Josie Elizabeth Davis is a conceptual artist, producer, and director working in a breadth of media, including live performance, public art, dance, music, film, and design. Growing up in New Jersey, with a family deeply invested in conservation and scattered throughout the country from Alaska to Southern California and deep south Mississippi, she draws inspiration from this diverse upbringing and a desire to challenge herself and others with the unfamiliar.
From a young age, Josie surrounded herself with music and theatre, working both on and off the stage, training with the Denver Opera Guild and El Grupo Teatro Yuyachkani, Peru’s oldest living theatre company. Over time, she began to experiment with new mediums, exploring choreography, architecture, film, and social robotics as ways to merge the visual and performative. Themes of discomfort and normativity, social behavior, and empathy reemerge throughout her work. As a process, Josie focuses on concept and narrative first, allowing the medium(s) to follow.
Josie holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from the Tisch School at New York University and a B.A. in Music and Vocal Performance from the Colorado College. She has independently conceived, produced, and directed large-scale, multidisciplinary works including Fantasmagorie (2016) and Wake Up! Waltz (2013), and is the recipient of multiple artist residencies and research fellowships in the U.S. and overseas. Josie has lectured independently and presented her work at conferences on performance and cultural studies with New York University, Columbia College, Stanford University, and The National Science Foundation, among others. She is an experienced globe-trotter, having extensively traveled, lived, and worked throughout the US, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.
Josie is also the founder and Chief Creative Officer at Curmudgeon Group, a boutique advertising agency based in Chicago. As a creative producer and strategist, Josie is most passionate about helping purpose-driven companies hone and execute their brand story, creative content and communication strategy; driven by the exciting seeds of ideation that spur long but rewarding days of production in the field. She is a dedicated conservationist, serving on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund, along with the Board of Directors at Kindling Group, a Chicago documentary film and impact production studio.