Chris Appleton, American Express Emerging Leader Awardee

Emerging Leaders Award

Chris Appleton, our 2014 American Express Emerging Leader Awardee, is Founder and Executive Director of WonderRoot. Founded in 2004, WonderRoot’s is Atlanta’s leading arts and activism organization. Often celebrated for its championing of both artists and community, WonderRoot supports artists to have professional careers in Atlanta and works to address social justice, environmental justice, health, and youth development issues through the arts.

An Atlanta native and Georgia State alumnus, Chris is active in various organizations throughout the region. His current board service includes serving on the Board of Directors and as Advocacy Co-chair for the Georgia Arts Network, the Historic Preservation and Public Art Advisory Board for the Atlanta BeltLine, and Advisory Board for Health Connect South. Previously, he served as the founding Board President for Burnaway, a regional arts and culture publication, and Board Governance Chair for Atlanta Celebrates Photography, the country’s largest community-based photo festival.

A leader and voice for progressive change in Atlanta, Chris is a fellow with the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers program, a graduate of the 2013 Class of LEAD Atlanta, a 2013 graduate of New Leaders Council, and a 2014 graduate of the Fanning Institute’s Executive Leadership for Nonprofit Organizations program. In 2011, Chris received the Emory Center for Creativity and the Arts Community Impact Award.