Three Muskateers, By - Front Porch Arts Collective, Photo Credit:  Maggie Hall Photography

Live Arts Boston 2021

Banner Photo: Front Porch Arts Collective  / Credit:  Maggie Hall Photography
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Congratulations to our 2021 grantees!

2021 is a year of rebirth, reopening, rebuilding, and reimagining. In this context, we are proud to support performing artists creating, presenting, and producing new work that fosters belonging in Greater Boston, celebrates diverse cultural expression, imagines a more just world, and inspires us to take action for racial equity and social justice.

We are delighted to announce the fifth round of Live Arts Boston (LAB) grantees, in partnership with the Barr Foundation and generous donors. Performing artists, small performing arts organizations, bands, and groups of artists in the Greater Boston area were invited to apply for support to create, produce, or present new performing arts work for Greater Boston audiences. In addition to $15,000 each, LAB 2021 grantees will receive project documentation, one-on-one advising, peer networking opportunities, and support for other professional development, in partnership with local arts service organization Dunamis.

Funding supports work in dance, theater, music, opera, musical theater, spoken word, performance art, circus arts, traditional and folk performing arts, and any multi-disciplinary combination of the above. In the 2021 cycle, LAB is supporting 65 projects out of 308 applications.

Watch this video to learn more about the Live Arts Boston program, and scroll down to meet the 2021 LAB grantees:

Video: What is LAB?

 Program Information

About the Program:

LAB will reopen for applications in 2022. Learn about the 2021 cycle in the links below.

2021 Program and Eligibility Guidelines
2021 Priorities and FAQs

Thanks to our funding partner

Barr Foundation logo

LAB by the numbers

310

projects funded since 2017

 $4 million +

invested directly in local artists

82%

2021 projects led by artists of color

The Boston Foundation is pleased to support the following projects and artists through Live Arts Boston 2021:

AATAB AATAB x CHUANG Stage x Pao Arts Center

Found in Translation is a series of virtual or hybrid theater events, live-streamed with captions to amplify the power and complexities of being multilingual, immigrants, or identifying as AAPI in Greater Boston.

Abria Smith
Photo credit: Mike Spencer
Abria Smith

Abria Smith will present a live showcase of theater, music, spoken word and movement based on her poetry book, Somebody Soup.

Adrian Anantawan
Photo credit: Justin Anantawan
Adrian Anantawan

Adrian Anantawan will perform musical works inspired by his disability identity, collaborating with other musicians with disabilities around the world.

Jacques Schwarz-Bart
Photo credit: Christian Ducasse
Jacques Schwarz-Bart

Jacques Schwarz-Bart will write an Afro-Caribbean jazz repertoire based on his Sone Ka-La concept and perform it in a concert series.

Anton Rap$
Photo credit: Anthony Crawford Adamick
ANSON RAPS

ANSON RAP$ will explore 3D sound with a live, 360-degree performance of the musical composition NOSE.

Photo credit: Adrianne Mathiowetz / Wang Aobo
Anthony Paul De Ritis/Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

Experimenting with the textual settings in Lillian-Yvonne Bertram's book Travesty Generator and its themes of racial and social justice, this project will culminate in an evening-length musical presentation.  

Artists Theater of Boston
Photo credit: Matt Samolis
Artists' Theater of Boston

Artists' Theater of Boston is collaborating with accomplished poet Ashley Rose Salomon on her first full-length play, The Roslindale Love Canal, based on personal narratives that surround this little-known tragic event in Boston’s history.

Balia Kouyate
Photo credit: Kouda Kouyate
Balla Kouyate

Djeli and Balafonist Balla Kouyate is creating an album of traditional West African and fusion music with his brothers.

beheard.world
Photo credit: Bruce Petschek
beheard.world

Suite Talk will be a full-length performance that layers rap/spoken word, contemporary and hip-hop movement, and original music from a diverse ensemble of artists who represent vibrant cultures emerging from Boston’s inner city neighborhoods.

Billy Dean Thomas
Photo credit: Marika Belamarich
Billy Dean Thomas

Malcolm X to Malcolm X will be a compilation album commenting on a journey towards belonging, finding a place to call home, and sharing common ground with roots in both Boston and NYC.

