New American Economy Announces Complete Schedule of Events For Inaugural New American Festival, a Celebration of Immigrants in American Culture, September 14 & 15 at NeueHouse

Festival Convenes Luminaries Across Fields Including Padma Lakshmi, Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer, Hasan Minhaj, Marcus Samuelsson, Ruth B., Japanese Breakfast, Ronny Chieng, Bowen Yang, Baby Yors, Ballet Hispánico, Baby Yors, Vladimir Caamaño, Negin Farsad, Fany Gerson, Nic Hanson, Yasmin Khan, Francis Lam, Min Jin Lee, Mannywellz, Aparna Nancherla, Daniel José Older, Bohan Phoenix, Jess Salomon, Rotem Sivan, Aminatou Sow, Jonny Sun & Hannah Davis, Wil Sylvince, Michael Twitty, Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez, and Y3LDA.

Media Partners Include New York Magazine, Vulture, and WNYC.

Editor’s Note: Logos for editorial use can be found here.  

NEW YORK – New American Economy (NAE) has announced the complete lineup of events comprising the inaugural New American Festival, a groundbreaking event that brings together a wide range of cultural luminaries in celebration of immigrant contributions to American art, food, film, comedy, fashion, and more (September 14-15). The festival will take place at exclusive venue partner NeueHouse (Madison Square – 110 East 25th Street), in New York City, the immigrant capital of the world, on September 14 & 15. Following its debut in New York, NAE will bring the New American Festival to cities across the U.S., including Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Kansas City, Nashville, Houston, and Oakland, among others. 

“The New American Festival celebrates the visionary contributions that immigrants make to the fields of art and culture,” said New American Economy’s Katherine Steinberg. “Immigrants have revolutionized cuisine, and altered our perceptions through convention-breaking comedy, music, literature, and performance. The festival highlights how our cultural diversity is our national strength across each of these fields.”

Josh Wyatt, CEO of NeueHouse, said, “NeueHouse is honored to partner with the New American Festival to host its inaugural festival and call our space their home this month. The NeueHouse creative community thrives in an inclusive environment regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation and socio-economic backgrounds, a vision that is shared and celebrated by the New American Festival. NeueHouse deeply values and supports the diversity of members through thoughtful programming, community forums and business platforms that enable success for all.”


Saturday, September 14

11:30 AM – 6:00 PM — Ongoing Programming (FREE with $25 Saturday Main Floor entry): art on view by For Freedoms, Jonny Sun’s Laughing Room; pop-up shop ft. Lingua Franca and Books Are Magic; photo booth and social media station; beats by Yelda all day; and New American Economy information stations.

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM — Keynote by Padma Lakshmi (FREE with $25 Saturday Main Floor entry)

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM — Jonny Sun Q&A (FREE with $25 Saturday Main Floor entry)

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM — For Freedoms Artists Panel & Town Hall (FREE with $25 Saturday Main Floor entry)

1:00 PM – 1:30PM — Rotem Sivan Music Performance (FREE with $25 Saturday Main Floor entry)

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM — Aminatou Sow-Curated Literary Panel ft. Min Jin Lee and Daniel José Older ($40)

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM — Performance by Ballet Hispánico ($35)

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM — Dr. Ruth Award Presentation (FREE with $25 Saturday Main Floor entry)

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM — Film Screening of Ask Dr. Ruth ft. snacks from Emma’s Torch ($30)

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM — ILYANA Music Performance (FREE with $25 Saturday Main Floor entry)

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM — Nic Hanson Music Performance (FREE with $25 Saturday Main Floor entry)

6:30 PM – 7:00 PM — Japanese Breakfast Music Performance ($35)

7:00 PM – End — Hasan Minhaj Q&A ($45)

Sunday, September 15

12:00 PM – 6:00 PM — Ongoing Programming (FREE with $25 Sunday Main Floor entry): art on view by For Freedoms, Jonny Sun’s Laughing Room, Pop-up shop ft. Lingua Franca and Books Are Magic, photo booth and social media station, beats by Yelda all day, and New American Economy information stations

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM — Yasmin Khan Chef Panel ft. Francis Lam, Michael W. Twitty, Fany Gerson, and Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez ($35)

1:00 PM – 1:30 PM — Baby Yors Music Performance (FREE with $25 Sunday Main Floor entry)

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM — Marcus Samuelsson Tasting ($40)

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM — Mannywellz Music Performance (FREE with $25 Sunday Main Floor entry)

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM — New Americans Make America Funny: Panel ft. Bowen Yang and other talent from Comedy Central followed by Clip Reel ($30)

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM — Stand Up Comedy with Ronny Chieng, Aparna Nancherla, Vladimir Caamano, Negin Farsad, Wil Sylvince, and Jess Salomon ft. snacks by Emma’s Torch ($35)

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM — Bohan Phoenix Music Performance (FREE with $25 Sunday Main Floor entry)

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM — Film Screening of Crow: The Legend, a virtual reality experience of the film, featuring characters voiced by Oprah, John Legend, and Constance Wu [First Come First Serve (FREE with $25 Sunday Main Floor entry)

6:30 PM – 7:00 PM — Ruth B. Music Performance ($35)


New American Festival headliners include established and emerging artists whose work has changed their respective fields and art forms. 

