CMOM Staff

CMOM Staff

Meet the people who make CMOM such a special place to learn and play!

Andy Ackerman, Executive Director

Andy Ackerman has served as Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan since 1990. Throughout this time he has been responsible for our management and artistic direction. Since Andy first joined CMOM, the Museum has doubled its attendance and budget and completed a 10,000 square feet addition

Andy began his museum career in 1975 as an instructor at The Exhibit Museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he taught history and natural science to school groups and conceived and implemented a program for preschoolers. In 1977, he returned to his native New York to become Director of Education of The Jewish Museum. He held that position until 1985, when he became Assistant Director of The Jewish Museum, responsible for long-range program planning, fundraising and the integration of audio-visual technology into exhibition programs.

From 1986 to 1990, Andy served as Director of the Arts in Education Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. He set funding guidelines for the program and worked with the New York State Department of Education on long-range planning for arts education and environmental science.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Herbert H. Lehman College in the Bronx, where he studied anthropology, Andy went on to participate in the Overseas Program of Tel-Aviv University and earned his M.A. in Near Eastern Studies in 1976 from the University of Michigan. He participated in archaeological digs in Israel as area supervisor and field supervisor of the Emeq Hefer Regional Project (1982-83), an activity that is reflected in his publications, which include "Israel in Antiquity", written with Susan Braunstein (winner of a National Jewish Book Award, 1982).

Andy served as President of the Association of Children’s Museum from 1998-2000 and is a member of the Executive Committee of the New York City Arts Coalition.

Leslie Bushara, Deputy Director for Education and Guest Services

Leslie Bushara has been with CMOM since 1993. As Director for Early Childhood Programs at CMOM, she designed curricula and taught early childhood education classes to both children and parents and has developed outreach programs for the Teen Parent Literacy Program, Shelter Program, CUNY NYC Early Childhood Professional Development Institute and the Bronx Early Childhood Initiative. Leslie was the project director for PlayHelps, a national play and learning outreach program for families in New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina.

As Deputy Director for Education and Guest Services at CMOM, Leslie oversees all programs, curricula and grants for public school and outreach programs including Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the Access Family Outreach. In addition, Leslie was the early childhood specialist and exhibit developer for CMOM exhibits Seuss!; Winnie the Pooh; Just Off Broadway; WordPlay; Oh, Seuss! Off to Great Places; Dora the Explorer; Little West Side and PlayWorks™.

Leslie earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Early Childhood from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her prior experience includes teaching at the Rhythm & Glues Preschool, the Corlears School and the Discovery Program. She has written articles for family journals in New York City and for the Association of Children’s Museums’ journal publication,"Hand to Hand". She has designed curricula and programs for the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, the Jewish Community Center in New York City, Children’s Museum of Puerto Rico, Stepping Stones Museum for Children and the Long Island Children’s Museum. Leslie has been interviewed for National Public Radio regarding her work with families living in shelters and presented at the Young Children Without Homes National Conference in Boston. She has been a panelist and presenter at the New York City Museum Educator’s Roundtable, The Institute for Museum and Library Services and at conferences sponsored by the Association of Children’s Museums. Leslie is on the advisory boards of CUNY NYC Early Childhood PDI and NYC playgroup. Leslie has been a guest lecturer at Bank Street College and New York University’s Graduate School of Education.



Executive Director Andy Ackerman Email Andy
Manager, Office of the Executive Director Melissa DeCesare Email Melissa
Director of Institutional Planning Julia Lu Email Julia
Senior Manager, Finance Devan Jairam Email Devan
Director, IT Liz Tsaoussis Email Liz
Manager, Office and Guest Services Liz Tsaoussis Email Liz
Weekend Supervisor and Administrative Assistant Ray Matias Email Ray
Coordinator, Front Office Carmen Cruz Email Carmen

Public Relations

Rubenstein Communications Adam Miller Email Adam

Building Operations

Director of Exhibitions and Museum Operations Thomas G. Quaranta Email Thomas
Director of Building Operations Jose Ortiz Email Jose


Deputy Director, Education and Guest Services Leslie Bushara Email Leslie
Director, Education and Community Programs Maura Thompson Email Maura
Director, Public Programs David Rios Email David
Manager, Community Outreach and Internships Megan Swanby Email Megan
Manager, Public Programs Julie Marie Seibert Email Julie Marie
Manager, Administration and Education Susan Lim Email Susan