Bordes/Borders
Photo credit: David Miller/Eric Gunther
Emily Beattie, Jimena Bermejo, Callie Chapman/La Trinchera - Boston/Puerto Rico Collaboration - Dance

Puerto Rican artists Beatriz Irizarry, Cristina Lugo, Marili Pizarro will collaborate with Boston-based artists Emily Beattie, Jimena Bermejo, and Callie Chapman, and composer Guarionex Morales-Matos, to create a performance through chance, research, and telematics.

Boston Dance Theater
Photo credit: Ernesto Galan
Boston Dance Theater

Jessie Jeanne Stinnett teams up with ocean physicist Dr. Larry J. Pratt and Boston Dance Theater to create an art and science performance work which focuses on climate change through the lens of sea level rise.

Burcu Gulec
Photo credit: Burcu Güleç
Burcu Güleç

For her debut album Inherited, Burcu will rewrite lyrics to her father's unreleased songs from the 70s, talking about being an immigrant and mental illness, in the form of letters to her father.

Cakeswagg
Photo credit: OJ Slaughter
Cakeswagg

Cakeswagg will be creating an innovative hiphop album supported by captivating visuals and live performances.

Circus 617
Photo credit: Sheri Gurock
Circus 617

Circus 617 will be creating an evening-length contemporary circus show focusing on the theme of artistic community and connection.

Claudia Medina
Photo credit: Mishele Arciniega
Claudia Medina

Claudia Medina is a female saxophone player. She will create an album of original music that will showcase the best of Peruvian music fusion with jazz and the rhythms of different cultures around the world.

David McMullin
Photo credit: PC Ning
David McMullin

In collaboration with patients recovering from neurovascular injuries, David McMullin will create music that challenges and benefits them in their rehabilitation, to be performed by a combined ensemble of patients and professional musicians.

DoYeon Kim
Photo credit: Seungoh Ryu
DoYeon Kim

Gapi (DoYeon Kim and Chase Morrin) will be creating a multi-cultural album dedicated to immigrant and women's rights.

Dzidzor
Photo credit: Ellie Nguyen
Dzidzor

Dzidzor is curating a live multi-disciplinary performance centered on God, black church, and West African griot and folklore.

Elae Weekes
Photo credit: Hank Teixeira
Elae Weekes

Elae Weekes will be composing an Alternative R&B album and visual project inspired by the stories of young men in his community.

Fabiola Mendez
Photo credit: Nuttymar Photography
Fabiola Mendez

Fabiola Méndez will be producing an audiovisual series of duo collaborations with musicians from diverse origins and backgrounds, in which they'll arrange and perform music written by composers of color.

Faye Dupras
Photo credit: Chris McIntosh
Faye Dupras

In collaboration with community members and artists, Faye Dupras will create a sensory-friendly interactive production using puppets, music, and live action for family audiences around themes of inclusion and belonging.

Forbes Graham
Photo creditL Lillian Graham
Forbes Graham

Forbes Graham will be composing a electroacoustic work for chamber ensemble inspired by the migration of the Charles Street A.M.E. Church from Beacon Hill to Roxbury.

Genie Santiago
Photo credit: Jen Vesp
Genie Santiago

Inner Space: A Collective Journey is an accessible, free, and immersive album release concert by Genie Santiago based around three themes: The Awakening, The Healing, and The Ascension.

Guerilla Opera
Guerilla Opera's film "Ofelia's Life Dream" Video Still, directed by Laine Rettmer (2020)
Guerilla Opera

I Give You My Home is a site-specific opera that paints a portrait of Rose Standish Nichols and her efforts to effect change through the Women’s Peace Movement, Women’s Suffrage, and in her professional work.

Guy Mendilow and Regie Gibson
Photo credit: Gretjen Helene and Ryan LoPresti
Guy Mendilow and Regie Gibson

Episode 2 of Radio Play(s) will be a stage-performed podcast in which a timely theme is unpacked through a collection of stories, told through the spoken word, musical segments and connected by a powerful score.

Hyphae
Photo Credit: Rosa Weinberg
Hyphae

Hyphae is an interactive performance inspired by the behavior of wild mushrooms that brings choreographer Emily Beattie, poet U-Meleni Mhabla-Adebo, and designer Rosa Weinberg together with their audience to create a single, networked organism.

