Margarita Espada is the founder and executive-artistic director of Teatro Yerbabruja, an organization formerly based in Puerto Rico and now based in Long Island, that uses the arts as a tool for social change. In 2009, the organization produced a community-based performance piece called “What Killed Marcelo Lucero?” based on the November 2008 hate crime killing of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero.
Margarita has a master’s degree in fine arts in dramaturgy from Stony Brook University and is also a New York State-certified teacher. She has received numerous awards and proclamations for her leadership and community work, including a 2006 “Woman of the Year” award from the Latin American Chamber of Commerce & Industry of New York for her contributions to the arts on Long Island.
She is a member of the International School for Latin-American and Caribbean Theater of UNESCO and the National Association for Latino Arts & Culture. As a community organizer, she uses the arts to promote social change. Her use of the artsl to promote civic dialogue among the diverse communities on Long Island has gained her the respect of community leaders and grassroots organizations alike. Her work has also been featured in media outlets such as Newsday, The New York Times, and the Associated Press.