2018-19 Upstart Program application

Upstart Program


Since 2009, the Upstart Program (formally the Upstart Festival) has ushered in fresh talent with an intriguing mix of performances, pre-performance shares, and roundtable discussions.

This program is designed to give creators of dance, theater and performance works, who have no more than three years of experience showing their work in New York City, an opportunity to show work and to facilitate networking opportunities that pave the way for fruitful artistic careers.

Originally the brainchild of Shannon Hummel (BAX Artist in Residence 2005-07), the festival is currently curated by former BAX Artists In Residence Jillian Peña (2011-13) and Fernando Maneca (2004-06).

The curators will select ten (10) artists to participate in the program, plus two (2) alternates.


Artists working in dance, theater, and performance disciplines
Artists residing in NYC who have been creating work in NYC for 3 years or less
Artists interested in developing new work OR working on a project in early stages of development
Artists who are able to commit to ALL PROGRAM DATES (see below)


Full-time students
Artists who reside outside the five boroughs of NYC
Artists who have been creating work in NYC for more than 3 years


Application deadline Monday, September 10, 2018, at 5:00 pm
Artists will be notified on Monday, September 24, 2018
Orientation Saturday, October 27, 2018 | 2:00-4:00 pm
Show and Share #1 Saturday, November 17, 2018 | 1:30 – 5:30 pm
Workshop #1 / Gathering Saturday, December 1, 2018 | 2:30-4:30 pm
Show and Share #2 Saturday, January 12, 2019 | 1:30 – 5:30 pm
Workshop #2 / Gathering Saturday, February 16, 2019 | 1:30-3:30 pm
Tech Rehearsals Evenings week of the performances schedule TBD
Upstart performances Friday & Saturday, March 22-23, 2019 at 8:00 pm
Post Performance Gathering Saturday, April 13, 2019 | 2:00-4:00 pm


Selected Artists receive a $150 stipend
10 hours of FREE rehearsal space
Selected Artists are eligible for $5 discounted hourly rate for the duration of the program
Selected Alternates are eligible for $5 discounted hourly rate for the duration of the program.


Each selected artist will show a maximum of 12 minutes of work in one of two evenings

If you have questions about the festival and/or curation guidelines, please contact artistservices@bax.org with the subject line: UPSTART APPLICATION
If you are having trouble with this application please contact Naja Gordon, Artistic Programs Associate, naja@bax.org.