De Nichols

De Nichols headshot

Through multidisciplinary creative practice, De Nichols mobilizes global changemakers to activate ideas that address civic and social challenges within their communities.

Based in St. Louis, MO, De Nichols serves as the Social Impact Design Principal of Civic Creatives, a design strategy agency that develops interactive experiences, tools, and initiatives to help communities engage issues of civic disengagement, youth development, social inclusion, food access and security, and arts & cultural policy.

As a cultural producer, De organizes artists to develop digital media and visual artwork that extend the impact of her design practice. She is the visioning artist of the Mirror Casket (2014), a sculpture and performance created as protest art during the 2014 Ferguson uprising, which was collected by the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum for African-American History and Culture in 2016. Her projects such as Sticky Note to Self, United Story (2015), and FoodSpark integrate art and public interventions to help audiences reflect and respond to cultural microagressions facing women, queer communities, and people of color. Through her leadership with these and other works, Nichols has been deemed a national Ideas that Matter recipient, a two-time Clinton Global Initiative innovator, and a St. Louis Visionary for her community impact. Most recently, she was named a 2017 Citizen Artist Fellow of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and 2018 Artist Fellow with the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis, MO.

As a national keynote presenter and lecturer, De harnesses the creative power of design and storytelling to inspire and equip audiences to spark creative social change across their communities. She has opened the Clinton Global Initiative University, performed on the Millennium Stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and even given a commencement speech for the Sam Fox School of Design at Washington University in St. Louis. Across campuses, conferences, and communities, De ignites audiences with awe-inspiring and action-driven talks.

Within her community, De leads as the youngest member of the Board of Directors for Forward through Ferguson, a non-profit developed to hold the St. Louis region accountable to racial equity following the 2014 murder of Michael Brown. She additionally serves the Board of Directors for Creative Reaction Lab, which educates and equips Black and Latinx youth to foster design-based approaches to racial issues within schools and neighborhoods across the United States.

Nichols is an alum of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, where she specialized in communication design, social entrepreneurship, and socio-economic development. She is a John B. Ervin Scholar, Brown Scholar, and Enterprise-Rent-a-Car Scholar. Her efforts have been supported by the Clinton Global Initiative, Women’s Caucus for Art, Gephardt Institute for Public Service, Ideas that Matters, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, StartingBloc Fellowship for Social Innovation, Points of Light Civic Accelerator, Microsoft YouthSpark, and AshokaU Changemakers.

Talks by De

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