2020/21 Space Grant

BAX’s Space Grant Program is designed to give NYC-based dance, theater and performance artists the opportunity to create new work in a setting that is conducive to working deeply and exploring new territory. The 2020/21 Space Grantees are artists who have demonstrated a need for space and time to begin or continue a new or still-forming project.

These grants have, until 2020, been seasonal—fall and summer. This year the space hours granted to artists are not restricted by time and may be used whenever the artist is able and desires to use BAX’s studios, which are currently managed as a lower capacity with health and safety guidelines in place.
The grant now includes the options for virtually presented showcases, mentorship with the Artistic Advisors, and facilitated creative exchange between artists in the 20/21 cohort of grantees.


The 2020/21 Space Grantees are:

Kristel Baldoz
Malcolm-x Betts
lily gold
Olaiya Olayemi
Marla Nicole Robertson
Anh Vo

Kristel Baldoz, with trees and gras sin the background, faces forward in a black windbreaker with dark and light hair falling onto her shoulders and glasses framing her face.

Photo by Savanah Pennell.

Kristel Baldoz is a Filipina-American artist from Delano, California, home to the Table Grape Strike. She was a 2019 EmergeNYC fellow at the Hemispheric Institute and artist-in-residence at the Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation. As a performer, she has worked with Reggie Wilson, Wilmer Wilson IV, and Alex Da Corte. She has project managed for Faustin Linyekula and assisted Anna Deveare Smith. She holds an MA in Arts Politics from New York University. Kristel creates performances as a form of abstract storytelling by merging movement with improvisation, text, and family history. Drawing from experimental and Philippine traditional dances, visual installations, and her family’s personal stories, she aims to uncover generational histories to reveal the deep-seated politics embedded inside individual experiences. Kristel utilizes indictment as an artistic and political practice to voice both the urgency to speak about colonial relations and the exhaustion from continuously speaking and physically navigating them. Indictment becomes a tool and form of subtle and subversive activism in her work.

Malcolm-x Betts looks forward to the viewer, shoulders bare and hair braided, light from his left side gently on his face and shoulder.

Photo courtesy the artist.

Malcolm-x Betts is a New York based curator, visual, and dance artist who believes that art is a transformative vehicle that brings people and communities together. His artistic work is rooted in investigating embodiment for liberation, Black imagination, and directly engaging with challenges placed on the physical body. Betts developed and presented work at La MaMa Umbria International in Spoleto, Italy. La Mama NYC, Gibney Dance Center, Movement Research at Judson Church, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), The Bronx Museum and Dixon Place. Betts showed excerpts of Midnight Glow: Kinfolk at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), Movement Research at Judson Church and Draftworks at Danspace Project. Betts worked on Bronx Speaks with the Bronx Musuem with undocumented immgrants. Performed in works in collaboration with luciana achuga, Jonathan Gonzalez, Snoogybox and Alex Romania. Betts is a 2018 Artist and Resident with Movement Research.

A photo of Lily Gold crouched low on on forrest brush and soil in red shoes and a wide-brimmed hat is cut out and placed atop of small black drawstring bag on top of a wooden background.

Photo by Mary Read and Lily Gold.

Lily Gold is a white, queer, fourth generation New Yorker. She is a choreographer, performer and visual artist, working in modes of movement, sound, painting, sculpture, and installation. Her work has been presented by Danspace Project, First Street Gallery, MoMA/Judson Memorial Church, and Movement Research, among others. She has been an Artist in Residence at Movement Research, AUNTS, ZIL Cultural Center, Snug Harbor, and upcoming at CEC ArtsLink. As a performer she has collaborated with Andrea Geyer, Larissa Velez-Jackson, Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born, Tere O’Connor, Vicky Shick, and Walter Dundervill, among others. Gold is also a grief-worker, listening to an unfolding path of somatic healing through an anti-racist, anti-ableist framework. She is a member of the RFB collective and newly a member of ACRE (Artists Co-Creating Real Equity). Gold holds a BA in dance and photography from Hampshire College.

Lily Gold’s work aims to expose and promote the culturally-marginalized intelligence of our emotional and intuitive selves, parts of us compromised by poisons of racist, patriarchal and capitalist values. It is fueled by knowing there is more to existence than we generally can sustain conscious engagement with, and desire for an embodied conversation around lineage that considers human bloodlines and the soul’s journey. Working to activate our deep connectedness and illuminate the thinness of perceived divisions between us, her work fortifies that unity does not mean likeness, and asks how to experience an immaterial reality amidst the traumas of material worlds?

Olaiya Olayemi, outside in front of a brick building, faces the camera with a slight smile. She is in a dark knit sweater with a pink strap, pink lip stick, orange glasses, and pink braids.

