top of page









WOMEN 2021

Photography by Lila Streicher


Lauren Edson is a dancer, choreographer, educator and filmmaker, whose on-stage works have been presented across the United States. Edson is the founding artistic director of LED, a multimedia performing arts company based in Boise, Idaho, and recently named by Dance Magazine as “25 to watch” in 2020. The company has been described as a “feat of pyrotechnics” by the Seattle Times and since its inception, has been at the forefront of artistic innovation.

She currently resides in Boise with her husband and longtime collaborator, Andrew Stensaas and their two boys; FInn and Liam.

Lauren's funds will be used to build her portfolio as a filmmaker, and incorporate cinematic visuals into LED's 2022 season. 


Luma Jasim is an Iraqi-born artist. She performs, paints, sculpts, creates stop-motion animation, and uses dance, storytelling, and other media to pursue her artistic vision. She left her country in 2006 to work in Instanbul, Turkey. She immigrated to the US in 2008 as a refugee with her family. Her education includes MA in Graphic Design from The University of Baghdad, Academy of Fine Arts, BFA in Visual Arts from BSU, 2013, MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, NY, 2017.  Luma received the Juror merit award for the 2020 Idaho Triennial, Boise Art Museum. She recently completed two solo exhibitions in Telluride, Colorado, and Boise, Idaho. 

Luma's funds will be used to create a short documentary to chronicle her journey from Iraq following the United States invasion in 2003.  

How would you describe your art? What inspires you?

LAUREN: I’m compelled to tell stories and use the human body to reflect the perfectly imperfect world we live in and the essential and profound nature of being alive. I believe that movement is our most archetypal language; it reveals what it means to be human, empathetically connects us to one another and within it exists all the beauty and tragedy of being alive. 

LUMA: My art is a reconstruction of my thoughts and my memories. My multimedia work explores the relationship between violence and politics, gender and emotional memory. I often reconstruct my memories, traumas, and thoughts on displacement, belonging, and strangeness in various mediums, including stop-motion animation, mixed media painting, performance art, and video. In other words, I use the personal to address the political. As immigrants, we carry with us history, and we want to keep some values, but we also have to be part of the present and accept and adopt new values. 

How do you plan to spend your fellowship funds over the next year?

LAUREN: I have traditionally used stage and live dance performance as the vehicle for my creations. However, I see that my continued growth as an artist is embedded in film. With the funds from the fellowship I plan to immerse myself in the practice of filmmaking. Within this medium there are infinite possibilities as it relates to movement. How can kinetic, bombastic physicality provide a window into someone’s past and provide insight into what our own physical body is capable of?

LUMA: I think of this project not only as a documentary; it is a multi-media art piece taking the form of a documentary short. The award will allow me to have more time dedicated to the project. My family members will be part of this project (parents, one sister, and four brothers). I am excited about the possibility of collaborating with professional filmmakers. 

What does the Alexa Rose Fellowship mean to you personally? What opportunities, challenges, or possibilities will this inspire? 

LAUREN: It’s difficult to fully articulate what the Alexa Rose Fellowship means to me personally, because the impact of it is beyond words and the breadth of its impact is incomprehensible. I’m incredibly grateful to be supported in this way, especially at this point in my career. It gives credence to my desire to expand my creative practices in meaningful and essential ways to my artistic evolution and gives me the time and resources to fully invest in this part of me.

LUMA: This fellowship will allow me to synthesize the vision I have pursued for the last twelve years through the mediums of painting, animation, sculpture, printmaking, performance, and mixed media showing glimpses of a larger story. This opportunity will allow me to bring these forms together through film and storytelling to reach a larger audience and share what I have witnessed of the effects of politics and U.S. foreign policy.  

What advice do you have for young artists in your field?

