Programs & Residencies

Our Core Residency Programs support dance, theater, and performance artists from the earliest moments of a developing artistic voice to critical junctures in an established professional practice. BAX gives artists time and space while focusing on cultivating peer support, collaborative problem-solving and generative feedback, with an emphasis on mentorship, visibility, community, resources, and artistic incubation. The result is often transformative, allowing artists to dismantle habits, take artistic risks, and breakthrough to the next level of their practice. In all four divisions, there is an explicit intention to develop cohorts who are diverse by background/race/gender/sexual orientation and/or ethnicity and who will benefit from one another.


The ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (BAX AIR) provides 4-6 emerging New York City dance, theater and performance artists with up to two years of artistic, technical, and administrative support for the development of new work. The AIR program is tailored to each artist’s unique needs, process and artistic practice. BAX continues to develop the AIR program to meet the evolving needs of artists including increasing support for interdisciplinary and mixed genre artists as well as ground-breaking programming for artists who are new parents. This kind of individualized and holistic support for artists is what makes BAX a nurturing, innovative incubator for artists whose works represent the future of the performing arts in America.

Artists are provided with a $3500 stipend and 300 free hours in BAX’s studios and theater. Our AIR history suggests that the two year period is transformative and lifts artists into the next stage of their development. AIRs meet regularly individually and as a cohort with artist advisors Nia Love and Abigail Browde. Group meeting topics have included “keeping joy in life and work,” mental illness management, the impact of race, nationality, and language on work, identifying designers and directors, and prioritizing video documentation. All artists have opportunities to present works in progress and/or finished work with full production and marketing support from BAX.


SPACE GRANTS are designed to give early-career choreographers, playwrights, and multi-disciplinary artists the opportunity to create new work in a setting that is conducive to working deeply and exploring new territory. Our Space Grant program, which began when BAX was founded in 1991, is the oldest of our programs that support developing artists. Space grants are often an artist’s entry point into a deeper relationship with BAX. The program has been heavily expanded in the past two seasons and currently provides residencies to 8-10 NYC performing artists each year. Space grants are offered in Summer (without a performance component), Fall (with a performance component), and to Parent/Artists. Artists receive a $500 stipend, 100 hours of free rehearsal space, feedback on their projects and, in the case of the Fall Space Grant, a production of an excerpted work in a shared program. In 2012, we introduced the Parent-Artist Space Grant, for dance, theater and performance artists with children who receive 50 hours of space, a childcare stipend, and free tuition to BAX’s Youth Education Programs. BAX also offered a Disability Space Grant Pilot Program in the 2018/19 season and offers periodic Alumni Space Grants to artists who have graduated from BAX’s Education programs and return to BAX as professional artists.


The UPSTART PROGRAM is a 6-month residency program co-directed by two former AIRs, Jillian Peña and Fernando Maneca. Through application and panel, 8-10 artists are selected, as well as up to 2 alternates. Those selected participants are dance, theater and performance artists who have produced work in NYC for three years or less. By identifying resources, skills, and experiences, as well as articulating questions and needs, these artists created a fertile base to expand upon. Artists are provided with a stipend and 20 free rehearsal hours (with additional hours booked at a reduced rate of $5/ hour)  to develop their work. There are 2 in-progress show & shares midway through the program, gently moderated by the Co-Directors, and the program culminates in two showcase performances. Upstart artists are also offered workshops in marketing and grant writing to assist them in creating language and visuals that represent their work. Post-performance, the participants meet to discuss the experience and share additional commentary and feedback.


NEEDING IT is an eight-week workshop residency where QTPOC dance, theater and performance makers develop solo performances based on their personal obsessions and political impulses. NEEDING IT also explores the recent history of queer performance in New York City. Helmed by Heather María Ács, participants develop solo pieces and discuss the interplay between the individual artist and a broader sense of collectivity, especially as it relates to queer community struggles against racism, misogyny, and transphobia. The final session is a public performance. Artists currently receive both a stipend and 10 free rehearsal hours during the eight-week workshop period, with any additional hours at a reduced rate of $5/ hour. In recent years we are pleased to see an overlap between Needing It and Upstart artists as artists learn about and take advantage of the multiple entry-points BAX has to offer emerging artists. In 2019, the cohort was comprised entirely of queer and trans artists of color, a balance we intend to continue moving forward. This program was founded by former AIR Dan Fishback.

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