A Rhizome is Rising Apr 22, 2022

QC Family Tree is growing and nurturing a coalition of artists and cultural workers within Charlotte. This “Rhizome” Coalition is made up of artists and cultural workers who create art and engage in social practice that is rooted in communities of place, tradition or spirit. Rhizome members are folks who call for social and economic justice and are working to dismantle all forms of oppression—everywhere. Rhizome members come together to share their art and organizing, learn about others’ work, and build strong local networks.

A rhizome is a continuously growing horizontal underground stem that puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals.

Ways to get involved:

Rhizome Members

If you want to remain on the Rhizome email list, please fill out this form.

Free Space Studio

Creative folks and art lovers gather on the 4th Monday of each month from 6-8pm, 2916 Parkway Ave . QC Family Tree Culture Bearers will host open studios. and there will be a creativity table open for everyone to engage and play. Good company and great refreshments will be overflowing. If you would like to volunteer to facilitate the creativity table, let Helms know. The upcoming Free Space Studio will be May 23rd from 6-8pm at 2916 Parkway Ave. Katrina Cherry will be facilitating the creativity table. Please let us know you are coming by RSVPing here.

Funeral of the Empire

Together, we will take our most sacred observances to the streets so that we may bear witness to God’s presence among the oppressed as we speak truth to Power. “What is the connection between faith and politics? ‘Every act of worship,’ Bill Wylie Kellermann says, ‘every occasion where the sovereignty of the word of God is acknowledged, is always and everywhere expressly political.’” Set against the backdrop of July 4th, collaborators work together to shape what the event looks like, details will unfold. Initially, we imagine it to be a funeral or wake themed event that allows folks to grieve their experience as citizens of a nation built on exploitation, totality, and extraction and to make commitments toward putting oppression to its grave by taking on practices of abundance, freedom, and common good. If you would like to be a collaborator, please take the time to fill out this form by May 5th.

Change Makers’ Rehearsal Dinners

Once a quarter, QC Family Tree gathers artists, culture bearers, and civic leaders for a time of creative praxis: action and reflection. During themed community gatherings, creatives will wrestle, imagine, and experiment with integrating creative practice and social change. The Rehearsal Dinners are for creatives and civically engaged individuals who want to be in conversation and community with other creative change agents. With a motto of "Rehearse the change you want to see in the world." Together, using art and culture as tools, participants reimagine and rehearse what’s possible for our city and beyond.

Rehearsal Dinners serve to support creative problem solving and building connection across difference by offering artist facilitation and creative processing of complex community issues with a diverse group of participants. Participants are artists, musicians, writers, poets, faith practitioners, healers, civic leaders, activists, and other culture bearers who engage in community issues through their creative and civic practices. The Rehearsal Dinner provides an opportunity for these change agents to gather, rehearse new possibilities and make unexpected connections that generate meaningful relationships as well as community solutions that positively impact our neighborhoods and city. Rehearsal Dinners are curated by Helms Jarrell and facilitated by Rhizome members. Some of the past facilitators are: Katty Strickland, Sherry Waters, Katrina Cherry, Dawn Anthony, Camerin Watson, Makayla Binter, Mia McClain, Shayla Locke, Stephanie Vander Lugt, and Shamaiye Haynes.

RSVP to the May 21st “Cultivate Peace” rehearsal dinner:


Culture Bearer Residency

QC Family Tree’s Culture Bearer Residency program is meant to: build community by connecting individuals across points of difference; build community by nurturing, celebrating, and supporting authentic cultures and creative expression; increase relevance by using arts, science and history to address complex community issues; and increasing innovation by supporting the creation of new and groundbreaking work.

This Culture Bearer Residency program highlights the strong role that artists and culture bearers play as leaders in civic engagement and social change. The program demonstrates how dynamic social change work incorporates arts and culture into efforts to positively shape the community.

Former residents include Janelle Dunlap (2017), Hannah Hasan (2018), Hoan Rahlan (2021), Dioveris Lopez (2021), Bunny Gregory (2022), and Katrina Cherry (2022). Past Culture Bearers will be invited to submit their work to two summer gallery shows exhibiting on June 12 and August 7th, 2022.

The Fall 2022 residency application will open in May 2022. Look for it here: https://linktr.ee/qcfamilytree...

Rhizome Fellowship

“What does all this art have to do with economic development?” We thought you might have the same kind of questions. This newsletter is meant to help make the connections and to invite you to be a part of this good, meaningful, and important work.

QC Family Tree incorporates the many ways that culture can be activated in order to engage people and make a positive impact. Arts and culture build empathy, understanding, and action on issues facing our community and beyond. Cultural expressions such as storytelling, shared meals, and listening to music offer opportunities for healing, expanded perspective, and change of mindset. Intentionally crafted cultural experiences result in more diverse and increased civic participation, movement building, and even policy change.

In the fall of 2022, folks can apply to be a part of a semester-long fellowship to deepen their praxis of cultivating community for the common good. The Rhizome fellowship provides a design lab experience for folks who want to make a positive social impact to activate courageous conversations, engage in deep analysis, and activate practical application. Rhizome fellows are paid stipends, and gathered together on-site and virtually for workshops, restoration, and check-ins. Rhizome Fellows will engage with written resources, participate in community dialogue, and activate Small Experiments with Radical Intent.

Details of the Rhizome Fellowship continue to unfold and will be announced soon: https://linktr.ee/qcfamilytree...

Alternate ROOTS

We encourage all socially engaged artists and culture bearers to join Alternate ROOTS. https://alternateroots.org/