About El Taller


El Taller Latino Americano (The Latin American Workshop) is a 501(c)(3) community-based non-profit arts and education institution founded in New York City in 1979 to bridge the gap between Latin Americans and North Americans through the language of art, dance and music. 

El Taller is located in El Barrio's Artspace PS 109 on East 99th between 2nd and 3rd and offers its community a varied menu of Spanish and English language classes, arts programming, and music. El Taller seeks not only to educate, but also to engage and gather diverse groups together culturally and linguistically on the common ground of creativity. Over 500 people each month meet to share ideas, participate in classes and find creative inspiration and a refuge in the middle of New York City. 

Our partnerships include work in the public school system, hospitals and other community organizations. We reach school age children through Sesame Street, immigrant populations through Misa Campesina for Peace, the medical community through our alliance with Health and Hospitals Corporation; and art lovers city wide working with the MTA Mural Project, Latido Latino on HBO and Nonesuch Records. 

El Taller's history, dating back to 1979, is testimony to the nature of community in New York City, one assembled in the atmospheres of the home, the public plaza, the classroom, the stage, and the artist's studio. The social impact of offering the chance to participate in cultural arts activities and education within the community of El Taller is not only evident by the number of visitors, participants, teachers, and students; we also see the palpable effect of collective action and collaboration on individuals and groups, experiences that serve as expressions of our shared humanity and of our shared cultural heritage. Our aim is to inspire an extended commitment to community through ongoing exposure to each other's artistic and cultural lives in order to invigorate learning and understanding, while forming a working community with the skills to read, interpret, and respond to the world. 

A special thanks to the Nathan Cummings Foundation, with special acknowledgement to Mr. Adam Blumenthal, for their generous support of El Taller Latino Americano™. El Taller Latino Americano™ programs are also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito's office. 


Our Mission

To advance the development of a cohesive community by providing exposure to, understanding of and respect for diverse cultural arts through the provision of cross discipline and cross-cultural collaborations among individuals, artists and organizations. 


Our Vision

One day, all people will have the opportunity to participate in the creation and continuance of our shared cultural heritage so that we may collectively recognize and respect its expression as key to human diversity, and as the ultimate, unifying expression of our humanity, capable of achieving and sustaining social cohesion and social equity. 


Our Values

Everyone is Welcome
El Taller is open to all, committed to inclusiveness, representing the diversity of the people and of the communities we serve. 

Academic & Artistic Integrity
El Taller provides students, audiences, artists, and visitors the freedom to explore. We deliver performances and programs that promote creativity, honest artistic expression, and excellent production values. 

Community-Based, Participatory Approach
We provide a safe gathering place and supportive environment for students, audiences, artists, and visitors to engage with our community. 

Life-Long Learning & Education
El Taller provides meaningful, life-long learning experiences for both children and adults. We are dedicated to innovative and active teaching and learning, through all stages of life. 

Making the World a Better Place
We actively seek to better ourselves, our families, our communities, and the world.


Our Programs

In addition to offering Spanish and English language classes, and artistic events, El Taller also provides a variety of artistic and linguistic support services for individuals, companies and other community organizations. We have six (6) major programs, "Casas" or "Houses" that we provide to the community:


The House of Language is our signature program and primary source of revenue. It is an El Taller language school that has been operational since 1979. Our methodology combines language and sound with cultural immersion techniques enabling our students to learn Spanish Of The Americas™. This breakthrough methodology was developed by El Taller's Founder, Bernardo Palombo. Our teachers are all native Spanish speakers from all over the world, who use El Taller's innovative and well-respected curriculum to lead conversational Spanish courses for 800 - 1,200 individuals per year. 


Since our inception the House of Children has focused on children and youth, both with language programs and Latin American arts, music and dance workshops. The philosophy of our children’s language programs is to teach Spanish to children through music and art. Following this approach, our teachers are both language teachers and artists or musicians. Teaching Spanish with art and music stimulates creative thinking, incorporates Latino culture and history, and is the most fun way for children to learn a language. Currently, our Casa de los Niños programs include “Aventuras del Verano,” the 6-week long summer camp for 4-10 year olds where the theme of each week focuses on culture and history from different parts of Latin America. We also provide curriculum content and teach afterschool programs at several New York City public schools. In addition, we run children’s group classes here at El Taller all year round as well as one-time workshops to local groups or schools that visit from all over North America. 


The House of Music presents the best in Latin music to our students and encourages a mixture of musical traditions resulting in original and inventive collaborations. We offer an intimate venue for concerts, attended by over 2,000 people annually, featuring some of the world's most respected artists, as well as young, eclectic, and undiscovered talent. 


El Taller Latino Americano™ opened its art gallery in 1979, with a generous donation of two paintings by Frank Stella, with the idea that the gallery was a place for the exhibition of art of the Americas. In addition to our permanent exhibit of Angelo Romano, the gallery exhibits one show every other month. El Taller and its Grady Alexis Gallery provide curatorial support to hundreds of known and emerging New York and international visual artists; and serve as a meeting place for artists to develop both professional and social networks within the artisan community of New York City. 


Provides participants with dance classes in a bilingual format. Students not only learn a variety of dance techniques enhancing body movement, but also learn the socio-cultural history of each dance while gaining Spanish language skills at the same time. 


El Taller's newest addition was conceived with the goal of developing and producing video work that enhances the community's ability to collectively recognize and respect cultural arts as the ultimate expression of human diversity. Under the direction of Thomas W. Campbell, a professor of video and sound production, the House of Film hosts monthly film screenings on art and culture, reaching approximately 800 individuals a year.