Category : Events

A 2018 DETOUR Is upon Us

Around this time every year, I enter a deep wave of travel, speaking, and co-creating across the nation, and this year, it begins this week. (Outside of traveling home for my nephew’s first birthday, I’ve been sitting still so far to complete teaching my first college course, Design as a Catalyst for Change, at Washington University in St. Louis.)

Some peole may remember how last year’s travels became heavy enough to be considered as the first DeTour (watch all the moments). And, this year is looking promising for engaging even more deeply with fellow young changemakers in both familiar and new communities across the nation (see below).

As I embark upon these journeys, I would love to keep you with me. In addition to these letters, experience each upcoming adventure via YouTube, and engage the lessons and insights I’ll be learning and sharing.

Also, read to the bottom for some cool perks (like TEDx discounts and a free ticket to the United State of Women Summit), and let me know: of all the social movements happening right now, which one(s) speak most to your heart’s fire? 


Major Talks & Convenings—Spring 2018 Dates

If I’m speaking in your city, let me know. It would be great to see you. Let’s talk about art, activism, and innovation in your community. Email to pitch ideas and share possibilities.


10—St. Louis
Arts & Activism Conversation with Author, Natalie Hopkinson

14–16—Washington, DC
Future States of America: National Arts Summit at John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts

19—St. Louis
Politics, Power, & Design at Washington University in St. Louis

25—St. Louis
#STL2039 Launch ft. Brittany Packnett, Alison Ferring, Michelle Higgins, and Ryan Rippel

27—St. Louis
Dwell in Other Futures at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation

28—Iowa City
Flyover Fest (just attending)


Harvard GSD 99 Provocations

2—Boston Meetup

3–6—Baltimore & DC
#Fight4AFuture Gun Violence Summit with Generation Progress

3—Baltimore Meetup

11—St. Louis
Black Women Speak: Exhibition Talk at The Griot Museum

18–19—Kansas City
Rocket Grants Jury & Talk


2—St. Louis
Influencing Social Policy Conference
FoodSpark’s The Spark

9–13—Los Angeles

15—St. Louis
Theater Communications Group Conference

16—Denver, CO
Americans for the Arts Conference

More Goodness

  • I now make new videos EVERY DAY (except Sundays)!! I’ve taken on the infamous #VEDA challenge this month. What’s that?
  • Welcome to Innovation City. Listen to my episode of this new podcasthighlighting St. Louis and Miami innovators.
  • BTW, Spotify wants to help more black women become podcasters.
  • Get a discount on this week’s TEDx in St. Louis. Enter TEDX45 (General Admission, discount from $60 to $45) when you register on MetroTix.
  • I overbooked myself. Take my place at the United State of Women Summit.

Mar 27 | Black Tech Summit of the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

During the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference in St. Louis, MO, De Nichols will join a panel of African American creators and technologists to engage the state of Black Tech in the metropolitan area. This collection of creatives will share tools and tips to help others effectively use digital/social media marketing platforms and technology to communicate their passions, enter the tech field, and develop their own enterprises. 

Feb 24 | Qu’Art Presents “Black Is the New Black”

For February 2018, Qu’Art will celebrate Black History Month with its show “Black Is the New Black,” which centers works by local Black artists and allies responding to this theme. For this one-night art show and experience, De Nichols will both showcase a video projection and serve as a panelist during evening discussion throughout the event.

De Nichols Joins Author, Natalie Hopkinson, to Discuss the Art of Resistance

De Nichols joined author, Natalie Hopkinson, April 10 at Left Bank Books to discuss Hopkinson’s new book, A Mouth Is Always Muzzled: Six Dissidents, Five Continents, and the Art of Resistance. Hopkinson is a former culture critic for the Washington Post as well as a professor and scholar of Howard University. Her work work explores the arts as they intersect with public policy, cultural identity, and social issues of the world. In A Mouth Is Always Muzzled, she tells the stories of how art has been used as a tool of resistance across continents and different times of cultural trauma and complexity. Kirkus Reviews assesses A Mouth Is Always Muzzled as,

An illumination of the interplay of art, culture, politics, race, and history in Guyana, a Caribbean country mostly ignored by the rest of the world but which serves here as a fascinating microcosm for the power of art to inspire change.

Get “A Mouth Is Always Muzzled” via Left Bank Books


Giving My Second TEDx Talk

This Friday, I will be giving my second TEDx Talk, and this time, it’s home in St. Louis, MO.

This talk is important to me, as I will be discussing the power of art as activism and how it has manifested for me over the last few years. This will be my first time giving a full talk in St. Louis to honor the catalyzing moments and people that led the creation of the Mirror Casket project and how rising in the midst of injustice allowed my team and I to add to the visual narrative of civil rights.

Experience the Ripple Effect of local thought-leaders sharing their one great idea, the drop of water that cultivates a wave of change and transformation.

Learn more | Facebook Event | Get tickets

Friday: TEDxGatewayArch Presents Ripple Effect

We believe every individual has the ability to change the world, and it can start with just one idea. Experience the Ripple Effect of local thought-leaders sharing their one great idea, the drop of water that cultivates a wave of change and transformation. TEDx events provide intentional, cross-pollinated networking opportunities that spark new perspectives and build connections – sending ripple effects of possibility throughout the St. Louis region.

All 14 speakers and entertainers bring different thought-provoking perspectives and diverse backgrounds to the conference. Each presenter has an intrinsic connection to St. Louis, helping accelerate the city as a hub of innovation & ideas. The event includes entertainment and networking opportunities, dubbed “the smartest happy hour in St. Louis”, as well as interactive exhibitors from local tech, design, and community-building organizations.








  • 10:00 – AFTER PARTY

May 5-7 | Kennedy Center’s Art Summit | Washington, DC

De Nichols was selected as one of five fellows for the 2017 John F. Kennedy Center’s Citizen Artists fellows program, which recognizes artists across the country who utilize their art form for positive impact on communities.

“The recognized Citizen Artists Fellows will be mentored by Yo-Yo Ma, Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor at Large, among other Kennedy Center artistic partners. Additionally, they will receive national attention for their impact in their local communities and opportunities to showcase their voice and work on stage, through exhibition, and at national convenings.”

To commence participation as a fellow, De will join thought leaders from the arts and related fields together for the Kennedy Center’s Art Summit to explore how the arts can propel our thinking towards new ideas and actions, including the leaders we look to for guidance and inspiration.

“The Kennedy Center Arts Summit is an annual spring convening designed to bring thought leaders from the arts and related fields together for conversation and connection. Set to be held in Washington, DC on May 6, 2017, this year’s edition of the Summit will focus on Cultural Moonshots, exploring how the arts can propel our thinking towards new ideas and actions, including the leaders we look to for guidance and inspiration. As we explore and investigate these ideas together, we’ll also honor President John F. Kennedy’s legacy through ideals of courage, service, justice, freedom, and gratitude. The program will serve as a reflection on current and past efforts as well as the launching pad for new collaborations and initiatives among participants. The Arts Summit is part of JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy, inspired by five enduring ideals often ascribed to JFK: Courage, Freedom, Justice, Service, and Gratitude.”

Learn more at