Katie Roche

Background: I’ve served as the Development Director at The Englert Theatre for the last decade, helping to inspire and activate positive community growth through the arts. I’m an Iowan who moved away and came back with my husband Joe Demarest, who is now the Director of Community and Civic Engagement at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. In addition to my leadership role, I volunteer at the CommUnity Crisis Center Food Bank with my kids, and play in two bands: Awful Purdies and The Dandelion Stompers


How you got to Iowa City: I originally came to Iowa City as a student, studying photography and literature at the University of Iowa.


Why you decided to participate in the Welcoming Banner project: I love Iowa City! I want people to feel welcome here, to consider making a home here, and to join in helping to make this a great place to live! I hope that every person who visits Iowa City or lives here even for a semester, goes to see a band at the Englert, a movie at FilmScene, a play at Riverside, or a reading a Prairie Lights. This is a special place for arts and culture. Take it in! Enjoy your time here!


A call to action: I’m currently working on a countywide arts access study to help increase access to arts programming and enrichment. Your participation and role in spreading the word will help improve arts access for marginalized people and our whole community.