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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. 

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 urban cultural centers through an exchange of ideas, resources and experiences.

NYFA's Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program is the only known program of its kind in the United States, and has provided close to 200 NYC-based immigrants with mentorship, community, and exposure for their work since it was founded in 2007. The New York program includes sessions in Visual/Multidisciplinary Art, Performing and Literary Arts, and Social Practice.

In 2017, NYFA received a 2-year grant from Ford Foundation to support the expansion of the program to Detroit, MI; Newark, NJ; Oakland, CA; and San Antonio, TX. The program, which is open to Multidisciplinary artists, will connect 144 immigrant artists with mentors and strengthen immigrant artist communities in those four cities, using NYFA's Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program in New York as an impactful model for replication. NYFA will work in partnership with established arts organizations in each partner city to implement the program and tailor it to the needs of each individual community.

The Program aims to foster a community, providing opportunities to connect with other immigrant artists through group meetings, peer learning, and informal gatherings with program alumni. 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. Each cycle has proven to be an invaluable experience for mentees and mentors alike, and artists often remain connected well beyond the program.

Mentors 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.

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. 

Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Newark

Through the support of the Ford Foundation, NYFA is pleased to announce the Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Newark, presented in collaboration with local partners New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC); Newark Arts Education Roundtable (NAER); Paul Robeson Galleries, Express Newark; Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art; and City Without Walls (cWOW). The competitive program, open to artists from all disciplines (performing, literary, visual, multi-disciplinary, folk, and traditional arts), will run from December 2017 to April 2018, and will bring together Newark artists to nurture a productive environment for collaboration. The program's goal is to foster a local community of artists sharing the immigrant experience through entrepreneurial training, access to other artists, arts professionals, and organizations.

Application Deadline: Monday, October 30, 2017, 11:59 PM EST

To Apply: Please visit this link for full details, including how to apply

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 Deutsche Bank, Ford Foundation, Rubin Foundation, and The Vilcek Foundation.

2017 Immigrant Artist Program: Participants

NYFA congratulates the 2017 Participants in the NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists:

Mentee Keren AnavyVisual (Israel), paired with Mentor Jennifer SchmidtMultidisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Diego Anaya, Visual (Mexico), paired with Mentor Fay KuVisual (Taiwan/United States).

Mentee David Anaya Maya, Visual (Colombia), paired with Mentor Sophia ChizucoMultidisciplinary (Japan).

Mentee Andrea Ang, Performing (Singapore), paired with Mentor Jane Jung, Performing (United States).

Mentee Kate BaeVisual (South Korea), paired with Mentor Denise Treizman, Multidisciplinary (Chile).

Mentee Saikou Balde, Literary (France), paired with Mentor Nathan OsorioLiterary (United States).

Mentee Vincent BezuidenhoutVisual (South Africa), paired with Mentor Claudia SohrensMultidisciplinary (Germany).

Mentee Junyi Chow, Performing (Malaysia), paired with Mentor Eunbi Kim, Performing (United States).

Mentee Isabella Cruz-Chong, Multidisciplinary (Mexico), paired with Mentor Rosemarie FioreMultidisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Maureen FreedmanMultidisciplinary (Israel), paired with Mentor Deanna Witkowski, Performing (United States).

Mentee Alice GaskonVisual (Poland), paired with Mentor Marek MildeInterdisciplinary (Czech Republic).

Mentee Ge Gao, Literary (China), paired with Mentor Ricardo Maldonado, Literary (United States/Puerto Rico).

Mentee Katia Gerlach, Literary (Brazil), paired with Mentor Barbara FuchsInterdisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Amanda Gutierrez, Multidisciplinary (Mexico), paired with Mentor Zelene Pineda Suchilt, Interdisciplinary (United States)

Mentee Qin HanMultidisciplinary (China), paired with Mentor Sophie KahnMultidisciplinary (Australia/United Kingdom)

Mentee Darine Hotait, Literary (Lebanon), paired with Mentor Hafizah GeterLiterary (United States).

Mentee Ssu-ya HsiungMultidisciplinary (Taiwan), paired with Mentor Valentina MeddaMultidisciplinary (Italy).

Mentee Melinda Jackson, Multidisciplinary (New Zealand), paired with Mentor Marija SajkasLiterary (Serbia).

Mentee Anu JindalLiterary (Canada), paired with Mentor Felice LesserInterdisciplinary (United States)

Mentee Megumi KaizuLiterary (Japan), paired with Mentor Ambika Samarthya-HowardInterdisciplinary (United States). 

Mentee Tahir Carl KarmaliVisual (Kenya), paired with Mentor Helen DennisVisual (United Kingdom).


Mentee Swarali KarulkarPerforming (India), paired with Mentor Simon DoveInterdisciplinary (United Kingdom).

Mentee Visnja Krzic, Performing (Serbia), paired with Mentor Eugene Marlow, Ph.D., Interdisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Laura LappiVisual (Finland), paired with Mentor Kristyna Milde, Interdisciplinary (Czech Republic).

Mentee Alexandra Leyre Mein, Visual (Belgium), paired with Mentor Gianluca Bianchino, Multidisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Yahui Lu, Performing (China), paired with Mentor Barry Kerollis, Performing (United States).

Mentee Jemila MacEwanVisual (Scotland/Australia), paired with Mentor Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Interdisciplinary (Jamaica/United States).

Mentee Dulphe Pinheiro Machado, Visual (Brazil), paired with Mentor Marco Antonio CastroMultidisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Thahitun Mariam, Literary (Bangladesh), paired with Mentor Chia-Lun Chang, Literary (Taiwan).

Mentee Mimi MondalLiterary (India), paired with Mentor Poupeh MissaghiLiterary (Iran).

Mentee David Mora-Barroso, Multidisciplinary (Spain), paired with Mentor Dave Hall, Interdisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Gal NissimMultidisciplinary (Israel), paired with Mentor Eric CorrielMultidisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Nazli OzerdemVisual (Turkey), paired with Mentor Armita RaafatMultidisciplinary (Iran).

Mentee Edwin Padilla VillaMultidisciplinary (Colombia), paired with Mentor Larry KroneMultidisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Charles Pang, Performing (Hong Kong SAR), paired with Mentor Susane Lee, Interdisciplinary (Korea).

Mentee Guiliana PinheiroVisual (Brazil), paired with Mentor Eugene Marlow, Ph.D.Interdisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Allison PlamondonPerforming (Canada), paired with Mentor Jonathan Cerullo, Performing (United States).

Mentee Christina PobladorVisual (Philippines), paired with Mentor Dain MergenthalerInterdisciplinary (United States).

Mentee Monica RoblesMultidisciplinary (Puerto Rico), paired with Mentor Nooshin RostamiMultidisciplinary (Iran).

Mentee Yali RomagozaMultidisciplinary (Cuba), paired with Mentor Candida Borges, Interdisciplinary (Brazil).

Mentee Varsha ShahMultidisciplinary (India), paired with Mentor Roman BacaPerforming (United States).

Mentee Kyung Eun YouVisual (South Korea), paired with Mentor Kakyoung Lee, Multidisciplinary (South Korea/United States).


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