Photo provided courtesy the artist.

olaiya olayemi is a blk/trans/femme/womxn/artist/educator/and activist who centers womxn of the african diaspora in her performative/literary/cinematic/and sonic works of art that explore love/sex/relationships/family/history/memory and radical joy/pleasure. her work is informed by blk/queer/feminist theories/aesthetics/and politics and african indigenous and diasporic spiritual traditions. she has performed at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, JACK, AAA3A, metaDEN, The Wild Project, The Langston Hughes House, Starr Bar, Mayday Space, and Dixon Place. she holds a bachelor of arts in english/creative writing (with a minor in african/black diaspora studies) from depaul university and a master of fine arts in creative writing from emerson college where she was a recipient of the Dean’s Fellowship. she is a 2019-2020 Performance Fellow in Queer Art’s mentorship program. she is also a Fall 2020 Brooklyn Arts Exchange Space Grant recipient. her experimental screenplay was recently advanced to second round consideration for the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab. she currently lives in queens.

Marla Nicole Robertson bends backward in performance, face toward the ceiling, a white brick wall behind her. She is in a light pink gown with a sweetheart neckline with her hair gathered up and back atop her head.

Photo by Clarie J. Saintil, CJ Art and Photography (taken June 2018)

Native Memphian, Marla Nicole Robertson moved to the northeast in 2009 as an Americorps VISTA volunteer in Pittsfield, MA. She holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology with a certificate in Museum Studies from The University of Memphis, as well as, a Master of Science degree in Education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from The City College of New York. Marla is a co-creator and performing artist with Brooklyn based Kriyol Dance! Collective, under the direction of Veroneque Ignace.

Marla moved to New York in the summer of 2018 as a New York City Teaching Fellow. Appearances with Kriyol Dance!, include Lavi Miyo (2016), #Trending (2016), Lakou Nou (2017), Lavi Miyo (2018), and 2019 Movement: Pangaea (2019). Marla has enjoyed a being in-residence with Kriyol Dance! Collective as part of The Protest Garden Project and the Nou Fusion workshop dance series at The Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum. In addition to instructing dance at Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, Marla has also taught at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), Berkshire Dance Theatre and Williams College. Marla served as a mentor and choreographer with the Pittsfield Rites Of Passage and Empowerment (R.O.P.E.) program in collaboration with the Tony Award winning Barrington Stage Company and the Westside Community Arts Project and as a mentor with Barrington Stage Company’s Playwright Mentoring Project.

In addition, Marla worked as a faculty artist for IS 183 The Art School of the Berkshires’ after-school Learning Through Arts program. She has performed with The Bantaba Dance Company of Memphis and Abule Fan Music and Dance of Memphis, the Williams College Kusika Dance Ensemble under the direction of Sandra L. Burton and the Olga Dunn Dance Company of Great Barrington. She has also had the pleasure of working with the Pittsfield Town Players, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, Emily Johnson/Catalyst Dance and Allison Orr/Forklift Danceworks.

Marla plans to use the award to continue research and development with Kriyol Dance! Collective for “Muscle Memories: Revisited.” This project was inspired by an summer opportunity in heritage archeology that encouraged an investigation of memory, gesture and labor performed by early 20th century sharecroppers in Denmark, Tennessee. In continuing to develop this work, Marla hopes to answer the questions: How do we prepare the soil of our minds to do the work of our lives? What are our tools and how are we working to survive and be well?

Anh Vo stands facing forward and looking slightly off into the distance wearing a beige dancer's belt with a mic pack and wire hanging from the belt to their face. Anh's hair falls gently around their face with hands raised to their shoulders. They are in soft pink and colorful light from their left hand side.

Photo Maria Baranova (Fresh Tracks 2019).

Anh Vo is a Vietnamese choreographer, dancer, theorist, and activist. They create dances and produce texts about pornography and queer relations, about being and form, about identity and abstraction, about history and its colonial reality. Currently based in Brooklyn, they earn their degrees in Performance Studies from Brown University (BA) and New York University (MA). As a choreographer, they’ve created three evening-length performances, which are presented by Target Margin Theater (upcoming self-production), Brown University, and Production Workshop. Their artistic process has received support from Brooklyn Arts Council, Swedish Arts Grants, Women and Performance, New York Live Arts (Fresh Tracks), Leslie-Lohman Museum, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (Space Grant and Needing It), Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation, Montreal Arts Interculturels, Tisch/Danspace, and the Performance Project Fellowship at University Settlement. As a performer, they’ve worked in projects at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), PERFORMA Festival, New Museum, Queens Museum, and Arts in Odd Places. As a writer, they are the founder and editor of the performance theory blog CultPlastic, a contributing editor of Movement Research Performance Journal, and a frequent contributor to Anomaly. Their writings focus on experimental practices in contemporary dance and pornography. Their texts have been featured on Walker Reader (USA), Women and Performance (USA), Real Life Magazine (USA), Critical Correspondence (USA), Protocols (USA), The Indy (USA), Etcetera (Belgium), Blackness and the Post-modern (Finland), and The Theatre Times (Canada).