Dance Theatre Etcetera is a community organization dedicated to “pursuing social justice through the arts,” offering art education programs before, during, and after school. Since 1994, its founder Martha Bowers has been guiding the group. A dancer and choreographer who has performed such site-specific works as 1993’s “On the Waterfront,” she was motivated by tragic circumstance in Red Hook to try and work toward the betterment of the community.
Dance Theatre Etcetera is in the Red Hook Stores Building, the same building occupied by the Fairway Market. The O’Connell Organization offered space to her group to expand their work. Bowers described the spacious studio as “a choreographer’s dream.”
Dance Theatre Etcetera operates all over Red Hook and other low-income neighborhoods of New York City, organizing projects partially designed by the kids they work with. They helped found the South Brooklyn Community High School Arts Program, and they participate in both the annual Red Hook Festival and the Dance on the Greenway festival on the IKEA waterfront.
Dance Theatre Etcetera has also helped to address the “digital divide” experienced by kids in low-income neighborhoods with limited access to computers. Working with local organizations such as the Red Hook Initiative and the South Brooklyn Community High School Learning to Work program, they helped to install free Wi-Fi networks and offer a four-week Digital Boot Camp for kids.