Pieter joyously announces the two awardees of the 2019 Pieter Dancemakers Grant: Ana Maria Alvarez and Stacy Dawson Stearns!

Three panelists, Monique Jenkinson, Marýa Wethers, and Sara Wookey, each woman-identifying dance artists over 40 living outside of Southern California, read 36 impactful applications from an outstanding array of woman-identifying dancemakers from Los Angeles to Ventura to Riverside Counties.


The Pieter’s Dancemakers Grant grant aims to subvert the discriminatory hierarchical pyramid model of dance in America.
The grant stands opposed to the prevailing values of the patriarchy, where women are frequently socialized to take supporting or submissive roles in their respective fields, to feel ashamed of their bodies, and experience further marginalization as they age. Giving woman-identifying choreographers over 40 visibility, credit, and support, the grant serves as an antidote to the many institutions and foundations in dance that continue to allocate resources and power to more men than women, whether they be choreographers, presenters, curators, or funders.

Two grants, each $7000, will be awarded in addition to 50 hours of studio time at Pieter. Recipients will select a three-month period – between September 2019 and September 2020 – to use the allotted 50 hours of studio space. Along with their studio time at Pieter, it is required that grantees organize one public engagement with their work, in the form of a showing, a workshop, or an artist talk.


ANA MARIA ALVAREZ is dancer, choreographer and teaching artist who has achieved multiple accolades for her works. Alvarez received a BA in Dance and Politics from Oberlin College and a MFA in Choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. There her thesis work explored the abstraction of “Latin Dance”, specifically Salsa, as a way to express social resistance within the US immigration battle and became the impetus for founding CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater in 2005. Alvarez is a two time grantee of NEFA National Dance Project (2014, 2016), seven time grantee of National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, five time grantee of the Center for Creative Innovation and recent recipient of the DanceUSA Fellowship.
Alvarez was honored to be selected as the 2018 BiNational Artist in Residence, connecting cultural communities in the Sonoran Desert (Phoenix (US), Douglas (US), Tucson (US) and Agua Prieta (MX). Alvarez worked with artists, cultural workers, and students, leading artistic workshops, collaborative performances, and public talks, concluding with a performance at the U.S.-Mexico border. Alvarez is in the middle of a two year residency at the Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI, called Dreamscapes: Connecting Communities. There she will create a large scale public dance work with members of the Sheboygan community, to premiere in August 2020.

Alvarez lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children (ages 8 & 3). For more information about her work visit

Life these days has been moving at such a rapid pace, I’m looking forward to this opportunity as a place to breathe and begin investigating my own maturing movement practice. Now that my second son just reached 3 I feel that infant fog lifting and am thrilled to get back into my body, while also beginning physical exploration and play with other mother artists and moving mothers. I have been in a role of choreographer/director more these days and I’m interested to delve into a new work that I’m inside of, and would also love to use the space to explore hip movements with my company as a space for liberation – these two ideas feel potentially connected.

Photo credit: Kestrel Leah Photography, photo of Stacy in NEMETON organized by Jennie MaryTai Liu with Alana Reibstein

STACY DAWSON STEARNS is a Bessie Award winning (2000) interdisciplinary performer and director, known for her original works as well as her collaborative work with Big Dance Theater, David Neumann, Hal Hartley, Ken Nintzel, and Blacklips Performance Cult. Over the past 23 years, she has performed in 9 countries and in numerous domestic festivals and venues including Jacob’s Pillow, American Dance Festival, Spoleto USA, Walker Art Center, The Whitney, The Ontological- Hysteric Theater, Classic Stage Company, HERE, Town Hall, City Center, Lincoln Center, Dance Theater Workshop, PS 122, MassMoCA, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, The Performing Garage, Mother, and REDCAT. Grants/Residencies include: Three-legged Race in Minneapolis, MassMOCA, and CHIME (Choreographers in Mentorship and Exchange). Commercially, Stacy has choreographed for pop icons Debbie Harry, Ann Magnusen, and the House of Jackie. Film credits include: No Such Thing, Wigstock: the Movie!, and academy award-winner filmmaker Jonathan Demme’s recent performance film of Big Dance Theater’s Another Telepathic Thing.

Stacy is on faculty in the Department of Theater and Dance at CalState LA and CalPoly Pomona. She was on faculty at the Calarts School of Theater in the MFA and BFA programs from 2003-2017, and has also taught at New York University, Marymount Manhattan College, and The George Washington University. Stacy’s writings on performance have been published in Native Strategies, Itch Dance Journal, The 53rd State Press Occasional, and the book version of Another Telepathic Thing (pub. The 53rd State Press).

I plan to use the resources of the Pieter Dancemakers Grant to support my practice as a solo and collaborative maker. The funds will help support the development of long-term, sustainable art projects as well as short-term collaborations. After 20+ years as an artist and educator, I am choosing to prioritize my artwork over my teaching practices. My creative goal during this time is to face what is wild, chaotic, and intimidating within my creative bodymind. I will share my work with the Pieter community through several open rehearsals throughout the year.


MONIQUE JENKINSON (and her drag queen alter-ego Fauxnique) makes performances that exist at the intersection of Cabaret and Contemporary Dance, touring nationally and internationally in wide-ranging contexts from nightclubs to theaters to museums. She made herstory as the first cis-woman to win a major drag (queen) pageant and is writing a drag memoir.

MARÝA WETHERS is a Bessie Award winning performer (Outstanding Performance with Skeleton Architecture, 2017) based in NYC since 1997. As a Curator she conceived and created the three-week performance series “Gathering Place: Black Queer Land(ing)” at Gibney Dance and curated for Queer NY International Arts Festival (2016 & 2015) and Out of Space @ BRIC Studio series for Danspace Project (2003-2007). She is also an Independent Creative Producer working with Movement Research, jumatatu m. poe, Edisa Weeks/DELIRIOUS Dances, mayfield brooks/Improvising While Black, and Daria Faïn.

SARA WOOKEY is an international dance artist, activist, and public speaker specialising in dance and the museum. Her work has been engaged at the Hammer, REDCAT, Tate and as part of the collection at the Van Abbemuseum. She is a certified transmitter of Yvonne Rainer’s repertoire and affiliate of Tate Modern and the Centre for Dance Research.