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Pioneer Winter is a Miami-native choreographer, dancer, and producer of Pioneer Winter // Collective. He is co-director of RIFT Blackbox and the curator of transmedia performances for FilmGate Interactive Media Conference. Winter also directs LEAP (Leaders of Equality through Arts and Performance), a free dance and creative communication program for queer-identifying teens and their allies that focuses on teaching how to use the arts for activism and social change. As a young queer artist, he uses social and cultural narratives to anchor his work. A Horatio Alger Scholar, he is an alumnus of the Florida International University Honors College, and holds a Masters in Public Health and Epidemiology. Pioneer Winter is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from Jacksonville University/White Oak as the first artist to be named a Dennis R. Washington Achievement Scholar. He was awarded the 2014-2015 Miami Choreographic Fellowship, and is fellow and faculty member in the FIU Honors College Department.
Pioneer Winter has presented work for the International Fringe Arts Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, as a speaker/choreographer for TEDxMIA at New World Symphony, Miami-Dade College, Museum of Contemporary Art – Plaza, Little Haiti Cultural Center, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Perez Art Museum of Miami (formerly Miami Art Museum), Miami-Dade County Auditorium, Miami Beach Convention Center, San Francisco Transgender Film Festival, WPBT2’s Art Loft, Tigertail Production’s ScreenDance Miami, Knight Foundation’s Random Acts of Culture, Bass Museum of Art, Art Wynwood, Deering Estate at Cutler, American College Dance Festival, Art Live Fair, Frost Museum of Art, O Cinema, Florida Dance Festival, Cucalorus Film Festival, FilmGate Interactive Media Conference, and Triskelion Arts, NYC, among others.
Winter began studying with Edwin and Gaile Holland, followed by Miami City Ballet with further training by Michael Langlois, and at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA). Pioneer Winter has been mentored by artists Christina Teague-Mann, Ana Sánchez-Colberg, Michael Kliën, Jüri Nael, Mario Zambrano, and Octavio Campos, as well as workshops with Alonzo King and Keith Hennessy. He has performed throughout the United States and toured in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain and Mexico City. He has danced for Dance Now! Miami, Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, Brazz Dance Theater, Aire Dance Company, and Next Step Dance, among others. Continued professional development has included intensive choreographic and transmedia labs with The FIELD, MDC Live Arts/Nora Chipaumire, Creative Capital, and the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier program.
Support for his new site-specific project Grass Stains has included the John and James L. Knight Foundation / Knight Arts Challenge and Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs. Other Pioneer Winter Collective projects have included support from The Miami Foundation, Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs, Creative Capital Professional Development Program, City of Miami Beach Arts Council, Puffin Foundation, Pérez Art Museum Miami (formerly Miami Art Museum), Miami Theater Center, Miami Light Project, and the National LGBTQ Task Force. Winter is the only choreographer to be accepted into the Cannonball Miami/LegalArt 2012-2013 residency program for Miami-based artists. He has been in residency at Miami Dade College, Miami Theater Center’s SandBox, Nova Southeastern University, Broward College, and Jacksonville University. Winter is on the vision committee for the building of the Pembroke Pines Performing Arts and Civic Center, as well as serving as a grants panelist for Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Community Grants.
Pioneer Winter’s projects find their niche in the portability of the messages and how themes discussed maintain significance and identification within the current social climate. Pioneer also works in film; he believes that a multichanneled introduction of medium to the audience fosters greater absorption. This contributes to the community at-large, rather than relying on an already-knowledgeable arts community. More of Pioneer’s work can be viewed here.