on the Table #3” and the recent “conNECKted: Imaginings for Truth & Reconciliation” (2015-17) challenged processes of collaboration in the visual arts and equitable community involvement.   Other projects have strived on differences, randomness and the unpredictable.

For example: “Switching roles – Jumping fences” started as an electronic dialogue on race; it ended up as a public reading where you would perform someone else’s piece, picked from a hat. The Collective also promoted sites of African American missing history in organizing a tour for the Alliance of Creative Communities Conference that included Burke High School and the Denmark Vesey memorial at Hampton Park.

Our collective and members of the collective have received project funding from Spoleto Festival USA, the Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, the SC Arts Commission, the Coastal Community Foundation, the SC Humanities Council, the Puffin Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the We Shall Overcome Fund and Alternate ROOTS.