Administrative Staff

Martha Bowers

Martha Bowers Executive Director

Executive Director & Founder

Martha is an award winning arts educator (Brooklyn Arts Exchange BAXten Award 2002, NYC Education Chancellor Rudolph Crew’s Community Caring Award 1999).

After studying under Bessie Schonberg at Sarah Lawrence College, she formed her company, Martha Bowers Dance/Theatre/Etcetera. In New York, her work has been presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, DTW’s Bessie Schonberg Theater( now New York Live Arts), PS 122, St. Mark’s Church, Central Park Summerstage, amongst many other venues. She is a recipient of choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (`84, `88, `96), the New Jersey State Council for the Arts (`84), and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, and has received commissions for new works from the Jerome Foundation (through DTW’s “First Light” program), the Maine Festival, Mayfair, Dancing in the Streets, the Gowanus Arts Exchange and the Wagon Train Project, among others. Since 1994, Ms. Bowers has focused her work on the creation of large-scale site-specific events, and is noted for her 20 years of work as an artist and educator in Red Hook, Brooklyn. From the mussel boats of Wexford, Ireland to the train yards of Nebraska, her performance events have brought a prismatic view to locations and ways of life that challenge audiences to uncover latent meaning in familiar surroundings. Her site-specific performance work Angels and Accordions designed for Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery was selected by the Municipal Arts Society NYC 2010 Annual Awards Committee to receive a Certificate of Merit that recognizes “people, places, organizations and momentous events that have, in our view, made an exceptional contribution to the life of New York City.”

Ms. Bowers has worked extensively in the field of arts education and community arts since 1981. From 1982-2002, she made annual visits to Ireland to work as a community dance artist, creating choreography for a variety of groups in both the north and south. From 2003-2005, she was an Education Consultant for The Kitchen. Currently, she teaches courses on Site-Specific Art/Performance as an adjunct professor at NYU’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study and at the Tisch School of the Arts.

As a Teaching Artist and Arts Education consultant, Martha has designed, implemented and taught in arts education programs throughout the New York City public school system for Dancing in the Streets, the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, the Lincoln Center Institute and Dance Theatre Etcetera. From 2006-2007, she also structured the Third Millennium Foundation’s Dance for Tolerance project launch, which brought together marginalized youth from Colombia, Brazil and Brooklyn to showcase innovative global programs that use dance as a means of tolerance education here in New York City. A frequent guest artist, Martha has taught choreography and community arts at many colleges and universities including Rutgers, Cornell, Trinity College, Queens College, Antioch, and Colorado College among others.

Ms. Bowers has been honored with a 2002 BAXten Award in Arts Education, Chancellor Rudolph Crew’s 1999 Community Caring Award and six New York Foundation for the Arts Artist in the School Community grants.

She continues to work in collaboration with Dance Theatre Etcetera’s many non-profit partners on programs and cultural events that serve the community of Red Hook.

Catherine Leary

Director of Special Projects and Strategic Initiatives

Catherine Leary received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance degree from The George Washington University and her MBA in Public Administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management. Catherine, affectionately known as ‘Cat’, has extensive experience in education, business and arts.

After relocating from DC to NYC, in the late 90’s, she started her career heading up the Performing Arts department in Center for Family Life in Sunset Park After School Program at PS1 where she worked with students K-12. A strong interest in business, led to a career change in financial roles at Brooklyn Academy of Music and Dia Art Foundation. Having a strong desire to again work more closely with families and children, the charter school movement sparked her interest. The opportunity to work in a dynamic setting with great technology and a team dedicated to providing a high quality education to students was worth a career move. These opportunities were realized at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School where she served as Director of Downtown Operations and Business Manager and at New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities III where she served as Director of School Operations and International Charter School as Director of Operations. In these roles, Catherine focused on developing and implementing processes and systems for all day-to-day operations. As a member of Leadership, she collaborated with the DOE, other city and state agencies, Charter School Networks, leadership teams, faculty and parents to assist them in strengthening core values within specific curricula and improve school culture. She applied her business acumen skills to the development and implementation of strong financial and operational systems in these thriving communities and great schools and has used her community building skills to assist in the development of a solid educational program.

