Black Futures Artist in Residence Program
Zaccho Dance Theatre’s Black Futures Artist in Residence Program is open to diverse voices, emerging and established, called to express the Black experience through an arts practice that inspires dialogue and builds community. Our goal is to support artists at all points of their process and to give them an opportunity to conduct in depth research without the pressure of presenting a completed work by the end of the residency.

The Black Futures Artist in Residence Program is funded by the City of San Francisco’s Dream Keeper Initiative.

NEW: 2022-2023 Black Futures Artists - Round 2

Zaccho Dance Theatre is thrilled to announce the 2nd Round of Black Futures residencies awarded to four outstanding San Francisco and Bay Area performing artists. The Black Futures Artists in Residence Program offers a monetary stipend, free studio space, production and marketing support, mentorship, and community engagement opportunities. Performing artists in the fields of dance, theater and music are recognized at all stages of their careers.
2022-23 Black Futures Artists - Round 2

Antoine Hunter
Instagram: @thegreatdancerah
Twitter: @thegreatdancer

Oakland native, Antoine Hunter aka Purple Fire Crow is an award-winning and internationally known African-American, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, producer, and Deaf advocate. He creates opportunities for Disabled, Deaf, and hearing artists, produces Deaf-friendly events, and founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company in 2007 and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2013. Awards have included the 2021 Dance Teacher Award, 2019 National Dance/USA fellowship recognized by the Mayor of Oakland, 2018 inaugural Jeanette Lomujo Bremond Humanity Arts Award, and 2017 Isadora Duncan (Izzie) for BAIDDF.
Toni Jean Cannon
Instagram: @Acrocannon

Toni Jean Cannon is a black trans masculine person who has dedicated his body to performing circus arts, using the Chinese pole act as one of his instruments in reconciling his gender identity. Toni started his circus career later in life; however, this hasn’t stopped him from diving deep into his new found love and passion — consistently finding new ways to express himself through acrobatics. The first years of his career were spent with Master Lu Yi learning disciplines like acrobatics, duo’s / trio’s acrobatics, and Chinese pole. Performances have included Aerial Animations, Topsy Turvy Circus, This is Acrosanct, Witchtech, Circus Bella, and the San Francisco Aerial Arts Festival.
Susana Arenas Pedroso
Facebook: @ArenasDanceCompany

Susana Arenas Pedroso is an internationally recognized AfroCuban folkloric and popular dancer. Born in Havana, Cuba, Pedroso began her career in dance at age twelve at La Casa de Cultura de Matanzas. She danced professionally for 17 years in Cuba with popular, folkloric, and theatrical performing groups, including Havana’s famed Raíces Profundas. Since her arrival in the United States in 1998, Pedroso has performed and choreographed works that have been exhibited throughout the USA, Mexico, Cuba, and Hong Kong, including with Richard O'Neal’s Jarocho, a work that looked at Mexico’s African roots. Pedroso formed Arenas Dance Company in 2004 to preserve and promote culturally-rooted, ever evolving folkloric and popular (i.e. social) Cuban dance traditions, while also embracing creative innovation and hybridity.
Dazaun Alvin Soleyn
Instagram: @dazaun_s

Dazaun Soleyn is the Artistic Director of He graduated as the University of South Florida’s Outstanding Graduate with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance and Choreography. Upon graduation, Dazaun was accepted as a Trainee at the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program (LBTP). With an intention to create holistic art that aims to illuminate the dynamic fullness of the human experience, Dazaun has been actively presenting work in the Bay Area since Fall 2014. His teaching credits include the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program, University of South Florida, Cal State University East Bay, Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program, Dance Mission Theater, and ODC Commons.
Black Futures Community Events
Black Futures Artist: Martin Luther McCoy
Event: Saturday AM Wake-Up: An Artist Talk With Martin Luther McCoy
Venue: Cafe Alma, 888 Innes Ave, San Francisco
Date & Time: September 17, 2022
Facebook RSVP Requested; FREE

More Information:

Join us for a unique look into the artistry of Black Futures resident artist Martin Luther as he performs and speaks about his influences and their impact on his new works and shares post pandemic strategies to KEEP THE MUSIC COMING.
Artist Website:

Black Futures Artist: amara tabor-smith
Event: House/Full of Blackwomen
Venue: Bayview Opera House, 4705 3rd St, San Francisco
Date & Time: October 1, 2022 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
No RSVP Required; FREE

More Information:

Join Black Futures artist amara tabor-smith for a special presentation of House/Full of Blackwomen’s Episode 15: Stirring the Memory of our BONES: A Ritual Session towards Black Homefullness and Belonging in the Bay Area and BEYOND.

