By Nyesha Stone
Ko~Thi Dance Company is Wisconsin’s oldest African-American arts organization and was founded in 1969. This year, 2019, marks 50 years of Ko-Thi’s existence.
To celebrate, founder, Ferne Caulker, held a private gathering to talk about how far the company has come.
Alderman Khalif Rainey, President of MPS Board Mark Sain and MPS Superintendent Keith Posley, amongst others, were in attendance at the private event.
According to its website, Caulker’s inspiration for Ko~Thi came from her visit to the slave forts at Elmina Castle in Ghana. These forts were originally built for trade in timber and gold, but as time passed, it was used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Through that visit, Caulker created a dance company that “she believed would be an artistic embodiment of African people and their descendants throughout the world diaspora,” according to the website.
Ko~Thi is an African and Caribbean dance company that uses traditional instruments, authentic costumes, music and dance to educate people on African Diaspora.
And, according to Caulker, everyone is looking for a piece of sky and Ko~Thi is that window for others to look in through from whatever part in life they’re in.
“Once you can see the sky, you can become anything,” she said.
Ko~Thi’s 50-year celebration will continue throughout the year. It’ll be hosting a Juba-Lee 50th Anniversary Concert on Aug 2,3 4 and 9, which will be followed by a 50th Anniversary Gala on Aug. 10.
According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, two years ago, Ko~Thi held its first concert in eight years. Since then, Ko~Thi has been consistently performing.
To find out more about Ko~Thi Dance Company and its upcoming events, visit http://www.ko-thi.org/.