Next Steps for Boston Dance announces the seven artists selected as 2024 grantees

February 22, 2024

BostonNext Steps for Boston Dance, a partnership between the Boston Foundation, the Aliad Fund and Movement Arts Creation Studio, is pleased to announce its slate of 2024 grantees. The seven grantees will receive multi-layered support from Next Steps, including $6,000 in ‘implementation funds’ for new work, along with 250 hours of flexible rehearsal space, five consulting meetings with expert advisors in chosen areas of need, and access to other resources from and with their fellow cohort members.

“At a time when creativity and connectivity are needed by artists in dance and circus arts, these ambitious leaders are pushing boundaries of imagination and skill, so that the dance community remains strong, resilient and sustainable,” said Catherine T. Morris, Director of Arts and Creativity at the Boston Foundation. “We are pleased to be able to partner with them and excited to see their work take shape over the coming year.”

Former dancer/choreographer Amy Zell Ellsworth (Aliad Fund), a donor at the Boston Foundation, worked with Ruth Birnberg, who oversees the program and supports the artists during their artistic journey. Partnering with the Foundation’s arts and creativity staff in the development, design and investment to bring the effort to life. Next Steps grants are awarded to artists directly, but the benefits reach beyond the awardees as they develop their careers, connect with each other, and create paying opportunities for countless other artists who work with them on their projects.

“When Ruth and I began planning for the Next Steps grant with TBF, we had hopes for what the program might have the potential to accomplish – support for creative practice, connections among movement artists, and increased knowledge about resources across neighborhoods, but we couldn’t have anticipated how much the grantees would contribute to the evolution of the program itself,” said Zell Ellsworth. “It’s been incredibly gratifying to witness that evolution and to see the widening of the circles and genres represented in the cohort groups. We are also now seeing artists who received a grant apply again when eligible. The growth in their work is additional evidence of how much the Next Steps experience contributed to their development and maturity as artists.”

In 2021, TBF and the Aliad Fund were joined in sponsorship of Next Steps by Movement Arts Creation Studio (MACS), allowing for the program to expand to include circus arts producers and performers among the grantees. “Movement arts are distinct from many other arts in that they rely significantly on large studio spaces and direct in-person interaction with peer or company artists to realize the inception and creation of new artistic works, presenting financial and operational burdens, especially to emerging and mid-career movement artists,” said Valentine Talland, President of Movement Arts Creation Studio. “We welcome the opportunity to partner with TBF and the Aliad Foundation in supporting the Next Steps program, which removes these barriers and plays a vital role in advancing the work of movement artists in the Boston area.”

Since the program’s founding, it has awarded 47 grants to Greater Boston artists. For biographies of the 2024 awardees and to learn more about Next Steps, visit

Meet the 2024 Next Steps grantees:

A collage of the seven Next Steps for Boston Dance recipients
Next Steps 2024 awardees include: (top row, l-r:) Alexander Davis, Savannah Dunn, Alissa Feller (second row, l-r:) Kimberleigh Holman, Simon Montalvo, Alexandria Nunweiler, and (third row:) Cassie Wang. Full-size photos and credits are on the Next Steps for Boston Dance page

Alexander Davis

Savannah Dunn

Alissa Feller

Kimberleigh Holman

Simon Montalvo

Alexandria Nunweiler

Cassie Wang

Click here for biographies and photos of the Next Steps 2024 cohort.