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The Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program pairs immigrant artists from all disciplines with artist mentors who provide their mentees with one-on-one support. 

Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Social Practice

Through the support of the Donald and Shelley Rubin Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) launched the Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Social Practice. This is a year-long professional development program for immigrant and 1st-generation artists working in all forms of socially engaged art (including, but not limited to, public and community engagement and advocacy around issues of environment and climate change, immigration, race, gender, and social justice). The application for this program closed on June 19.

Click here for more information 

New York Foundation for the Art (NYFA)'s Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program pairs immigrant artists working in all disciplines with artist mentors who provide one-on-one support for their mentee, guiding them to achieve specific goals and providing them with broader access to the New York cultural world through an exchange of ideas, resources and experiences.

Additionally, the Mentoring Program aims to foster a community, providing opportunities to connect with other immigrant artists through group meetings, peer learning, and informal gatherings that include alumni from 2007 to the present. Through access to other artists, arts professionals, and organizations, the program offers immigrant artists the opportunity to focus on their creative practice, gain support and exposure for their work, while upholding their distinct identities.

Mentors will include past alumni of the program, whose experience through previous participation in the program will inform their interaction and commitment to their mentee. Additionally, many of the mentors are immigrant artists themselves, and understand the challenges of sustaining one’s art practice while navigating different cultural perspectives in the art world. Since 2007, the program has served 150 immigrant artist mentees.

Each cycle has proven to be an invaluable experience for mentees and mentors alike, and artists often remain connected well beyond the program. NYFA nurtures this community with an alumni mixer during the program. 

This is a competitive program open to artists from all disciplines (performing, literary, visual, multi-disciplinary, folk and traditional arts) and provided free of charge to accepted participants. The next program is intended for artists working in the performing and literary arts and runs June-September with follow-up meeting in October 2017. Please click here for more information on Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Performing and Literary Arts.


Eligibility Requirements:

  • Live within the New York City Metropolitan area within commuting distance of New York City.
  • Were born outside of the United States; those born in United States territories i.e. Puerto Rico or Virgin Islands, may also apply.
  • Have been pursuing a career as an artist for the last 1-10 years in the United States.
  • Are NOT currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program.

Expectations for Mentees:

  • To attend all group meeting dates below; meetings will be at NYFA's offices in Brooklyn or host organizations in New York City.
  • To set realistic goals and objectives that are achievable within a short-term program
  • To be available to communicate and meet with your mentor

Mentoring Program Group Meeting Dates:

Note: Attendance is mandatory so please check all dates before you apply.

  • Introductions: Monday, June 12, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
  • Meet the Mentors: Monday, June 26, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
  • Check-In: Monday, July 10, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
  • Check-In: Monday, August 7, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
  • Final Celebration: Monday, September 18, 6:00 - 8:30 PM

Notification Process

All applicants will receive notification of final decisions on or before Thursday, May 11, 2017.

Testimonials from Previous Participants

"I am very honored to be part of the Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program. It is an amazing program that helps immigrant artist, both Mentee and Mentor, to gain perspective, exchange experiences and come up with strategies to further their artistic careers in the United States. More importantly, the program has created a vibrant International Artist community in New York that is really unique. The participants feel supported by each other and the collaborations that came out of the program are amazing. I hope to be back soon!"
Eduardo Guedes, Musician, author and educator

"I am proud to be associated with this unique and forward-thinking program of NYFA's in my role as an immigrant writer in fostering American literature with global perspectives and insights. Kudos to IAP program and its dedicated staff, many of them immigrant artists themselves!"
Vivian Yang, Author

"As always, I am humbled by the depth and quality of services provided by NYFA to immigrant artists. This program is incredibly meaningful for participants in terms of community building and establishing systems for collaboration and support."
Liesl Pfeffer, Visual artist


Contact IAP Staff at i.outreach@nyfa.org or call (212) 366-6900, ext. 242

Funding Support

The 2017 NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program is made possible by the generous support of The Vilcek Foundation.

2016 Immigrant Artist Program: Participants

NYFA congratulates the 2016 Participants in the NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists:

Mentee Mert Alduman, Multidisciplinary (Turkey), paired with Mentor Dafna Naphtali, Performing (United States).

Mentee Gema Alava Social Practice (Spain), paired with Mentor Alicia Grullon, Social Practice (United States).

Mentee Azi Amiri, Visual (Iran), paired with Mentor Sepideh Salehi, Visual (Iran).

