Pioneers Go East Collective

About Pioneers Go East Collective

Mission

Pioneers Go East Collective (the collective) empowers LGBTQ and feminist artists who explore stories of vulnerability and courage. Built on the principles of inclusion, justice, and visibility, the collective creates a lively exchange of queer art and culture.

Pioneers Go East Collective (the collective) examines LGBTQ stories of vulnerability and courage combined with popular culture to facilitate communal meaning and advocate for cultural integrity. Since 2015 the collective is led by Latinx artists and LGBTQ advocates Daniel Diaz (featured choreographer at MoMA PS1, Brooklyn Museum), two-times Bessie recipient Philip Treviño (site-specific design; designed at BAM, The Kitchen, Jacob’s Pillow), and Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte (writer/video-maker; NYSCA Individual Artist 2019, and Opera America Award recipient). In residence at La MaMa ETC and Judson Church, the collective explores contemporary performance and multimedia storytelling to portray same-gender-loving experiences, memory, and marginalization, that resonate with contemporary lives. 

The Collective’s generative process has been inspired by Walt Whitman’s evocative poem “Pioneers! O Pioneers!” that pays homage to the pioneers that with fearless courage, ventured to find a brighter future for their community. Similarly, the collective is comprised of radical and risk-taking artists who uncover stories, which reflect individual strength, queer pride, to advocate for the LGBTQ community.

 

History

The Collective has been widely presented in NYC over the past 6 years at La MaMa ETC, Judson Church, Chez Bushwick, Center for Performance Research, Movement Research, St Ann’s Warehouse, Governors Island as part of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process Space Residency, The Silent Barn, Astor Alive Festival, Incubator Arts Project/ Ontological Hysterical, Triskelion Arts, The Exponential Festival, Dixon Place, Performance Mix /New Dance Alliance, Chashama Harlem Gallery, Goethe Institut Gallery, Estrogenius Festival, and Salon Radio Live Theatre series Hosted by International Women Artists' Salon On City World Radio Network.

The collective’s recent collaborations in New York City include Virgo Star addressing Cowboy iconography and toxic masculinity in a site-specific environment, presented at Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance and at La MaMa (2019) which received a New York Magazine’s Bedford + Bowery Performance Pick; CowboysCowgirls performance in an activated environment which featured the story of the downtown icon and drag performance artist Agosto Machado, and was presented in New York City at JACK, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, and in Toronto at Rhubarb Festival, and hailed by CULTUREBOT “a strong gesture about collective queer yearning on a deeply microscopic, personal level”; Gemini Stars/ Scorpio a performance and video-interview project addressing LGBTQ social media entries about coming out stories, presented at La MaMa and Exponential Festival (2017), hailed by Eva Yaa Asantewaa/ InfiniteBody as “with poignancy enhanced by spirited presentation”; and Hildegard (Vision) addressing Hildegard Von Bingen’s same-sex love, presented at Governors Island/ Process Space Residency and St. Ann’s Warehouse (2015) which received a Time Out New York Critics’ Pick; S16 at La MaMa (2013)  hailed by Backstage as “knocking down the walls between expressive genres and amalgamating video and performance into an adrenalizing experience.”

The collective has received the following awards: NYSCA (2017, and multiyear 2018/19 and 2020/22); Puffin Foundation grants (2012, ‘14, and ’16, “19 ); Contemporary Arts Foundation (2019), LMCC grants (2011 to 2015 & 2017, 2018); A.R.T./ New York Creative Space (2016); A.R.T./ New York Nancy Quinn (2014 and ’15, ‘18 & ‘19); New Vic LabWorks Artists Associates (2015-16); St. Ann’s/ Puppet Lab Residency (2013-14); and Opera America Award for direction and design (2011). www.pioneersgoeast.org

More Information

New York, NY 10003
gianmarcoloforte@gmail.com

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