Tea Roots is a 501(c)3 Public Benefit Organization formed to empower social and environmental change through the arts. Tea Roots aims to encourage new artistic works of under-represented writers, visual artists and activists from diverse disciplines, cultures, communities and fields of study.
Tea Roots' mission is to advance artists who represent and support progressive thinking in the arts and literary communities in order to increase diversity and social justice awareness among the broader community at large.
The aim is to foster a grassroots consciousness centered on social change that gives artists and writers a voice representing local community and a fresh perspective on needs to protect our environment.
Founded originally in 1995 as a not-for-profit publishing program, Tea Roots began as Tea Party Magazine to give artists access to publication resources. Supported by the Alameda Arts Fund, this was an unprecedented opportunity for under-represented artists. Artists of color rarely had equal access to print publication.
In addition to working with emerging artists, Tea Roots has has increased inclusion of artists who disabled, homeless, or formerly incarcerated. Each of the organization’s events captures this creative energy and reaches underserved audiences through its outreach. The underlying belief of Tea Roots volunteers is that a vibrant, artistic and cultural community should be cultivated and shared. Artists participate in every aspect of production and community engagement.
DAVID T. PANG, Executive Director started his artistic career in pristine nature photography. He evolved his work to focus on the social context of the environment and human rights advocacy. Integrating photography and poetry, he originally launched Tea Party Magazine as a platform to increase publication inclusion for emerging literary and visual artists. After exhibiting his own work in Shanghai, China, Pang evolved the magazine into Tea Roots as an arts production company. He joined artists from many other disciplines and arts organizations to branch Tea Roots into a literary and visual arts exhibition organization that encouraged the voices of diverse and under-represented artists on vital issues in social equity. Pang is also a Professional Engineer with expertise in structural, geotechnical, and landsides, with an emphasis in liquifaction, in San Francisco.
AUDREY SACCO, Marketing Director is a long-term, avid supporter of community wellness through the arts. From Business Development, fundraising and audience development, to artist and social outreach, Sacco wears many hats to achieve the objectives for Tea Roots programs. What she brings to the group is energy, resourcefulness and a facility for working with people. For 20 years, Sacco has contributed strategic thinking and project management skills since the early, literary magazine days, For Tea Roots, she has used her expertise in non-profit outreach and advertising to recently launch the Healing After Wildfire Earned Income Initiative.
ERIC MURPHY, Curatorial Advisor is a photographer, art collector and independent curator who has been supporting the arts scene since 1999. He was a long-time staff person of Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland and represented many Bay Area artists. He has supported many Bay Area galleries, such as: Slate Contemporary, Firehouse Art Center & Harrington Gallery, and Evolve the Gallery. He was Project Manager and Curator for the Fukuoka Artist Exchange – a traveling exhibition of Oakland artists James Gayles and Hiroko To, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the City of Oakland’s sister city relationship with the City of Fukuoka in Japan. Murphy is also currently Gallery Curator of Joyce Gordon Gallery in downtown Oakland. He has also been a re-appointed member of the Alameda County Arts Commission.
MAYA KHOSLA, Poetry Curator is the 10th Poet Laureate, 2018-2019 for Sonoma County, CA. Her work for the natural world led her into the wild, to the page and to the screen. Searching for the Gold Spot, her new film about wild places after wildfire, is featured in festivals across the United States. She continues to document wildlife across the State of California to figure out levels of pesticides that would be safe for non-target wildlife. Her writing has been featured in journals including Flyway, Kosmos Journal, Nature Writing, Humans and Nature, Bird Note, Tiny Lights and others. Joining the Bay Area’s community of writers, Maya has contributed to the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival and has taught workshops at Stanford University Continuing Studies Program and at Mendocino Writers Workshop. Her new poetry collection, “Song of the Forests After Wildfire,” was recently accepted by Sixteen Rivers Press, a Bay-Area collective.
ANASTASIA PODVYSOTSKA, Curator - In - Residence started painting at the age of 6, when she entered Art School in Kiev. The well-known Russian Academic School gave her a strong technical base, as well as a great attention to detail, which is an important feature of her art, even today. There, she fell in love with watercolor; and, after 7 years of studying, it became her main medium. Her childhood dream to write and illustrate children books could not stand the battle for a practical profession in Ukraine. Therefore, the major for Anastasia’s degree was Architecture -- the crossroad of art and science. Besides the intense architectural curriculum, she continued painting to earn income. It started as portraits for commissions and grew into creative collaborative with fellow students to produce paintings, murals, postcards, seasonal decorations and other crafts.
Tea Roots programs would not be possible without the endless contributions of our volunteers. We extend our deepest gratitude to them!
Tea Roots is a community-supported, All-Volunteer-Based organization. Your contribution makes a difference!