Mentee Hratch Arbach, Visual (Syria), paired with Mentor Terence Trouillot, Literary (United States).

Mentee Shay Arick, Visual (Israel), paired with Mentor Katya Grokhovsky, Visual (Ukraine).

Mentee Keke Brown, Social Practice (New Zealand), paired with Mentor Rebelene (Zelene Pineda Suchilt)Social Practice (Mexico).

Mentee Joana P. Cardozo, Visual (Brazil), paired with Mentor Hidemi Takagi, Visual (Japan)

Mentee Joni Cham, Literary (Philippines), paired with Mentor Marwa Helal, Literary (Egypt).

Mentee Ye-Seul Choi, Visual (South Korea), paired with Mentor Armita Raafat, Visual (Iran).

Mentee Jesse Chun, Visual (South Korea), paired with Mentor Eleen Lin, Visual (Taiwan).

Mentee Andrew Egbuchiem, Performing (Nigeria), paired with Mentor Martita Arbil, Performing (Mexico).

Mentee Dolores Furtado, Visual (Argentina), paired with Mentor Jia-Jen Lin, Visual (Taiwan).

Mentee Michelle GevintVisual (Israel), paired with Mentor Yi Xin TongVisual (China).

Mentee Marjolaine Gallet, Visual (France), paired with Mentor Helen Dennis, Visual (United Kingdom).

Mentee Chemin HsiaoVisual (Taiwan), paired with Mentor Suyeon NaVisual (Korea).

Mentee Olga KaryakinaSocial Practice (Russia), paired with Mentor Tattfoo TanSocial Practice (Maylaysia).

Mentee Lawrence MaluSocial Practice (Nigeria, paired with Mentor Rebelene (Zelene Pineda Suchilt)Social Practice (Mexico).

Mentee LuLu MengVisual (Taiwan), paired with Mentor Seema PandyaMultidisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Mersiha MesihovicSocial Practice (Bosnia and Herzegovina), paired with Mentor Tattfoo TanSocial Practice (Maylaysia).

Mentee Tina MitchellPerforming (Australia), paired with Mentor Eunbi KimPerforming (United States).

Mentee Jayanthi Moorthy, Visual (India), paired with Mentor Sophia Chizuco, Multidisciplinary (Japan).

Mentee Zahra Nazari, Visual (Iran), paired with Mentor Rosemarie Fiore, Visual (United States).

Mentee Etan Nechin, Literary (Israel), paired with Mentor Grace Lee, Literary (Korea).

Mentee Julie Nymann, Visual (Denmark), paired with Mentor Jen Mazza, Visual (United States).

Mentee Julia PontesSocial Practice (Brazil/Argentina, paired with Mentor Alicia GrullonSocial Practice (United States).

Mentee Annesofie Sandal, Visual (Denmark), paired with Mentor Denise Treizman, Visual (Chile).

Mentee Plympton Sandrine, Folk Arts (France), paired with Mentor Irka Mateo, Performing (Dominican Republic).

Mentee Svea Schneider, Social Practice (Germany), paired with Mentor Carlos Martinez, Social Practice (Colombia).

Mentee Marco ScozzaroVisual (Italy), paired with Mentor Claudia SohrensVisual (Germany).

Mentee Aida SehovicSocial Practice (Bosnia and Herzegovina), paired with Mentor Tattfoo TanSocial Practice (Maylaysia).

Mentee Russ SharmaSocial Practice (India), paired with Mentor Rebelene (Zelene Pineda Suchilt)Social Practice (Mexico).

Mentee Rica TakashimaSocial Practice (Japan), paired with Mentor Rebelene (Zelene Pineda Suchilt)Social Practice (Mexico).

Mentee Yasuyo TanakaSocial Practice (Japan), paired with Mentor Carlos MartinezSocial Practice (Colombia).

Mentee Edina Tokodi, Multidisciplinary (Hungary), paired with Mentor Valentina Medda, Interdisciplinary (Italy).

Mentee Brigitta Varadi, Visual (Hungary), paired with Mentor Pavel Kraus, Visual (Czech Republic).

Mentee Adela WagnerSocial Practice (The Czech Republic), paired with Mentor Alicia GrullonSocial Practice (United States).

Mentee Deborah WassermanSocial Practice (Brazil/Israel), paired with Mentor Carlos MartinezSocial Practice (Colombia).

Image: Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program 2015. Photo: Natasha Zeta