This dance/spoken word/story circle gathering will bring us together to reflect on our past as a way towards our collective future NOW. Come join us in an act of re/membering. House/Full of Blackwomen invites you to an open process prior to our culminating Oakland episode: "this too shall pass" in March 2023.

Black Futures Artist: jose e. abad
Event: RUPTURE work-in-progress event
Venue: Zaccho Studio, 1777 Yosemite Ave, San Francisco
Date & Time: September 11, 2022 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
RSVP Requested; FREE

More Information:

RUPTURE is a Bay Area-based party of resistance, revelry, and tactical rest. Instigated by five BlaQ waymakers jose e. abad, Styles Alexander, Gabriele Christian, Clarissa Dyas, and Stephanie Hewett; RUPTURE positions the improvisatory nature of Black life, experimentation, and movement as techniques for future crafting.

Join us on Sunday, September 11th at 6:00 PM in transmuting space, crossing trajectories, kicking back over spades*, and a free work-in-progress performance and function featuring DJ sets by Madre Guía and Ori Diwata.
2022 Black Futures Artists - Round 1

jose esteban abad
Instagram: @ori.diwata
Facebook: @jabad720

jose esteban abad (they/them) is a 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 Officer, their work explores the complexities of cultural identity at the crossroads of gender, sexuality, class, and race in the United States. Through dance theater, surrealist video, and sonic experimentation, their work unearths lost histories that reside in the body, that the mind has forgotten, and dominant culture has erased.

Their choreography is rooted in collaboration and improvisation as tools of resistance and liberation. Their work centers QTBIPOC experimental collective process-based practices of becoming and re-membering, ushering a metamorphosis through emergent performances that listen to the most intelligent technologies that exist in this world - our bodies, ancestral wisdom, and nature.

They are a cofounder and core member of several QTBIPOC centered dance and performance projects that promote healing, community networking, and leadership capacity building including Lxs Dxs, the Hive, to be like the river residency, and SCHEME. They have also held residencies and produced work with organizations including CounterPulse, the Joe Goode Annex, Paul Dresher Studio, Highways Performance Space and Hope Mohr Dance.

abad has performed and taught nationally and internationally in the Philippines, Mexico, Canada, and Europe, and has collaborated with established choreographers, including Anne Bluethenthal, Alleluia Panis, Joanna Haigood, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Keith Hennessey, Sara Shelton Mann, Brontez Purnell, BANDALOOP, Erika Chong Shuch, Sherwood Chen, and many others. Through this legacy abad is committed to continuing the Bay Area’s tradition of radically queer, experimental, politically engaged dance.
Tossie Long
Instagram: @tossielong

San Francisco native with the incarnations of Mississippi, Tossie (she/her) is named after her father, fathers father, fathers father father, making her the first woman in her lineage with the name. She is a mother, multidisciplinary performing artist, sound sculptress, facilitator, producer and director that speaks to the intersections of culture, personal identity and sociopolitical issues. Nicknamed "Bone Rattler '' Tossie uses art, culture, and explorations in intimacy as her tools to rattle actuality. A practitioner of ceremonial music from around the world with a focus on diasporic cosmology, Tossie has voyaged to Haiti, Cuba and Benin tracing the migration of Vodou studying the culture through music. Tossie is currently excavating the inner workings of her mind via her multi-part project ‘Red Clay: A Romance Primer: The Preservation of Landmarks: Body, Architecture and Desire’ interpreted through sound, film, stage and movement. The last Black woman of San Francisco; Tossie is a connoisseur of Brussel Sprouts, loves heavy weightlifting and dirty chais all wrapped up by nature walks with her French bulldog Charlie. Tossie does not perform for the sake of performing, but to push her perceived limits.
Martin Luther McCoy
Twitter: @martianluther
Facebook/Instagram/Spotify: @martinluthermccoy

