New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) provides the concrete resources that working artists and emerging arts organizations need to thrive. 

NYFA Learning/Professional Development encompasses New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) professional development programs, which include panels, workshops, individual consultations, and training opportunities. To be notified of any events, workshops, and open calls, please sign up here

Established in 1971 as an independent organization to serve individual artists throughout the state, the mission of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is to empower emerging artists and arts organizations across all disciplines at critical stages in their creative lives and professional/organizational development. In 2009, we extended our programs and services throughout the United States and the international community.

Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Social Practice

Through the support of the Donald and Shelley Rubin Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is pleased to announce a second round of the Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Social Practice, a 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).

Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Social Practice, an outgrowth and expansion of NYFA’s Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program, will provide guidance through experienced Mentors, who, with NYFA’s support, will provide a platform for articulating current issues and concerns that are impacting our society and seeking ways to create catalysts for change through their artistic practice. Four mentors will work closely with a group of 3-4 artists selected through an open application process,  meeting with with their assigned group as part of regular group meetings over a six-month period, to foster a unique peer community with opportunities for collaboration.

These meetings will connect artists with experts in the field, civic leaders, advocacy groups, grassroots community organizers in addition to providing access to organizations serving other sectors such as social services, healthcare, housing, education and language access in New York City depending on individual project based needs.

Our four mentors are Jeff Kasper, Clarinda Mac Low, Monika Würher and Ronny Quevedo,  four artists work directly with a community through their artistic practice and some with the organization they represent. Between them, they comprise many of the core areas from advocacy, activism, environmental and climate concerns, issues of race and gender, community and public engagement.

This program would benefit immigrant or 1st-generation artists looking to activate and engage with communities in the city, who have projects in development or wish to develop a project with the support of the program.  Additionally, artists who would benefit from focused guidance from a mentor, access to connections in different sectors, and feedback from a community of peers who share the immigrant experience. Also, during the program, there will an opportunity to access the Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Social Practice alumni.

The program includes support from cultural partners Culture Push, known for their Fellowship for Utopian Practice, a process-based program aimed at artists and other creative people who are seeking to test new ideas through civic engagement, More Art who foster collaborations between artists and communities to create thought-provoking public art and educational programs that inspire broad discourse regarding social and cultural issues, and Open Source Gallery, an arts-based non-profit organization inspired by the open source movement, who provides a forum where art intersects with the community and the world at large.

Artists working or developing projects engaging with immigrant communities and/or advocacy are encouraged to apply.  Artists from underrepresented populations or communities are encouraged to apply.

Deadline: Wednesday, November 29, 2017: 11:59 PM EST


  • Immigrant or 1st-generation artist based in the five boroughs of New York City

    • Immigrant defined as born outside of the United States (Those born in United States territories(i.e. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) may apply)

    • 1st-generation defined as having parent (s) born outside of the United States (Those with parent(s) born in United States territories i.e. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, may apply) 

    • Are NOT currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program

Info Session and Meet the Mentors:*
Monday, November 20, 6:00 - 7:30 PM

*Recommended attendance for interested applicants

Artist Presentations from our Mentors. An opportunity to gain insight into their practice and their relationship to the field. NYFA Staff will provide orientation to the program and application process.

Program Dates: Group Meetings

Wednesday, January 17, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Monday, January 29, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Monday, February 12, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Monday, March 19, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Monday, May 14, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Monday, June 18, 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Location: NYFA, 20 Jay Street, 7th floor, DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 11201*

*All meetings held at NYFA unless otherwise notified
NYFA offices are accessible

Application Guidelines: For the application we ask you provide
  • Your long-term goals, ongoing project(s) or project(s) in development and how participating in this program would benefit your artistic practice
  • Identify at least two (2) mentors who connect with your artistic vision
  • A narrative bio of your professional career
  • A link to your website or online presence
  • Work samples with description

Questions: Contact Learning Team:

Notifications: On or before December 18, 2017

Jeff Kasper (Queens, New York) is an artist, educator, and arts organizer with a research and engagement-centered practice. Built on his interest in how space, management, and communication inform the construction of identity and perception, his current multi-form body of work investigates the scripting and surveillance of masculinities manifest in intimate encounters between men. He received his MFA in Art & Social Practice from Queens College CUNY and is currently a recipient of a 2017/18 SHIFT Residency at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts.