New York Times best-selling author, host, and executive producer Padma Lakshmi (Love, Loss and What We Ate, The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs, Top Chef) will give the keynote address. The festival will also offer conversations with sex therapist, radio and television show host, and author Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer and award-winning host, comedian, writer, and producer Hasan Minhaj (Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, Homecoming King) and a performance by America’s leading Latino dance organization, Ballet Hispánico.


Comedy Central is the official partner for the festival’s comedy programming. They will screen a reel of sketches featuring immigrant artists or relating to the themes of the festival and will host a panel with comedic writers including Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live writer and actor in Comedy Central’s upcoming Nora from Queens. NAE will also host a stand-up hour featuring:

  • Ronny Chieng, Correspondent, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
  • Aparna Nancherla, Comedy Central’s Corporate, Netflix’s The Standups, Bojack Horseman
  • Negin Farsad, HBO’s High Maintenance, Earwolf’s Fake The Nation
  • Vladimir Caamaño, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Marvel’s Runaways, Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • Wil Sylvince, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show, and Damon Wayans’ The Underground
  • Jess Salomon, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Baroness Von Sketch, The El-Salomons


Big Friendship co-author and Call Your Girlfriend podcaster Aminatou Sow will lead a literary panel featuring authors Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper series, Bone Street Rumba series) and Min Jin Lee (Pachinko, Free Food for Millionaires).


Treble, a creative community that incubates thousands of undiscovered musicians and emerging superstars, has curated a cross-genre music lineup including:

  • Ruth B, Canadian singer-songwriter
  • Japanese Breakfast, the indie-rock solo music project of Korean-American musician Michelle Zauner
  • Mannywellz, Grammy Award-winning R&B singer-songwriter and Nigerian DACA recipient 
  • Nic Hanson, Brazilian R&B singer
  • Bohan Phoenix, Chinese-American bilingual rapper and hip-hop artist
  • Rotem Sivan, Israeli guitarist and musician
  • Y3LDA, German-born Afghan community builder and DJ
  • Baby Yors, Argentinian pop singer


The New American Festival will feature a tasting led by chef, restaurateur, and author Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster Harlem, Marcus B&P).

Author, broadcaster and cook Yasmin Khan (Zaitoun, The Saffron Tales), who will lead a panel discussion including Francis Lam, Michael Twitty, Fany Gerson, and Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez.

Smorgasburg, the largest weekly open-air food market in America and the official food partner for the festival, will offer cuisines representing a variety of nationalities and ethnicities. 


BoJack Horseman writer, everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too author, and illustrator of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s New York Times best-seller Gmorning, Gnight! Jonny Sun will bring an interactive multimedia piece to NeueHouse with collaborating artist Hannah Davis.

For Freedoms, an artist-run platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists, will serve as the official art partner. They will host a town hall that explores the notion of Freedom from Fear through the topic of immigration.


Lingua Franca, who makes sustainably-sourced, fair trade luxury cashmere sweaters, all hand-stitched by women in NYC, is a festival partner.


Tickets for individual events are $25-45. 

For each day of the festival, there is a $25 Main Floor entry including access to:

  • On Saturday, September 14: Keynote address from Padma Lakshmi (11 AM); For Freedoms Town Hall (12 PM); Smorgasburg food; music from Rotem Sivan (1PM), ILYANA (3PM), and Nic Hanson (5PM); Sounds by Y3LDA (all day); The Laughing Room; and pop-up shops.
  • On Sunday, September 15: Smorgasburg food; music from Baby Yors (1PM), Mannywellz (3PM), and Bohan Phoenix (5PM); Sounds by Y3LDA (all day); The Laughing Room; and pop-up shops.

A limited number of all-access day passes are available for $125. 

All tickets can be purchased at


New American Economy (NAE) is a bipartisan organization founded to educate, empower and support policymakers, influencers, and citizens across the country that see the economic and social benefits of a smart approach to immigration reform. NAE has created a coalition of civic, business, and cultural leaders who span the political spectrum and represent all 50 states. NAE makes the case for smart immigration reform in four ways: 1) we use powerful research to demonstrate how immigration impacts our economy, 2) we organize champions at the grassroots and influencer levels to build support for immigration, 3) we partner with state and local leaders to advocate for policies that recognize the value immigrants add locally, and 4) we show immigrant contributions to American culture through film, food, art, sports, comedy, and more.


NeueHouse is the home of the new – new ideas, people, conversations and experiences – where creators, artists and entrepreneurs come together to push culture forward. The NeueHouse creative system sits at the intersection of culture and commerce – underpinned by the unique confluence of elevated design-driven spaces, thought-provoking cultural programming and experiences, and unparalleled hospitality and creative resources. These all combine to inspire a creative and curious mindset, foster new connections and provide the stage for cultural experiences. NeueHouse membership currently comprises a prominent community of creators across locations in New York and Los Angeles.

For more information: I @NeueHouse | #homeofthenew


New American Festival partners include Comedy Central, New York Magazine, Vulture, NeueHouse, Smorgasburg, ChowNow, Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, No Immigrants No Spice, Treble, Lingua Franca, Books are Magic, Crossroads Hotel, For Freedoms, Open Avenues, Emma’s Torch, Center for Houston’s Future, and WNYC.

If you’re interested in partnering with us here in New York or by hosting an NAF event in your city, please contact us for details.


For more information, please contact Sona Rai at New American Economy at

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…