For St. Louis artist-activist De Nichols, sticky notes, community dinners & dialogue bridge divides
Can a reflection jotted on a sticky note spark social change? Can it help community activists feel less alone? Those are questions local artist and activist De Andrea Nichols is answering with her project “Sticky Note To Self.”
“From any path you take always get back to happy,” reads one sticky note. “There are lessons in our losses,” reads another. You can see them all on the Facebook page for the project here.
Every few days, Nichols posts doodles and words of reassurance from her day-to-day life on social media, which are in turn shared and commiserated over by followers. The notes have also been part of the "Taking it to the Streets" exhibition at the Kranzberg Arts Center earlier this spring.
The project started in April 2015 after she witnessed online trolling of Ferguson activists and organizers.
“Many of the sticky notes speak to issues of social justice,” Nichols told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “The more we build a community around being good to ourselves and reflecting on what’s happening in our lives and traversing through these issues, more people will find unity and commonality.”
The project has now expanded to include a video series and apparel.
Nichols is also involved in many other creative endeavors through her work as Creative Director at Civic Creatives, the founder of a communal dinner meetup known as FoodSpark and with her work on the board of Forward Through Ferguson.
In addition to that, Nichols was recently named a 2017/2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. For that fellowship, she works with noted cellist Yo-Yo Ma to broaden the impact of citizen artistry in St. Louis and across the country.
Listen as Nichols discusses her community building work and next steps:
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