Photo by Olivia Moon Photography

Open Call: Boston Dancemakers Residency 2022–2023

Applications are due on Sunday, May 22, 2022 by 11:59pm.

Watch a recorded info-session in which Andrea Blesso, Director of Dance and Interdisciplinary Arts at Boston Center for the Arts and Debra Cash, Executive Director of Boston Dance Alliance give an overview and answer questions about the Boston Dancemakers Residency.


Boston’s most comprehensive residency program for choreographers, dancers, and other movement artists, the Boston Dancemakers Residency is designed to support new work from conception to performance. Produced through a partnership between Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) and Boston Dance Alliance (BDA), this intensive Dancemakers Residency is unique in scope and vision, with the intent to be transformational rather than transactional.
Choreographers participating in this competitive program receive support for research, development, rehearsal, production support, marketing and mentorship. The residency provides a regional three-day retreat, eight weeks of intensive studio time, access to discounted rehearsal space, a choreographer stipend, rehearsal pay for up to six dancers, and a showcase of the work created. 


Black Lives Matter. It is incumbent upon us to act accordingly and to identify those ways that we, as a leading cultural organization, can stop perpetuating pervasive and systemic white supremacist practices and lead through our actions. Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) is committed to doing the hard work of dismantling even the most subtle forms of white supremacy in our organization, in our practices, and in the work we do to help make Boston a place where ALL artists can live and thrive.



  • The residency must be used to develop new work and the majority of rehearsal time should be dedicated to the proposed project.
  • Lead artists must be residents of the Boston metropolitan area (within route 495).
  • Ensemble/company must include a minimum of three local dancers, not including the choreographer. 
  • Choreographers must have created original work for a minimum of four years. We seek dancemakers who are actively working at their craft at the present time.
  • Preference will go to those who have developed the equivalent of one full evening (60 minutes) of their work within the past three years or made two dance films (25 minutes in total). Those who have not done so may be asked for further information in order to assess eligibility for this program.
  • Applicants must be current BDA members at the time of application and throughout the residency period.
  • Once awarded a Boston Dancemakers Residency, choreographers must wait at least three full years before reapplying for the program.
  • Students enrolled in either undergraduate or graduate programs in any field are not eligible.


The 2022–2023 season will include two residencies through the same call for applications. Dancemakers may select eight weeks or an equivalent of fifty-six days of rehearsal and performance time within the months listed below.

  •       Fall: November – December 2022
  •       Winter: February – April 2023
  •       Spring: May – June 2023



Two Boston-area dancemakers will be invited to participate in the 2022-2023 residency program. Each will be awarded:



  • A three-day, two-night rehearsal retreat at a regional retreat center within 200 miles of Boston.
  • A stipend of $100 for each artist per day of retreat, for up to seven people: at least three dancers plus collaborators such as a designer, dramaturg or musician and choreographer. Lodging, food and reimbursement for mileage to the retreat center.

(If public health circumstances in Massachusetts do not allow for retreat gatherings during the residency period, funds may be reallocated at the discretion of Boston Dance Alliance and the funder.)



  • Eight weeks or an equivalent of fifty-six days of free rehearsal and performance space at BCA for an intensive rehearsal and development process. Rehearsals will be held on BCA campus throughout the duration of the residency season.
  • A stipend of $2000 to be used at the dancemaker’s discretion.
  • Payment for up to six dancers for an extended rehearsal period. Rehearsal hours are paid at minimum wage, $14.25/hour for up to 72 hours for each dancer, not including the choreographer. 
  • A stipend up to $1500 that may be used to build a team of collaborators such as costume designer, dramaturg, set designer, and other artists to enhance the growth of the proposed project. 
  • Additional discounted rehearsal space in Artist Studio Building at BCA for $10/hour, as available, at any point within the residency year. Grantees are also eligible for discounted rehearsal space at Lyric Stage Studio, subject to availability.
  • Business and career consulting with Debra Cash, Executive Director of Boston Dance Alliance.
  • Artistic mentorship, administrative, production and marketing facilitation by Andrea Blesso, Director of Dance & Interdisciplinary Arts at Boston Center for the Arts.
  • Peer feedback sessions with fellow resident dancemakers.


  • A public showcase of the work-in-progress at Boston Center for the Arts. (If public health circumstances in Massachusetts do not allow for performance gatherings during the residency period, public events may be adapted in communication with artists, BCA, and BDA.)
  • Lighting and production assistance from a technical director and assistant.
  • Access to lighting and sound equipment for showcase in accordance with the venue on BCA campus which could potentially include risers, pipe and drape, lighting instruments and sound system.
  • Photographic and video documentation of the performance. 
  • Promotional materials produced by BCA such as postcards, showcase programs, posters, press outreach in addition to BCA and BDA program listings and websites. 
  • Resident dance artists may be invited to perform brief excerpts of their work at BCA and BDA organizational events.


Applications are due on Sunday, May 22, 2022 by 11:59pm.

This program is open to a range of dance genres and movement-based artists. We welcome applications from choreographers based in the Greater Boston area (within route 495). Artists of color, artists whose original work is based on culturally specific dance forms, and those working in non-proscenium formats are encouraged to apply.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by June 2022. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please apply through this online form.

Applications will be evaluated by guest panelists on the following criteria:  

  • Proposed concept of work to be developed during the residency.
  • Potential impact on the development of the dancemaker’s career and risk taken in the creative process.
  • Quality of work shown in the video sample and overall level of professionalism displayed.

Andrea Blesso, Director of Dance & Interdisciplinary Arts, Boston Center for the Arts ( and Debra Cash, Executive Director, Boston Dance Alliance ( are available to answer questions and provide additional information about the residency.



Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) supports working artists to create, perform, and exhibit new works; develops new audiences; and connects the arts to community, and has for over five decades engaged the creative community for public good. While the organization’s physical residence is in the historic South End, BCA touches every part of Boston’s cultural ecosystem. A leading force in the city’s cultural community, BCA has supported thousands of individual artists, small organizations, and performing arts companies, who add depth and dimension to the Boston arts ethos. Through residencies and programming, BCA serves as an epicenter for an expanding cohort of artists working across all disciplines, and has catalyzed careers by providing fertile ground for experimentation and artistic risk-taking. To learn more about Boston Center for the Arts, visit



Boston Dance Alliance builds capacity for dance by identifying and creating shared resources, information and productive partnerships to help dance flourish across the Boston metropolitan area and New England region. BDA is an independent service organization representing dancers, choreographers, teachers, presenters, allied arts and cultural professionals, arts journalists and scholars, wellness and health providers and dance enthusiasts brought together across dance genres and geographies. BDA strives to increase cultural equity and access to dance for diverse communities, build dance audiences and promote quality and sustainability. 


This special opportunity is made possible in part by the Aliad Fund at The Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.