Jarius King

Pop-culture ambassador

Jarius King BA2009 is an English teacher and creative arts instructor at Foundation Global Education as well as a dance instructor at Ananta in Hong Kong. But that’s just the latest in his string of efforts to foster youth appreciation for the arts.

He has partnered with youth groups, organizations, and individuals around the world, as well as in his hometown of Chicago, to offer numerous workshops and classes in dance and art. Through cofounding the International Festival of Urban Movement: Breakin’ the Law, he also brought the global culture of the arts, specifically hiphop culture, to Madison.

King was selected to attend UW–Madison as part of the Posse program, which provides college opportunities for public high school students who demonstrate exceptional academic and leadership potential. “During my senior year of high school,” he says, “I underwent 52 weeks of leadership and diversity training along with nine others as a cohesive unit — a posse.”

King, who is a 2014 recipient of the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Forward under 40 Award, wasted no time putting his leadership and diversity skills to work on campus. Exploring various interest groups, he became involved in student activism and joined numerous student organizations.

As a freshman, King, along with fellow Posse scholar Henry Gomez BA2007, organized the first Breakin’ the Law gathering, which brought students of various backgrounds together through a common interest in hiphop. Breakin’ the Law turned into a weeklong, annual festival in Madison that attracted artists from all over the world. Further developed with codirector Katrina Flores BA2007, the event showcased urban art and movement, as well as the university’s commitment to artistic diversity.

“It was the largest multicultural festival on the Madison campus, and the first of its kind not only within the city of Madison, but the entire state of Wisconsin,” says King.

King also manages his own production company, King’s Eye View Productions; teaches and performs as part of the Rhythm Attack dance group in Hong Kong; and contributes to STANCE, a lifestyle channel about dance, music, and art founded by Daniel Zhu BA2004.