Martin Luther (he/him) refuses to confine himself to any one creative pursuit. An ambassador for hip hop soul and current SFJazz Collective member, he continues to serve as a conduit for black funk and rock music. On the cusp of releasing his fourth full length studio album, a self-titled LP of original material, Luther, having always been a fan of the musical styles of Marvin Gaye, has dedicated a suite of songs for the commemoration of the release of Marvin’s most popular album, ‘What’s Going On’. Luther invites listeners to 'enjoy this funky ride.’ Feb 1, 2022 where he will perform at Yoshi's Oakland. It's a trip worth taking, fueled by old school, power-to-the-peeps politics and more soul than a Sunday revival meeting.
—San Francisco Chronicle

In some circles Martin Luther is best known for his work with the seminal hip hop collective The Roots. Many others discovered him through his incendiary performance starring in Julie Taymor’s 2007 film Across the Universe. He was cast in the role of Musician, a griot sage, in Yale Repertory Theatre/ American Conservatory Theatre’s production of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3). If there’s one thread connecting all of Martin Luther’s endeavors it’s his grounding in the verdant soil of African-American culture, a soul-steeped presence that leaps off of stages, screens, and bandstands.

As a producer, performer and voice talent, McCoy has been featured in commercials, films and on soundtracks like Across The Universe, Chasing Liberty, Dave Chapelle”s Block Party and most recently as part of the soundtrack to The Oracle by visual artist Sanford Biggers.

Before and throughout the pandemic Martin Luther has continued to record and release music like the sizzling rnb “Now” on his own Rebel Soul Records imprint as well as a number of dance floor thumpers like “Back Tonight” produced by longtime collaborator Miguel Migs. He joined the SFJazz Collective for the 2019/2020 season and being the first vocalist after a 14 year run as an instrumental ensemble, his voice was a great fit for the collective as they tackled the music of Sly and the Family Stone. Martin has agreed to perform and record for the current season and will be touring the new release (Mar 22) throughout the spring and summer. “As artists, our work is often the only weapon we have to help heal old wounds or encourage and inspire the discovery of new joys. I like what we are doing to the music. We pay homage but we definitely make it our own.” Some of the bay area's best musicians will be joining Luther so don’t hesitate to get your tickets when he performs in your area.
amara tabor-smith
Facebook: amara t. smith
Instagram: amarat.smith

amara tabor-smith (she/her) was born in SF, and is based in Oakland, CA. She is a choreographer/performance maker and the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater. She describes her dance and performance making practice as Conjure Art. Her interdisciplinary site-specific and community responsive performance experiences utilize Yoruba Lukumí spiritual technologies to address issues of social and environmental justice, race, gender identity, and belonging. Her work is rooted in Black, queer, Afro futurist/surrealist, and feminist principles, that insist on liberation, joy, home fullness and well-being. In addition to her own work Amara has also performed in the works of artists such as Ed Mock, Joanna Haigood, Ana Deveare Smith, Ronald K. Brown, Julie Tolentino, Adia Tamar Whitaker, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Faustin Linyekula. She is the former associate artistic director and company member with Urban Bush Women, and was the co artistic director of Headmistress, a performance collaboration with Sherwood Chen. She is a 2021 inaugural recipient of the Rainin Fellowship for Artists; a 2020 recipient of the Hewlett 50 grant with East Side Arts Alliance; a 2019 Dance/USA Fellow; a 2018 United States Artist Fellow and a 2018 recipient of KQED’s “Bay Brilliant” award. Her current project, House/Full of Blackwomen in collaboration with director Ellen Sebastian Chang is a site-specific ritual performance project addressing the displacement, well-being and sex trafficking of Black women and girls in Oakland. Rooted in her Oakland community, Amara is a member of the Black Cultural Zone (BCZ) Arts and Culture working group in East Oakland; she is a co-founder of the Oakland Anti-Racist Organizing Committee (OAROC) a collaboration of BIPOC artists, activists and educators that holds space for individuals and organizations to address internalized structural racism, and she is the co-founder of Conjure and Mend, a creative sanctuary for survivors of Sex Trafficking in Oakland in partnership with sex trafficking abolitionist Regina Evans. Amara received her MFA in Dance from Hollins University and is an artist in residence at Stanford University.
What is the Dream Keeper Initiative?
Inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem of the same name, the Dream Keeper Initiative is a new, citywide effort to reinvest $120 million over the next two years from law enforcement into San Francisco’s Black and African American community. This initiative is part of Mayor London N. Breed’s roadmap for reforming public safety and addressing structural inequities in San Francisco.

The Dream Keeper by Langston Hughes

“Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers,
Bring me all of your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.”