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2021 - 2022 Lead Artists

to be like the river

jose e. abad and Stephanie Hewett are the collaborative force behind to be like the river, a bi-annual 10-day convening of 13 Queer,Trans, Black, Indigenous, and POC artists from the Bay Area. This project will take place at Dance Mission’s Dos Rios Retreat Center (in Yuki Territory) about 3 hours north of Yelamu (San Francisco) and will culminate with a public facing “dreaming session” where participating artists get to reflect, dream, and scheme future potentialities and mechanisms of change inspired by the learnings gained during the retreats. 

Headshot of jose abad by Robbie Sweeney

jose e. abad


jose esteban abad is an multidisciplinary choreographer, DJ, and curator based in unceded Ramaytush Ohlone Territory (San Francisco, CA). Born in Olongapo City, Philippines to a Filipina Mother and an Afro-Carribean U.S. Naval Soldier, their work explores the complexities of cultural identity at the crossroads of gender, sexuality, class, and race.  Rooted in collaboration and improvisation as tools of resistance and liberation, abad’s work centers QTBIPOC experimental collective process-based practices of becoming and re-membering. They highlight the most intelligent technologies that exist in this world - our bodies, ancestral wisdom, and nature. 

Photo by Robbie Sweeney

Headshot of Stephanie Hewitt by Amina El Kabbany



Stephanie Hewett (she/they) is an interdisciplinary artist working within the mediums of movement and sound. She experiments with different sonic frequencies to uncover ancestral vestiges in the body. Hewett DJ's and produces electronic music under the moniker, Madre Guía. She holds an MFA in Dance and remains curious about shaping creative resistance to oppressive forces by tapping into spiritual, physical, and sonic defense.

Photo by Amina El Kabbany

Header image of "to be like the river" retreat, by Maya Nixon

Group photo of Our Work/Our Dignity

Our Work / Our Dignity

For Our Work / Our Dignity, Andreina will direct a full-length theatrical production with members of The Women’s Collective and Day Labor Program of San Francisco (WC/DLP), a worker-led coop whose mission is to unite, organize and empower low wage workers. The process towards a final performance includes workshops on writing songs, dancing, and acting together, all realized through a popular education model. The final performance will highlight the lived experiences of these workers, their resilience, victories, and passion for justice and a better future. The project will highlight worker testimonies, film, relevant professional collaborations in music and dance, ecofeminism, and a political education component that will leave the audience inspired to advocate for this essential worker community. 



Andreína Maldonado is a Venezuelan performing artist, cultural worker and social justice advocate based in Yelamu, Ohlone territory colonially known as San Francisco, California. She is formally trained in traditional dances from the African diaspora in Venezuela, and West African dance, and most recently in modern/contemporary movement forms. Her first love, however, is music, having played the clarinet since she was 7 years old, Andreina uses her voice, the Venezuelan 4-string guitar “Cuatro” and the clarinet to write original songs and collaborate with other artists. Her artistic work centers on spirituality, the cosmos, nature, migration, and social justice issues such as labor rights for immigrant workers. Andreína teaches free yoga, dance and meditation classes every week, and performs regularly at community events.

Headshot of Andreina Maldonado by Cynthina Valeska

Photo by Cynthia Valeska

Header image of La Colectiva de Mujeres, courtesy of Andreína Maldonado

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