Ilya Vidrin
Photo credit: Half Asian Lens Photography
Ilya Vidrin

First-generation Russian-Jewish artists, choreographer/dancer Ilya Vidrin and multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Alec Hutson, will create a multimedia evening-length production in response to Soviet-era bard songs of oppression and hope.

Jackie O'Riley and Rebecca McGowan
Photo: Louise Bichan
Jackie O'Riley & Rebecca McGowan

Jackie O'Riley & Rebecca McGowan will create a show of traditional Irish dance and music blurring the distinction between movers and band.

Jean Appolon Expressions
Photo credit: Patrick Sylvain
Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE)

Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE) will present Kiltirèl Conexiones (Cultural Connections in Haitian Creole and Spanish) a collaborative dance project with Gerardina Halloran that highlights and celebrates the deep connections between Haitian and Dominican cultures.

Jha D Wiliams
Photo credit: Michelle Antoinette
Jha D. Williams

Jha D will produce a series of spoken word poetry flashmob events throughout the city of Boston that recall and honor the experiences of the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.

Jonathan Bailey Holland
Photo credit: Robert Torres
Jonathan Bailey Holland

Jonathan Bailey Holland will create an electroacoustic work for string quartet that deals with the relationship of live vs. prerecorded sound in a live concert setting, as well as the concepts of memory and perception.

Jose Soto
Photo credit: Pamela Hersch
Jose Soto

Jose Soto will record an album of original music that reflects the life philosophy and social values of the Bribri indigenous community and how this philosophy is expressed culturally.

KAIROS
Photo credit: Golden Lion Photography
KAIROS Dance Theater

In collaboration with vocal chamber ensemble Renaissance Men, KAIROS Dance Theater will create FOXY, a contemporary cabaret interpretation of Stravinsky's famed satirical opera-ballet Renard.

Kim McLarin
Photo credit: Raymond Dauphinais
Kim McLarin

Kim McLarin will stage back-to-back readings of her one-woman play Divorce Dog across Boston to explore cultural segregation in the Boston theater community and how audience shapes the creative production of Black artists.

Laura Sanchez Garcia
Photo credit: Mickey West Photography
Laura Sánchez García

Laura Sánchez will be creating a multimodal live production combining flamenco with poetry, visual art, drama and creative expression inspired her award winning short film After Dark.

Little Uprisings
Photo credit: Tess Scheflan
Little Uprisings & The Gottabees

Play for Change, led by Tanya Nixon-Silberg (Little Uprisings) & Bonnie Duncan (The Gottabees), will be an immersive theatrical experience for families featuring puppetry, live music, and art-making to talk about power, joy, and liberation.

Mariona Lloreta
Photo credit: J. Quazi King
Mariona Lloreta

Altars is an interdisciplinary production that blends dance, spoken word, art song and community, and which will highlight local, BIPOC artists in Boston.

Medusa Reclaimed
Photo credit: Nathan Cohen/Brian King
Medusa Reclaimed

The Medusa Reclaimed team will connect art to action for justice by creating a theatrical fantasia with songs to stir Medusa's voice in all of us.

Against a colorful background with peacock feathers, a photo collage of all the members of They Watch You Thive, a 2021 Live Arts Boston grantee.
Photo credit: They Watch You Thrive
Micah/They Watch You Thrive

In community with two-spirit, trans* & queer kin of color, They Watch You Thrive will cultivate a series of live artspace activations rooted in care, belonging, and intergenerational power.

Mohamed Eltayeb
Photo credit: Colette Auger
Mohamed Eltayeb

Mohamed Araki’s Al-Murtaja is a livestream, studio recording, and short documentary film showcasing traditional and original music from Sudan.

Muhammad Seven
Photo credit: Stephanie Mitchell
Muhammad Seven & the Spring

Uniting local activists, comedians, musicians, and other performers, Muhammad Seven & the Spring will produce Awakenings, a three-act showcase focused around one important theme and accompanied by a musical album.  

Naseem Alatrash
Photo credit: Matthew Muise
Naseem Alatrash

Naseem Alatrash will be recording an album of his original contemporary Arab music compositions, as well as traditional music from the eastern Mediterranean basin and North Africa.

Nathaniel Justiniano
Photo credit: Kija Lucas
Nathaniel Justiniano/Naked Empire Bouffon Company

Naked Empire Bouffon Company will be creating an outrageously satirical, anti-colonial comedy about the diasporic Puerto Rican experience.

