Premised on the belief that the arts are an effective vehicle for social transformation, Dance Theatre Etcetera unites artists and community members as co-creators in dynamic cultural activities. Through site-specific performances, festivals, parades, and performing arts and media education programs, Dance Theatre Etcetera stimulates the social imagination through acts of informed expression, creating a more just and joyful world.
Officially incorporated in 1994, Dance Theatre Etcetera (DTE) is an important cultural programmer based in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
DTE is nationally known for making the arts a vital component of urban renewal efforts in the waterfront community of Red Hook, Brooklyn. With the creation of On The Waterfront (1993), DTE’s Founder and Executive Director, Martha Bowers, planted the seeds for a long association with the Red Hook community. This site-specific work combined live dance and music performance with a walking tour of the then abandoned Red Hook waterfront that involved a cast of professional artists and over 50 local community members. In conjunction with this event, DTE initiated community arts programs at local schools and senior centers.
Soon after, DTE spearheaded the creation of Red Hook Partners, a group of local service providers, business representatives, neighborhood residents and waterfront organizations that met regularly to coordinate local urban renewal efforts. DTE is one of the founding member organizations of the current Red Hook Coalition that formed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to assist in local recovery efforts.
In 2002, the Board made a strategic decision to focus the organization’s mission and primary activities on arts education, and to continue producing the Red Hook Festival and other performance projects as ancillary showcases for student work and opportunities for advanced students to work with professional artists. In 2007, DTE was selected by the O’Connell Organization to be one of three not-for-profits offered a Red Hook waterfront office/studio space, rent-free, in recognition of its contributions to the community.
With a distinguished history and track record in Red Hook, DTE is now a deeply-rooted community arts organization with multiple programs that proudly serve and showcase the Red Hook community. DTE has replicated many of its art education programs in other low-income communities throughout New York City. DTE recognizes that community cultural development requires long-term commitments between artists and communities. In service to its long-range vision of a culturally aware and active community, DTE links its various education programs with its festivals, performances and administrative work.