Lower East Side Community Hero
Thea Martinez is honored to be part of the Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) Land Use and Public Housing Committee. Thea first became involved with GOLES as a tenant leader when facing displacement, she worked with GOLES organizers to stop landlords from turning a Section 8 Project into Market Rate Housing.
Thea was born and raised on the Lower East Side. She began her professional dance career at 16 performing with the Phyllis Lamhut Dance Company, The Rod Rodgers Dance Company Ballet, Folkorico de Puerto Rico New Dance Group Repertory Ensemble and touring with the world acclaimed Alwin Nikolais Dance Theater.
Thea choreographed for the original cast production of ‘For Colored Girls’ at the New Federal Theater. She also choreographed and performed at the Public Theater, P.S. 122, Wooster Group, Shakespeare Festivel, Spoleto International, with spoken word poets, Pedro Pietri, Miquel Algarin Tato Laviera, Sandra Esteves and Luis Reyes Rivera.
Thea is a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for her Choreopoem “Love Shout’ (Llanto de Amor).
Thea has been a teaching artist, working with The Bronx Council on the Arts and the New York Department of Education (NYC DOE). She directed a youth theater ensemble and public health peer education program called The Loisaida Players,. She worked as Assistant Director for The Family Life Theater and assisted with creating original theater as part of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Program of NYC DOE.
Thea newest project is called The Lower East Side Local Heroes Project. Through walking tours and arts projects that teach the Lower East Side’s activist history, Thea’s company seeks to develop civic leadership and community strength. The company’s slogan is See History, Vision the Future.