College Alum wins 2014 South Florida Knight Arts Challenge Grant

pw2Pioneer Winter, an alum of our college, was awarded a $20,000 grant in the 2014 South Florida Knight Arts Challenge, to create site-specific works in nontraditional spaces. Winter graduated with a Master of Public Health degree from our college, and has since been involved in many community initiatives leading up to his recognition by the prestigious John and James L. Knight Foundation.


From the Miami Herald:

“Now in its seventh year, the Knight Arts Challenge encourages groups large and small to submit arts-related ideas that benefit or take place in South Florida. The Knight funding commitment must be matched by outside funds.

To compete for the challenge, major initiatives and grass-roots groups submitted a short paragraph answering the question, “What’s your best idea for the arts?” Most of this year’s winners were small arts organizations, collectives and individual artists with ideas including an artist-in-residency program at Stiltsville, setting traditional Indian dance to the rhythms of Afro-Cuban poetry and a rover busker festival. About 1,200 ideas were submitted, Scholl said. Over the program’s seven-year span, 8,900 ideas have been submitted in South Florida, with 241 chosen for a total of $25 million in funding. About 95 percent have raised the matching funds needed to progress. The Foundation has contributed close to $100 million total for the arts over the past seven years, with projects including the Wallcasts at the New World Symphony and school visits at the Pérez Art Museum Miami.”


About Pioneer Winter

Pioneer Winter is a Miami-native choreographer, dancer, and filmmaker 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 Project LEAP (Living Equality through Arts and Performance), a free dance and creative communication program for LGBTQ teens 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 . Pioneer Winter is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from Jacksonville University/White Oak. He was awarded the 2014-2015 Miami Choreographer’s Fellowship.

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, Knight Foundation 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 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 as 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 work has included the Puffin Foundation, Miami Foundation, Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs, Miami Beach Arts Trust, Creative Capital Professional Development Program, City of Miami Beach Arts Council, Miami Art Museum, Miami Theater Center, Miami Light Project, and Tigertail Productions. 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, and Nova Southeastern 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. He is on the faculty of the FIU Honors College.

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.

Author: William-Jose Velez

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