Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja was founded in 2004 by Puerto Rican artist Margarita Espada due to the lack of spaces for Latinx artists to create, present and offer artistic programming to the community of color on Long Island, New York. For the past 17 years, YB has served as an artistic catalyst and a safe space to nurture local, national and international projects created by multicultural / intergenerational artists. Based on the premise that a vibrant, working community requires effort, input and social participation, the work that TEY is engaged in can be characterized by the plant it is named after, Yerbabruja, a plant with healing powers that thrives even in adverse conditions.
Teatro Yerbabruja serves the traditionally marginalized and underserved BIPOC communities on Long Island, specifically Central Islip, Brentwood, and North Bay Shore.
TEY manages and produces works at the historical 2nd Firehouse Gallery and Performance Space. The Second Avenue Firehouse has become a unique cultural venue, serving its immediate neighborhood as well as the greater Long Island community. The first floor of the building is home to art exhibitions, musical and multimedia performances, workshops, readings and other cultural arts programs. Gallery exhibits feature the work of both emerging and well-established artists.
Its leadership and artists are primarily members of the BIPOC community. It creates and produces multi-genre programming for traditionally underserved and underrepresented Latinx and Black artists and communities on Long Island, including performances, classes, open mikes, exhibits, parades, festivals and public art as part of downtown revitalization efforts, plus programs in schools, social service agencies and jails.