Catherine is also an Assistant Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute Manhattan campus, teaching Budgeting and Financial Planning. Additionally she has consulted with arts organizations throughout NYC, including The Apollo Theater Education Department, Storefront Art and Architecture and Balance Dance Company.

Catherine Leary received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance degree from The George Washington University and her MBA in Public Administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management. Catherine, affectionately known as ‘Cat’, has extensive experience in education, business and arts.

Here at DTE, she hopes to utilize her combined education and professional experiences to grow the organization and create long term strategic plans. She is excited to bring her collaborative style and visionary thinking, her passion for arts, business, education and community building to DTE.

Catherine is a member of the GWU Black Alumni Association of NY/NJ and GWU-CAST (Contributing Associates in Support of Theatre and Dance). She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son. She enjoys cooking Southern and Caribbean cuisine, watching classic movies and attending arts and community events.

Maria Soriano

Education Director

Maria Soriano holds a BA in Theatre and is an advocate for the arts and arts integrated learning. She has traveled extensively both nationally and internationally as an artist and an arts educator providing residencies, workshops and performances throughout. 

Her one woman show Stories of La Isla; a celebration of the strength and resiliency of the women who helped shape her, has been performed in Costa Rica, Italy and Puerto Rico. Through Stories of La Isla she has encouraged audiences to tell their own stories, opening dialogue to issues that are relevant in today’s society and encouraging community involvement.

While at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (TBPAC) in Tampa, Fl. serving as the Program Director she co-wrote and co-directed over 16 performances for Community Arts Ensemble; a theatre program for low income families which serviced over 300 students every summer. It was during her time at TBPAC that she developed her passion for arts education and community activism.

She served as the Director of Performance Programs at Community Works NYC providing schools with over 100 performances a year geared towards fostering a greater understanding of other cultures as well as residencies and workshops geared towards community building. Most recently she had the privilege of traveling with Dance Theatre of Harlem as the company Tour Manager.

Heather Harvey

Heather Harvey BRTW Marketing

Marketing Director

Heather Harvey is a marketer, producer, and theatre-marker. Hailing from the midwest, Heather is an Oberlin College graduate, co-founder of Black Revolutionary Theatre Workshop, and an arts and social justice advocate.

Before joining the team at Hook Arts Media, Heather worked with WP Theatre, The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, G. Gebony Productions, and served as a consultant to other artists and small businesses. She is passionate about bridging the divide between audiences and the organizations committed to serving them. 

As an artist, she has performed, produced, and co-developed work throughout the country. With Black Revolutionary Theatre Workshop, she continues to bring new work highlighting the Black experience to audiences in the tri-state area and beyond.

Teaching Artists

Mahogany Browne
Andrew Butler
Daniel Carlton
Derick Cross
Patrick Crowley
Tamara Fingal
Samara Gaev
Violet Galagarza
Nicholas Gant
José Joaquín García
Excel Garner
Solomon Goodwin
Aaron Lansansky
Rajonna Lewis
Gabriella Mack

Ricardo Matos
Jon W. Mayer
Michael Mohamed
Neil Ochoa
Jive Poetic
Claro de los Reyes
Noelle Rivas
Joyce Sherri
Robert Smith
Erin Vassilopoulos
Kim Vasquez
kamau ware
Sarah Nelson Wright
Andre Yearwood

Board of Directors

Board President: Sam Sills
Secretary: Audrey Anastasi
Treasurer: Ursula Damm

Elise Bernhardt
Martha Bowers
Torrey Maldonado


Bryony Romer (Development)

Michael Levinton (Finance)


Michael Tayo (Marketing)

Jocelyn Rivera (Outreach)

Learn more about employment opportunities at Hook Arts Media here.