DeMar Walker is the Artistic Director of Ko-Thi Dance Company. He has performed & choreographed in the following productions: The Sweet Grass Project, VIBRATIONS: Rhythmic Motion, UJIMA & JUBA-LEE which premiered in August 2019 celebrating the company’s 50th Anniversary. From 2014-2021, DeMar served as an Associate Lecturer of African Diasporic dance at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee – Peck School of the Arts/Department of Dance.

He has traveled to the countries of Guinea & Senegal to train, research, & perform in international workshops with various internationally acclaimed teachers. DeMar is a contributor to the publication entitled “Black in the Middle: An Anthology of the Black Midwest”. In Fall 2021, he directed & released his first dance short film The Beckoning which has been screened in the multiple international film festivals. It has received several accolades including the 2021 Mozaik Philanthropy Future Art Award, as well as, Best Film & Best Director at the VOICES HEARD segment during this year’s Milwaukee International Short Film Festival. Currently, DeMar is also a first year graduate student pursuing a Master’s Degree in English at Marquette University with an emphasis on Black arts history in the Midwestern United States.

Mediums: Dance, poetry, prose, photography, film

Favorite Artist Tool: Apple Music (gotta have my tunes!)

Go-to Local Inspiration: Late-night cruising throughout the city

Mentee Compliment: Mary has the creativity and imagination to pursue anything she desires. Her comic art is awesome.

Fun Fact: Dancing on the beaches in Guinea and Senegal overlooking the Atlantic Ocean was the most exhilarating feeling.

Serious Fact: The past decade has been the biggest learning curve of my personal and creative life. I bask in its gratitude.

Artist Statement 

My work uses performance art, photography, film, poetry, and prose to expand on the Black embodied experience in the Midwestern region of the United States. As a native of Milwaukee, I query this sensibility to highlight the complexities of race, gender, class, and sexuality. I am interested in the futurity of Black artistic and cultural production as a reconciliation of “lost” American histories and its iterations within the present day. Some of my inspirations include the 20th century migrancy of Wisconsin Gandy dancers to the retellings of my grandmother’s childhood growing up near a blackberry grove in Mississippi. It is my intention to further cultivate an interdisciplinary artistic practice as a form of cultural critique that speaks to the mundane and magical ways Black Midwestern life serves as a portal to “otherwise worlds,” as well as an affinity to the Black diaspora experience.