grass stains

 A site work by Grass Stains mentor Stephan Koplowitz.

A site work by Grass Stains mentor Stephan Koplowitz.

Something magical happens when you take artists out of the performance halls and into people’s everyday lives. The artists become not just in, but of the community, and push people to think differently about our city.
— Victoria Rogers, Vice President for Arts at Knight Foundation


Grass Stains is a site-specific initiative created by the Pioneer Winter Collective and supported by the John and James L. Knight Foundation and the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Grass Stains cares about pairing mentorship with creative process in order to perpetuate site-specific, site-adaptive, and public art works outside the boundaries of a traditional commission. Beyond the culminating performances, we care about facilitating a full experience that focuses on and invests in re/developing site-based choreographic practice.

Skip to 2018 project pages

Coming October-December 2018.

skip to 2016 project pages

mira el mar
by marissa alma nick
september 2016

by jenny larsson
october 2016

by Niurca Márquez
October 2016

by ana mendez
December 2016

artist mentor

stephan koplowitz

Stephan Koplowitz is an award winning director/choreographer/media artist known for his work on stage, film, and site. His site work aims to alter people’s perspectives of place, site, and scale - all infused with a sense of the human condition and is concerned with the intersection of natural, social and cultural ecologies within urban and natural environments. Since 1984, he has created 87 works and has been awarded 60 commissions performed in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is the recipient of an Alpert Award in the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Bessie Award for “Sustained Achievement” in Choreography, six NEA Choreography Fellowships (1988-97), and two distinguished alumni awards from his alma maters Wesleyan University (BA Music Composition) and the University of Utah (MFA Choreography). Recent works have premiered in San Diego, Spoleto, Italy and Columbus, Ohio. In December, 2016, he worked as co-director of Diavolo Dance’s Veterans Project featuring military veteran performers and members of the Diavolo Company. In the summer of 2017, he will premiere Occupy (a site-specific journey through an urban garden) commissioned by the mixed ability AXIS Dance Company for the Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco. In August, a large scale media/performance installation for the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine will premiere. In May 2018, he will premiere one of his largest site-based projects to date, an immersive performance event throughout the town of Northfield, Minnesota, commissioned by St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges. The work will incorporate artists from the College and greater Northfield community in dance, theater, music, and media/visual arts. Koplowitz is a contributor to the first book published on site-specific choreography, Site Dance, published by Florida University Press. After living in New York City for 23 years, he was appointed dean and faculty of Dance at the California Institute of the Arts (Los Angeles) and served in that capacity for ten years (2006-2016). His online course, “Creating Site-Specific Dance and Performance Works” launched in September 2013, was the first dance-related course on Coursera and the MOOC platform, and was re-launched 2014-16. Over 20,000 people from 151 countries have registered for this course. To see examples of his site-specific and media works, visit: and

Production manager and accessibility coordinator

hector machado


Hector Machado is a survivor and an artist, born and raised in Miami. His love affair with the stage began at a young age and continues today. After earning a BA in Theater from Florida A&M University, Machado completed an MFA in Theater with a specialization in Production Stage Management from California Institute of the Arts. Hector Machado's Stage Management credits include world premieres of Bob Cucuzza’s Cattywampus at Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT);  Cucuzza’s Mother Tongue at Son of Semele Ensemble; Marissa Chibas’ Siete Cuentos at Plaza de la Raza; as well as Will Greer Theatricum Botanicum. His Production Management credits include National Black Arts Festival at the Woodruff Arts Center; Florida Legislatative Conference at the Tallahassee Civic Center; Irene C. Edmonds Youth Theater Camp (I.C.E. Camp) at Florida A&M University Essential Theatre, and Menstrual Show at the CalArts Coffee House Theater. He is an inaugural fellow of the Maven Leadership Collective, an institute for queer and trans people of color and their allies that radically redefines leadership through the spaces they occupy and the impact they have. Hector joined Pioneer Winter Collective in 2017, as both performer and production manager/accessibility consultant.

2018 artist projects

Click the project image to be taken to a separate project page with more information, photos, and video documentation. coming soon.

2016 inaugural artist projects

click the project image to be taken to a separate project page with more information, photos, and video documentation.

2018 Artists

Artists commissioned for project development

  • Liony Garcia
  • Sandra Portal-Andreu
  • 7 to the 7th in association with Ana Sanchez-Colberg and Theatre enCorps

Artists invited for Local Residency

  • Liony Garcia
  • Sandra Portal-Andreu
  • Alexandra Lucia Vidich
  • Brigette Cormier
  • Juraj Kojs
  • Charo Oquet
  • Claudio Marcotulli
  • Katie Stirman
  • Ivonne Batanero
  • Jenna Balfe
  • Samantha Pazos
  • Katie Brennan
  • Rosee Camafreita

2016 inaugural artists

artists commissioned for project development

  • Ana Mendez
  • Niurca Márquez
  • Jenny Larsson
  • Marissa Alma Nick

artists invited for local residency 

  • Ana Mendez
  • Niurca Márquez
  • Jenny Larsson
  • Marissa Alma Nick
  • Agustina Woodgate
  • Monica Lopez de Victoria
  • Hattie Mae Williams

artist opportunities

The application for the second season of Grass Stains 2018 is now closed. The submission portal was open September 4, 2017 until November 17, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST. The selection panel convened November 27, 2017, and all applicants have been notified.


preview - artburst - pioneer winter collective's grass stains returns with new choreographers and public sites

preview - miamiartzine - grass stains finds its choreographers: program meant to inspire dance in unexpected places

review - miami rail - transplants

preview - artburst - ana mendez at the kampong

preview - miamiartzine - transplants blooms at the kampong: final performance of pioneer winter collective's grass stains 

review - miami rail - marissa alma nick's mira el mar

preview - miami herald - dancing through king tides and sea level rise

preview - artburst - mira el mar: a look to miami's future


feature - miami herald - transforming the miami landscape one dance at a time

feature - knight arts blog - How Grass stains grants foster diversity in south florida art world

feature - miami new times - Pioneer Winter Unveils Latest Site-Specific Initiative With Agustina Woodgate and Hattie Mae Williams


feature - miamiartzine - grass stains puts artists in the field


Feature - knight arts blog - pioneer winter and grass stains set to transform miami's cultural landscape