Dance/USA Artist Fellows
Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists has awarded $1,000,525 in funding to 31 artists addressing social change. The Dance/USA Artist Fellows were selected by a peer panel. Each Fellow will receive $32,275. Below, in the artists' words, are general descriptions of their practice and intent.
Ana Maria Alvarez
Los Angeles, CAAlvarez is a choreographer, dancer, educator, organizer and
mother working at the intersection of dance, theater, political activism and
organizing; her work embodies joy as a radical act. Salsa and other social
dance forms are her primary tools to connect and reframe/reimagine narratives.
She intends to begin writing a book about collective liberation and her journey
as an artist from the in between.
As a multidisciplinary teaching artist and dance maker,
Bass’s practice centers on Black cultural preservation; she compels audiences
to think deeply about issues vital to the existence of Black people. She
intends to write about her and other artists’ perspectives of working in ways
that cultivate intimacy, vulnerability and connection; to be shared with the
next generation of artists.
Windsor, CATrained by Cambodia’s surviving dance masters following the
Khmer Rouge Genocide, Burt emigrated in 1993; she preserves classical Cambodian
dance technique for Cambodian communities across California and creates dances
that are relevant for young dancers. She intends to continue connecting
Cambodian communities by training teachers and apprentices and by offering
dance and costume instruction that is available and accessible.
Minneapolis, MNIn her contemporary practice, Chatterjea draws from Indian performance
traditions, activist street theater, and community to create workshops, staged and interactive public art performances and to train emerging indigenous and
artists of color. She intends to deepen her healing movement practices based on
yogic and ayurvedic principles and build community relationships near her
space, Shawngram Institute, in St. Paul.
Oakland, CACrowell practices social change primarily within Destiny Arts
Youth Company, which she founded, and which explores issues of interest to young people, including identity, race and sexual orientation. She intends to expand
her time investment in a new project to ritualize and memorialize youth who
have been killed in Oakland by working with their families.
Mama Naomi Diouf
Castro Valley, CAAs an immigrant from Liberia who arrived during the Black Power Movement, Diouf has been an artist,
educator and activist who shares the diverse narratives of people of African
Descent. She intends to take
a sabbatical to develop the next generation of African dance leaders, both
within her company and locally, and train African artists to teach and to
San Francisco, CAAs a transgender modern dance choreographer, writer and
activist, Dorsey creates dances in and with community; creates opportunities
for trans and gender-nonconforming (gnc) people to experience supported
creative expression and cultural leadership; and challenges the exclusion,
silencing and harm of trans/gnc people in Dance. He intends to travel and meet
current and former trans/gnc dancers and provide himself open-ended creative
Mesa, AZAs a champion Hoop Dancer, Duncan uses the traditional
concepts of Hoop Dance to bring youth closer to an understanding of themselves
and their communities. He intends to travel to Taos Pueblo, the source of Hoop
Dance, to meet with elders and dancers and learn oral histories; and to support
his own practice at home by making hoops and working with youth.
Pasadena, CAAs a facilitator, educator, choreographer and performer,
Fortè-Saunders uses the medium of art in pursuit of liberation, committed to
black narratives, black stories, and black wellness as an an indelible
commitment to this nation's dreams. She
intends to use time to focus on creative practice, research and
experimentation, and hire executive partners.
Woodland Hills, CAGilliam is an Urban Contemporary Dancemaker who, with his
Krump Crew, co-creates movement experiences for communities to eliminate lines
of division in a variety of settings, including parking lots and juvenile
halls. He intends to create a summer artist training and mentorship program that will pair
master teaching artists with local emerging artists.
New York, NYThrough her practice called Movement Speaks®, Goldberg Haas
inspires low and fixed income older adults to move and create dances, and
mentors teaching artists to do the same. She intends to deepen her partnership
in the South Bronx, with the William Hodson Senior Center and BronxCare, by
presenting performances of participants from her program with professionally
Highland Park, MIHarge’s practice actualizes the somatics of thriving in black
flesh, looking to the organizing and corporeal possibilities within Black liturgical
and Black social dance forms. She
intends to continue pursuing artmaking and
infrastructural building within Detroit’s Black dance community.
Oakland, CAHunter is a Deaf African American choreographer, dancer,
instructor, speaker, and Deaf advocate who creates opportunities for Deaf
artists and produces Deaf-friendly events; he founded the Urban Jazz Dance
Company and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival. This artist intends to
continue working with schools, and provide more free workshops for marginalized
families, Deaf institutes, community centers, public schools and senior
Washington, DCKonte advances the mission of his company Kankouran, which
fosters connections between his native Senegalese community and his African
American community, in DC and around the country. He intends to pay for
materials for school programs in NE and SE Washington, costumes, and drum
repairs for his company, and to organize a roundtable in Senegal between
African and US-based dancers who are social change practitioners.
Tucker, GAAs an artist, activist, and product designer & engineer,
Lawson explores technique and choreography that is authentic to disabled
embodiments. She intends to expand frontiers in technique and choreography,
study pedagogy, explore ways to expand access to the field via technological
platforms, and create work.
San Francisco, CAAs a Kumu Hula, a tradition bearer and shaper, Makuakane is
obliged to keep traditional dances and chants intact and pass transgenerational
knowledge onto students and has been given permission to create work that
reflects those traditions. He intends to continue working with San Quentin State Prison,
creating a transitional space within his company for men leaving prison and to
elevate the value of ancient cultural practices.