New Gallery Concert Series
Photo credit: Erin Shoudy Meyer
New Gallery Concert Series

Director/pianist Sarah Bob of the New Gallery Concert Series will produce Adopt and Adapt, an evening of new music and new visual art examining how one navigates new realities in family, country, and lifestyle.

A black and white photo of ANSON RAP$. He has one hand raised to his mouth and looks pensive.
Photo credit: Kamollio Bennett
Nolan Tesis

Nolan Tesis will be producing a live ballroom show exploring how the underground House / Ballroom scene grew from its roots in the Harlem Renaissance to existing as a global freedom movement and LGBT subculture.

Octavia Bryant
Photo credit: Octavia Bryant
Octavia Bryant

Octavia Bryant is creating with a goal of bringing what R&B does for Black intimacy back to the forefront of the conversation, and making an R&B project that reflects a healthy, evolved psyche for Black people.

Omar Najmi
Photo credit: Jamie Kraus Photography
Omar Najmi

Omar Najmi will be composing and producing a workshop of his new opera This is not that dawn, about the Partition of India.

Palaver Strings
Photo credit: Christina Wnek
Palaver Strings

Palaver Strings joins forces with the genre-defying chamber ensemble Warp Trio to present Affirmation, a program centering music and stories that have been suppressed or misrepresented in mainstream media narratives.

Pedro Reina Perez
Photo credit: Pedro Reina-Pérez
Pedro Reina-Pérez

Pedro Reina-Pérez will be sharing a multidisciplinary artistic and scholarly presentation on the life and work of cellist virtuoso Pablo Casals, with an original score by Boston musicians Brian and Rosi Amador.

Peter DiMuro
Photo credit: Olivia Moon Photography
Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion

Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion and collaborators offer a platform for "Queer Cabarets" through their multi-media installation Queerhenge, a culmination of intersectional and intergenerational dialogues within the project Stones to Rainbows/Gay to Queer Lives.

Phoebe Potts
Photo credit: Jason Grow
Phoebe Potts

Phoebe Potts will be writing and performing a tragic-comic one woman show about adoption, capitalism, and the tyranny of American motherhood.

ReachYou
Photo credit: Yoshio Saito
ReachYou: Katrina & Josh Goldsaito

ReachYou is a transmission from the future to help us be in the present. It is an immersive, free, interactive, performance in Augmented Reality made by Katrina + Jonah Goldsaito with compositions by Beau Kenyon.

Reynaliz Herrera
Photo credit: Meg Ramirez
Reynaliz Herrera

Continuing her exploration of music for bicycles, Reynaliz Herrera will compose, present and record BIKEncerto: a concerto for solo bicycle and orchestra, performing it at Somerville Community Growing Center with her company Ideas, Not Theories.

Smirna Ortiz
Photo credit: Gustavo Caballero
Smirna Ortiz

Smirna Ortiz will compose and record a collection of Latin transcendental etudes for piano.

Soyoung L Kim
Photo credit: Phyllis Bretholtz/Ashley-Rose Salomon
Soyoung L Kim

Soyoung L Kim, in collaboration with Ashley-Rose Salomon and Fernadina Chan, will be creating a performance art comprised of of spoken word, dance, and visual art, inspired by 강강술래 Ganggangsullae, a traditional Korean dance.

TC Squared Theatre
Photo credit: Phyllis Bretholtz
TC Squared Theatre Company

TC Squared will be creating a devised virtual theatre piece that explores people's biases and prejudices through an incident in a laundromat.

Theatre of Eternal Values
Photo credit: Nile Scott Studios
Theater of Eternal Values

Theatre of Eternal Values will be creating a devised play about the power of womanhood, based on a historical meeting between Harriet Tubman and Pandita Ramabai.

Todd Dahn
Photo credit: Marko Zaric
Todd Dahn

Todd Dahn will create an urban musical that tells the story of how women of color have been affected by the founding and growth of America.

Transient cCanvas
Photo credit: Robert Torres
Transient Canvas

Transient Canvas is commissioning and recording new works by four BIPOC composers: Jonathan Bailey Holland, Yoon-Ji Lee, Jennifer Jolley, and Matthew Evan Taylor.

