Dance Theatre of Harlem, now celebrating its 50th year, was founded by the late Arthur Mitchell and the late Karel Shook. In 1969, at the height of the civil rights movement, Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook founded Dance Theatre of Harlem. Their vision remains one of the most democratic in dance. In moments of extreme injustice and frustration the most impactful art is born. This is true of the inception of one of the most influential American ballet companies of the last five decades, Dance Theatre of Harlem.