Kasper has been invited to lecture at the MoMA Department of Education, School of Visual Arts, School at the Art Institute of Chicago, CUNY, and The New School. His work has been featured at the 26th International Graphic Design Biennial Brno, Czech Republic; The James Gallery; Okno Gallery, Russia; Art in Odd Places; Bronx River Art Center; Artspace, New Haven; Queens Museum; and International Graduate Center for the Study of Culture at the University of Giessen, among others.

Clarinda Mac Low was brought up in the avant-garde arts scene that flourished in NYC during the 1960s and ‘70s. She began performing with her father Jackson Mac Low and with Meredith Monk at the age of 5. Mac Low started out working in dance and molecular biology in the late 1980s and now works in performance and installation, creating participatory installations and events that investigate social constructs and corporeal experience. Mac Low is co-founder and Executive Director of Culture Push, an experimental organization that links artistic practice and civic engagement, and co-curator of Works on Water, a triennial that supports art that works on, in or with water and waterways. Her other work has appeared at Panoply Performance Laboratory, the EFA Project Space, P.S. 122, the Kitchen, X-Initiative, and many other places and spaces around New York City and elsewhere in the world, including the Manifesta Biennial in Spain. Recent work and ongoing projects include: “Incredible Witness,” a series of game-based participatory events looking at the sensory origins of empathy; “Free the Orphans,” a project that seeks to “free” copyright orphans (creative work with unknown copyright holders), investigating the spiritual and intellectual implications of intellectual property in a digital age; “The Year of Dance”, an anthropology of the NYC dance world that that examines how bonds form in art-making to create unconventional family and kinship structures; TRYST, performance interventions in urban space; “Cyborg Nation,” public conversation on the technological body and intimacy; and and “Salvage/Salvation,” a collaborative installation and performance project that explores the philosophical, emotional and material implications of re-use, discard, decay and abundance Residencies including as a MacDowell Fellow (2000, 2016), through the Society for Cultural Exchange in Pittsburgh (2007) and as a guest at Yaddo and Mount Tremper Arts (2012). She received a BAX Award in 2004, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant, 2007 and a 2010 Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art grant. Mac Low holds a BA, double major in Dance and Molecular Biology, from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Arts Practice from CCNY-CUNY.

Ronny Quevedo’s artistic practice is an examination of the vernacular languages and aesthetic forms generated by displacement, migration, and resilience. Inspired by his own family history and migration, Quevedo skillfully transcribes graphics of locality, community, and remembered environments into his work. Quevedo’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at The Drawing Center; the Queens Museum; The Bronx Museum of the Arts; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Emerson Gallery (Germany), among others. He is a recipient of the A Blade of Grass Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art and Queens Museum/Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists and has participated in residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; Kala Art Institute; the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Project Row Houses; Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture; and Lower East Side Printshop. Quevedo received his MFA degree from the Yale School of Art in 2013 and BFA degree from The Cooper Union in 2003. 

Monika Würher is an Austrian artist, curator and Executive Director of Open Source Gallery. After studying in Milan, Italy, Monika returned to her native country Austria where she studied with Michelangelo Pistoletto and completed her Masters of Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts. Working with Michelangelo Pistoletto introduced her to "progetto arte", a socially engaged art project that travelled around the world including the Museo Pecci in Florence and Documenta X in Kassel. She is interested in making art a hyper-vivid expression of daily life, and challenging art world conventions by playing with its clichés. Monika moved to New York in 1999 and founded Open Source Gallery in Brooklyn, NY in 2007. Open Source Gallery is an arts-based non-profit organization inspired by the open-source movement.In the spirit of this free exchange of knowledge, Open Source Gallery provides a forum where art intersects with the community and the world at large.