LAUREN: Any advice I would give to a young person in my field, I try to give to myself everyday. Because it doesn’t really get any easier, in fact sometimes it feels like making art gets increasingly difficult and fraught with more self-doubt and anxiety. It’s hard to know if what you’re making as an artist truly resonates with anyone, to know if you’re on the right track. Occasionally you’ll get a beautiful gift like this Fellowship. In those moments, you lift your head up from the work and it will feel so good. But those occasions can feel few and far between in the grand picture of your creative lifetime. There has to be a more profound reason to create, outside of outward recognition, positive feedback or critical acclaim. Hone in on why you’re making things in the first place. What do you desperately need and have to say? Be honest with yourself. Make things over and over and over again. Lean into failure.

Again, these mantras might be more for me than any young person.

LUMA: Unfortunately, the reward in art doesn't come easily; therefore, I think young artists need to be patient and trust their talent to keep creating and building strong work, which will eventually lead to success.








2020: Seeing Double

"The Alexa Rose Foundation was founded in 2014, and has since adopted the mantra “Uplifting the Artistic Community”.  As often happens when giving, this has become a two-way street.  We at the Foundation are uplifting the artists in our community, and they in turn are uplifting me and those with whom I work.  To read each artist's letters of recommendation outlining their accomplishments, aspirations, and personal qualities was breathtaking.  These thoughtful letters were expressions of deep caring and admiration by the artist’s nominators and others.  They evolved from relationships lasting years and often decades.  Our interviews with finalists allowed us a look beyond each person’s art: when and how did their art first express itself, what has been their journey, what do they care about now, and what makes them go?  And, they all go at full speed.  It was impossible to choose a single Fellow, so we chose two."

-Ken Howell, Founder

After reviewing 48 nominees from across the Treasure Valley, The Foundation is proud to announce that it has selected TWO artists for its inaugural $25,000 fellowship. 


Both Fellows are established artists, nominated by their peers and celebrated by their community. In tandem with its annual grant cycle, The Foundation strives to elevate Idaho artists through access to education, opportunity and project funding in all shapes and sizes. 


Buffie Main has been directing theater for nearly three decades.  Over the last 12 years as Alley Repertory Theater’s Artistic Director, Buffie has become known for bold, risk taking theater that creates conversation and community. As a director she believes that giving artists the space to be themselves and find joy is the fairy dust for creating meaningful theater. Some of Buffie’s directing credits include La Cage Aux Folles, Indecent, The Cake, Rapture Blister Burn, In the next Room OR the Vibrator Pay, and Love Person.  


Buffie is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab in New York City, and Toronto, an elite group of international professional directors and scholars who study and create collaboratively worldwide.  Buffie also holds a BFA in Theater from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and an MPA from the University of South Dakota.  Buffie loves creating theater where actors can be courageous, the work can be fearless, the show invites the audience into the conversation and creates connection for everyone. 

Buffie's funds will be used for education, networking and program development to further her work as Alley Repertory's Artistic Director. 


Brett Perry is a multi-dimensional artist who believes deeply in the transcendent power of the arts. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Brett discovered the world of dance at the age of 4 and has shared his love of the form with audiences around the world. Brett graduated with a BFA from The Juilliard School in 2008 and quickly moved to Boise, ID to begin his professional career with the highly celebrated Trey McIntyre Project. During the six years of the companies presence, Brett received the prestigious Princess Grace Award for Dance in 2010 and toured throughout Asia as a Cultural Ambassador to the United States. Although the company spent many weeks on the road, Brett, quickly began cultivating dynamic relationships in Boise that continue to shape his life today. He is currently a freelance dancer working with local Boise companies LED and Ballet Idaho and national choreographers such as Aszure Barton, Lar Lubovitch and Adam Weinert.


When Brett is not in the studio or on stage you can find him working in the gardens and cultivating the land at Meadowlark Farm in Nampa, Idaho. Brett met farmer, food activist and now mentor Janie Burns during a TMP photoshoot at Meadowlark back in 2009 where his curiosity of farming sparked. Now, along with continuing to master the art of dance, farming is a major factor and will continue to shape his life for many years to come. 

Brett’s funds will be used to establish a dancer residency and performance space at Meadowlark Farms, intended to share stories through curated food and movement practices. 

Video Portrait:

bottom of page