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


Deputy Director, Education and Guest Services Leslie Bushara Email Leslie
Director, Public Programs David Rios Email David
Director, School Programs Nellie A.V. Chaban Email Nellie
Senior Manager, Administration and Education Susan Lim Email Susan
Manager, Public Programs Julie Marie Seibert Email Julie Marie


Director, Exhibitions and Museum Operations Thomas G. Quaranta Email Thomas
Director, Exhibition Development and Museum Planning Lizzy Martin Email Lizzy
Senior Manager, Exhibition Services Anthony Martinez Email Anthony
Art Director Kristin Lilley Email Kristin
Graphic Designer Alexandra Tirer Email Alexandra

External Affairs

Deputy Director, Development Position Vacant  
Director, Strategic Communications Deirdré Lurie Email Deirdré
Senior Manager, Development Annabel Barnes Email Annabel
Senior Manager, Membership & Special Events Annabel Barnes Email Annabel
Manager, Institutional Giving Leah Smith Email Leah
Development Associate April Clark Email April
Membership Assistant Paola Quezada Email Paola
Requesting a donated membership or passes for a fundraiser? Email  


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


Save the Date!
CMOM 2014 Spring Gala

Thursday, 15 May 2014
The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers

Schedule of Programs

Textured Mural, 10:00am

5 & younger

Use ordinary household items to create textured artwork!

Jam Band, 10:30am

5 & younger

Use tambourines, maracas, bells and rhythm sticks to make beats as CMOM educators lead you in a collaborative and creative jam session.

Movement & Circle Time, 11:00am

5 & younger

Sing, move your body and use your listening ears to hear special stories.

Parachute Play, 11:30am

5 & younger

Blue and green, yellow and red. What colors can you find over head?

Mural Wall Painting, 12:00pm

5 & younger

Mix Paint on the PlayworksTM Mural Wall

Animal Sounds and Movement , 12:30pm

5 & younger

How often does a cricket chirp? How far can a kangaroo jump? How long does a bird fly? Join us as we discover early math skills by exploring the animal kingdom!

Skyscraper Block Building, 1:00pm

5 & younger

Use large foam blocks to explore balance and build your own structures. How high can you build?

Mandala Sand Art, 2:00pm

5 & younger

What is a circle and why are they so important? Explore how circles have been used to create symbols of peace and unity while creating a beautiful Mandala.

Laundry Day, 3:00pm

5 & younger

Join us as we suds up our baby doll clothes! Don’t forget to hang them up to dry!

Movement & Circle Time, 4:00pm

5 & younger

Sing, move your body and use your listening ears to hear special stories.

Full Calendar