New York, NYWithin her practice, McGregor visions with Black and POC
communities and aims to center their voices and create pathways for exchange
across generation and geography. She intends to deepen her practice on her home
island, St. Croix, by working with local and mainland collaborators, exploring
ideas such as activating “abandoned” spaces and embodying vanishing traditions
across the island, and to document this process.
Chicago, ILAs a lesbian teen who experienced homelessness and was
exonerated, Mommy brings her life experiences into mentoring, and teaches Chicago footwork to people who face similar adversities on the South and West sides
of Chicago. She intends to mentor young people, extend partnerships with
numerous local organizations, and work on a new video game.
Tucson, AZMontoya co-creates works with community, building
relationships among Latinx in the Southwest. She intends to expand her
community work, growing Dance in the Desert: A Gathering of Latinx Dancemakers,
traveling to research Latinx movement aesthetics unique to the Southwest, and
working with collaborators to create art focusing on positive
self-representations of border communities.
Christopher K. Morgan
Washington, DCWithin his work, Morgan is investigating the intersection of
western dance practices, native Hawaiian cultural values and hula, as well as
storytelling and interdisciplinary collaboration. He intends to continue this
ongoing investigation, pay collaborators and Hawaiian cultural consultants, and strengthen his connection to a growing network of contemporary
Hawaiian performing arts professionals.
Oakland, CANavarrete collaborates with San Francisco Bay Area
communities severely impacted by systems of oppression, in partnership with
organizations that offer parallel professional support. He intends to use
unstructured time to work with the women of Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) and
travel to Mexico to research a new work based on forced disappearance.
Long Beach, CA
As a Khmer American classical dancer, Ok established a
practice that includes founding the first openly gay dance company in Cambodia,
training the next generation of Khmer dance artists, and layering Khmer
classical dance with contemporary elements shared on social media. He intends
to strengthen relationships with Khmer American groups, conduct research in a
Buddhist center in Japan, and experiment in the studio.
Austin, TXOrr creates dances that highlight the beauty and skill in the
virtuosic movement of work. Collaborating primarily with working class
people—frequently city employees or other institutional staff—Orr and her team
at Forklift Danceworks use performance as a catalyst for long term
community-led action.She intends to connect with fellow dance artists committed
to community-based social justice work and to finish a book about her practice.
San Francisco, CAAs a choreographer and culture bearer, Panis embraces the
sometimes contradictory dynamics of Pilipinx Diasporic life, combining modern
Western dance and indigenous cultural ceremony. Her practice involves research
in Pilipinx arts, community storytelling, relationship building, and mentoring
of next-generation artists, particularly in the SOMA neighborhood of San
Francisco. She intends to continue building relationships, mentoring and
researching Pilipinx stories.
Danys "La Mora" Pérez
New York, NYAs a choreographer of Afro-Cuban folkloric dance, an art form born of resistance to oppression, Pérez
strives to preserve the traditions of Afro-Cuban culture and folklore by using these traditions to educate,
uplift, and unite people. She intends to rehearse, and pay musicians, without
relying solely on personal sacrifices from family and dancers, who have offset
her expenses in the past.
New York, NYAfter a 20-year dance career, followed by a diagnosis of
Parkinson’s disease (PD), Quinn developed techniques to retrieve many of the
functions that the disease takes away, utilizing visual and auditory cuing to
teach and create dances for people with PD. She intends to codify and record her
techniques to make them accessible to local and international communities of
patients, artists, and medical professionals.
Saint Paul, MNRichburg expands the boundaries of ice skating from a Black
perspective, using facilitated conversations and the wisdom of the moving body
on and off ice to heal the wounds caused by racial trauma. She intends to spend
time on a new work about 17th-19th century Black social dance and explore new
formats for post-show discussion.
San Francisco, CAAs a Chicana dancer, choreographer, and educator, Sanchez
focuses on community arts and traditional dance forms to provide a platform for
Latinx communities, emphasizing the voices and experiences of Latina and
Chicana women and youth. She intends to deepen her relationships in the Bay
Area, create a new piece about farm and domestic workers and laborers, and
reduce her teaching and administrative work.
Minneapolis, MNRosy Simas’ (Seneca) choreographic work centers Native
cultural/political persistence, weaving themes of personal/familial/collective
identity with matriarchy, sovereignty, equality, and healing. During the
fellowship period she will foster new and strengthen existing relationships
with urban and rural Native communities, work with Native writers on the
contextualization and visibility of writing on Native contemporary dance, focus
on documenting her work, and strengthening her tribally based leadership
Oakland, CAIn her practice, called Conjure Art, Tabor-Smith utilizes
Yorùbá Lukumi ritual to address issues of social and environmental justice,
race, gender identity and belonging; and to cultivate meaningful and lasting
relationships in Oakland, CA. She desires time to research and experiment with
Yorùbá ritual in collaboration with Black women/Femmes and girls,
leading to a neo-folklore ritual performance society in Oakland based on the
Anchorage, AKYufrican works in Yuraq, the dance practice of the Yup'ik
people of Alaska, and creates traditional dances with contemporary masks and
movement for communities in Alaska. He intends to connect with rural
communities around Alaska and create original work with masks and dance
Photo credits here.