Triy
Photo credit: Bred Hampton
Triy

Triy will create an album based on love, fatherhood and being a black man in America.

Victoria L Awkward
Photo credit: Brandon Lathan Photos
Victoria L. Awkward/VLA DANCE

In the Space Between follows VLA Dance Director Victoria L Awkward and company members on a journey from reality, to a dream world, and to uncomfortable spaces "between."

Villada Villada

Villada will be staging a Fashion Theatre piece inspired by the way that our bodies hold emotion and the textiles we choose to hold ourselves.

White Snake Projects
Photo credit: Kathy Wittman
White Snake Projects

White Snake Projects, Cerise Lim Jacobs, Mary Prescott & Elena Araoz explore the "pandemic within the pandemic," the surge of Intimate Partner Violence during Covid-19 through the lens of Homer's Odyssey using live, virtual opera.

Photo credit: Karolina Meireles
Zayra Pola

Zayra Pola will be creating a grand release live concert for her very first Salsa album Te Va Gustar, that was made possible by 2020/Live Arts Boston grant from the Boston Foundation.

Thank you to our 2021 Live Arts Boston Reviewers

Ali Rosa-Sales

Jacob’s Pillow


Andrea Blesso

Boston Center for the Arts


Andrés Holder

Boston Children’s Chorus


Angela Gladue

A Tribe Called Red


Annie Yang-Perez

New England Foundation for the Arts


Anny Thach

College of the Holy Cross ALANA Alums


Ashton Lites

StiggityStackz Worldwide Inc


Beau Kenyon

Northeastern University, College of Arts, Media + Design; Beau Kenyon Studios


Benjamin Evett

Independent Artist


Catherine Stewart

New Hampshire Theatre Project


Charmagne Glass-Tripp

Gripp Productions


Christina Leonard

Center Stage Dance Studio


Corey DePina

ZUMIX


David Norville

Castle of our Skins


Elizavette Cordero

Education Development Center


Eve Alpern

Harvard University


George Yamazawa, Jr.

Artist


Gregory Ball

King Boston


Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti

Woventales Production LLC/QuezairePresutti-Arts LLC


James Dargan

Ring Shout


Jasmine M. Rush

Actor/Writer/Director


JD Stokely

UnBound Bodies Collective


Jonathan Secor

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Secor Productions


Joya Powell

Movement of the People Dance Company



 


 


JuanCarlos Gonzalez

Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, INC

 

Karen Young

Independent Artist


Lilly Manycolors

Woven Womxn

 

Lyndsay Cox

Boston Center for the Arts


Marci Diamond 

Diamond Family Circus


Marge Buckley

Independent Artist


Marian Taylor Brown

Arts Connect International | Heilbronn University


Meagan Dilworth

Independent Artist/Educator


Mehmet Ali Sanlikol

Composer, Performer & Professor at New England Conservatory


Mwalim DaPhunkee Professor

Polyphonic Studios & UMass Dartmouth


Nell Breyer

Artist


Nismah Osman

The Record Co.


Rashaad Pearson

Soulmatic LLC


Regie Gibson

Shakespeare to Hiphop


Rhea Vedro

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum


Romy Saint Hilaire

Arts Consultant


Sal Medrano

SOMA Agency


Samantha Gambaccini

Arts After Hours, Community Music Center of Boston


Sara Porkalob

Storyteller, Cultural Worker


Sidney Hargro

Philanthropy Network


Simone D. Cottrell

Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange


Stacy Handler

Urbanity Dance


Stephanie Mckay

Co-chair of the Medford Arts Council, Educator, Recording Artist


Taylor Leonard

Independent Artist


Zakiyyah Sutton

Artist-Activist

 

At the top of the image, white text over a black background reads "Live Arts Boston. Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Equity in the Performing Arts." Below that is a black and white photo of a group of dancers in cluster, dancing onstage.

Live Arts Boston: Advancing Creativity, Equity and Entrepreneurship in Boston's Performing Arts Ecosystem

In its first three years after launch in 2017, Live Arts Boston supported nearly 200 performing artists in music, theater, dance and more, providing well over $2 million in funding in its first three years. In 2020, Animating Democracy released an assessment of the LAB program that explored how the investment has changed the trajectories of artists and the Greater Boston community, and providing insights into how the program could evolve and grow for greater impact.