Katie Jo Fulks is an arts administrator, performer, and researcher originally from Huntington, West Virginia. She is currently a dancer and arts administrator with the West Virginia Dance Company in Beckley, WV. Throughout her childhood, she trained in dance, theatre, and voice. Katie continued her studies at Elon University, obtaining a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and a BA in Arts Administration. Much of her experience in the arts administration field is in marketing, social media management, and grant writing. Katie’s professional theatrical experience ranges from arts management to performance to technical work. As a researcher, her interest is in the Soviet Union's use of ballet choreography as political propaganda. Through Katie’s work on and off stage, she strives to emphasize the power and necessity of art.
I believe art is powerful. I believe art is dangerous. I believe art is necessary.
As a dancer, choreographer, and performer, I believe in the power of artistic inquiry. My work aims to uncover the complexities of the social and political climate by challenging ideas and beliefs. I strive to create work that generates an internal conflict within myself, my dancers, and audiences alike, because conflict and questions stimulate exploration and discovery. My choreography evolves overtime in collaboration with my performers, empowering them to make my work their own. Dialogue with my dancers is necessary to make sure their voices are being heard and represented.
As an arts administrator, I see the potential of art to threaten and be threatened. It takes courage to make art at any time, but many works that linger with observers are the most prone to censorship and edits. All art made has deep connections to history, traditions, and important societal changes. Even if this is not at the forefront of a work, I believe in the importance of understanding those ties to the past. I am a historian, valuing and honoring traditions and classics while finding ways to break away from them.
My training in ballet and musical theatre has shaped my choreographic fascinations. I am drawn to small, defined movements, whether it be the flick of a hand or a delicate roll of the hips. Jazz and musical theatre influences often trickle into my choreography. I find value in simplicity and clarity in intricacy. My work emphasizes production elements and utilizes storytelling techniques to explore relationships and taboo topics.
Making the audience leave a performance or presentation with more questions than answers is my primary intention. I want them to become introspective and ask themselves why.
I believe art has the power of change.
"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live only as you can."