Director of Exhibitions and Museum Operations Thomas G. Quaranta Email Thomas
Director of Exhibition Development and Museum Planning Lizzy Martin Email Lizzy
Manager, Exhibition Shop Wilson Diodonet Email Wilson
Art Director Kristin Lilley Email Kristin
Graphic Designer Alexandra Tirer Email Alexandra
Manager of Exhibition Services Cat Emil Email Cat

External Affairs

Director of Development Callie Siegel Email Callie
Senior Manager, Institutional Giving Christine Dillon Email Christine
Manager, Membership and Events Annabel Barnes Email Annabel
Requesting a donated membership or passes for a fundraiser? Email  
Development Associate April Clark Email April


Manager, Retail Operations Devan Jairam Email Devan

Parties and Rentals

Manager, Birthday Parties Katie Hartman Email Katie
Please Note: All birthday party reservations must be made by phone: 212-721-1223.  
Private Functions and Corporate Events Annabel Barnes Email Annabel

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Save the Date!
CMOM 2014 Spring Gala

Thursday, 15 May 2014
The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers


Special Event: Pampers #BabyGotMoves!, 10:00am

All ages

10am - 1pm
Little ones are invited to play inside Pampers' oversized crib, while on-site camera crews film their best "moves" for a chance to be featured in an upcoming Pampers video. A celebrity mom and her kids will be attending, too!

In The Mood: Painting Musical Emotions, 10:00am

All ages

10am - 4:45pm
Families will be inspired to create artwork by the emotions felt when listening to Jazz. Discover what creates the melancholy mood in Billie Holiday’s voice, or the cheerful sound of Duke Ellington’s Big Band. Explore how your mood is affected by musical elements such as key, melody, harmony and tempo, using a piece of historic sheet music as your canvas.
This program is part of our "Jazzed!: The Changing Beat of 125th Street" exhibit and takes place on the lower level.

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson – Repeat the Beat: Tap Your Feet, 10:00am

All ages

10am - 4:45pm
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson is thought to be the most famous tap dancer of the 20th century.  His style transitioned from a soft and flat-footed shuffling motion to a delicate and precise art; making him celebrated for his light and exacting footwork. Design your own tap shoes to create rhythms with our feet!  
This program is part of our "Jazzed!: The Changing Beat of 125th Street" exhibit and takes place on the lower level.

Swept Away: When Water Meets Sand, 10:30am

All ages

10:30am - 4pm
Explore how water changes ecosystems with our new Erosion Table! Discover water’s power on Earth’s surface by creating rivers and lakes through sand.

Thinking Like a Composer: Understanding Sheet Music (Demo), 11:00am

All ages

Music is made up of notes of different pitches, from low to high. An important characteristic of jazz music is that these notes are arranged in unusual rhythms. Examine a historic score sheet by composers such as Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams. Then match the sounds that you hear with notes on the paper and create your own score.
This program is part of our "Jazzed!: The Changing Beat of 125th Street" exhibit and takes place on the lower level.

All Jazzed Up Performance: Tap Specialist - Andrew Nemr, 11:00am

4 & younger

11am - 3pm
Leading his quartet in a unique and virtuosic display of “olde tyme jazz” with tap dance percussion, Andrew has also played with Nat Adderley Jr., directing CPD PLUS, or co-founding the Tap Legacy™ Foundation, Inc., 2012 TED Global Fellow.
This program is part of our "Jazzed!: The Changing Beat of 125th Street" exhibit and takes place on the lower level.

EatPlayGrow™ Dem Bones, 1:00pm

4 & younger

Families are introduced to the skeletal system and the importance of calcium to build strong bones.

Dance the Lindy Hop (Demo), 1:30pm

All ages

Learn to do the Lindy Hop by moving your feet to the arrangement of basic tap steps. Try to tap your feet fast or slow to a variety of rhythms or tempo. Can you create your own step combinations?
This program is part of our "Jazzed!: The Changing Beat of 125th Street" exhibit and takes place on the lower level.

Fields of Felt, 2:00pm

4 & younger

Use felt images of trees, lakes, and mountains to create a large mural together.
Kindergarten Readiness Skills: Learn descriptive vocabulary, sensory awareness, explore texture, early math skills.

Skit Scat Stories & Songs!, 3:00pm

All ages

Listen to iconic performances of jazz music and then read books about the ‘Jazz Legends’ who performed them.
This program is part of our "Jazzed!: The Changing Beat of 125th Street" exhibit and takes place on the lower level.

Movement & Circle Time, 4:00pm

4 & younger

Sing, move your body and use your listening ears to hear special stories.
Kindergarten Readiness Skills: Learn new vocabulary, build listening skills and learn to be part of a group.

Full Calendar