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Programs for New Americans

Friday, March 8, 2024

12 - 1:30 PM EST

In 2022, 4.5 million, or almost a quarter of New York residents, were designated "immigrants" by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. New York is a state undergoing tremendous demographic changes and New York's museums are responding by providing support and resources to New Americans as they settle into their new communities. These programs can cover a wide range of areas including language acquisition, job placement, legal assistance, and offering life skills through the arts. In partnership with the Queens Library, the Queens Museum's New New Yorkers program led by Guido Garaycochea offers free multilingual classes to support the needs of adult immigrant communities in Queens. At the Whitney Museum of American Art, Dyeemah Simmons is focused on collaborating with artists to develop spaces for marginalized communities to create, commune, and gain access to critical resources. Margarita Espada is the Founder and Executive Director of Teatro Yerbabruja, an art organization with the mission to use the arts as a tool for social change. Teatro Yerbabruja’s programs are anchored in the values of racial justice that honor the contributions of People of Color, and that are truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

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Dyeemah Simmons

Director of Social Impact

Whitney Museum of American Art

Dyeemah Simmons (she/her) is an educator and arts worker focused on collaborating with artists to develop spaces for marginalized communities to create, commune, and gain access to critical resources. She is currently the Director of Social Impact at the Whitney where she is responsible for aligning the divisions of school, youth, family, access and community programs to promote intersectional and accessible programming.

Before the Whitney, she received an art teaching fellowship at Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece where she worked with grades K-12. She has also interned in the Studio Museum’s Education department and worked as a student docent at the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, Ohio. She holds an M.A. in Art Education from CUNY City College and a B.A. in Studio Art and English from Oberlin College.

Dyeemah is a member of The Door’s Advisory Committee and an Adjunct Lecturer at CUNY City College where she teaches in the Art Education Department. She is a life-long Harlemite.

Guido Garaycochea

New New Yorkers Program Manager

Queens Museum

Peruvian born. Following graduation from Peru's National Superior Art School, he earned a BA and MA in History and Theory of Art in Chile before earning an MFA at the School of Arts. In 2009, he co-founded Expressiones Cultural Center in New London, CT, a non-profit organization that aims to bridge cultural divides and promote Latin American culture by using the arts; along with managing the Queens Museum's Adult Program and New New Yorkers programs, he maintains his artistic practice in his Manhattan studio as a member of the Elizabeth Foundation's studio program

Margarita Espada

Founder & Executive Director

Teatro Yerbabruja

Margarita Espada is an award winning  performer, educator,  cultural maker, researcher, and activist in the fields and studies of physical theater, body and embodiments, settlers-colonialism, race, ethnicity and migration. 

Margarita  is the founder and director of Teatro Experimental Yerbabuja, an art organization with the mission to use the arts as a tool for social change ( She is part of the faculty at the Department of Women Study at Stony Brook University where she teaches theater and activism.

Margarita received her Master of Fine Art in Dramaturgy  from Stony Brook University and her Bachelor of Art in Education from Puerto Rico University. She is a New York State and Puerto Rico-certified theater teacher with over 30 years of experience as an educator, performer, playwright, arts activist, and cultural and community organizer.   

Margarita hasconducted research, supported school and organization change efforts, and facilitated teacher / professional learning around applied theater, culturally responsive practice, curriculum design, problem solving, and reflective communication.  Margarita advocates on the importance of arts and culture for the social and economic well-being of the local and global community. Her work advancing the art of LatinX, Black, Indigenous, and artists of color on Long Island has made her one of the most prominent leaders in Long Island.  She is a board member for the New York State Dance Force, and a member of the Arts Advisory Council for the Suffolk County Legislature.

She has received numerous awards and proclamations for her leadership, her art  and community work including 2021 Faces of Long Island, Newsday, 2018 Martin Luther King Living Legend Award, NAACP Islip, NY, 2018. Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times and by the Associated Press, Newsday, and numerous other media outlets.

This virtual program was organized in partnership with Museum Hue, a nationally recognized organization that works to paint a larger portrait of the arts and culture field by providing greater support and recognition for Black, Indigenous, and people of color throughout museums and other cultural entities across the United States. Founded in 2015, Museum Hue has partnered and collaborated with arts and culture entities throughout the nation. To learn more, visit

MANY is committed to making our virtual programs as accessible as possible. All virtual programs will have Closed Captioning and ASL Interpretation provided by InterpretekFor more information, please email or call 518-273-3400.

All virtual programs are recorded and available for MANY members via the Member Resource page within 7 days of the live program. 

Click here to learn more about joining MANY or email to see if you membership is active.

Live out of state? Join MANY Online! With our growing national and international audience in mind, we are pleased to announce a new virtual membership category for individuals who live outside of New York State.

Virtual members can access the library of over 70 programs and receive discounted registration for MANY’s annual conference. Click here to learn more.

Virtual programs are made possible by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

The Museum Association of New York helps shape a better future for museums and museum professionals by uplifting best practices and building organizational capacity through advocacy, training, and networking opportunities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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