Surge Artist Nikko Benson wins a Jonathan Larson Grant

The American Theatre Wing has announced the recipients of the 2016 Jonathan Larson Grants. César Alvarez, Nikko Benson, Carson Kreitzer, and Sam Salmond will each be awarded $10,000.

“The Jonathan Larson Grants give us the opportunity each year to support exciting new theatremakers and invest in the changing landscape of the American musical, one writer at a time,” president of the American Theatre Wing, Heather Hitchens, said in a statement.

The organization will also give grant recipients other resources. For the first time this year, in addition to the Larson Grants, the Saw Island Foundation Recording Grants will be awarded to Alvarez, Benson, and Salmond. The grants are for the artists to create new demo recordings of their work.

Benson is a musical theatre writer and performer. He is currently developing Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat with Benjamin Halstead. Benson’s music has been featured in cabaret venues in the city including Brian Stokes Mitchell’s Plays With Music and William Finn’s Ridiculously Talented series, and his own Start Again and In Pursuit of Magic. Benson is a founding member of the Musical Theater Factory, a teaching artist at the Performing Arts Project, a member of ASCAP, and a member of the Dramatists’ Guild.