Nikkita Oliver will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at Vashon Center for the Arts. (Alex Garland Photo)

Nikkita Oliver will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at Vashon Center for the Arts. (Alex Garland Photo)

Powerhouse poet, storyteller and activist returns to Vashon

The former Seattle mayoral candidate whose worked on everything from arts and law performs Feb. 28

Nikkita Oliver, a powerhouse Seattle educator, artist, attorney, boxer, musician, mentor and organizer, will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at Vashon Center for the Arts, for an evening that will include poetry, music and storytelling.

Oliver became a household name in 2017, with her bid for Seattle mayor as the first political candidate of the Seattle People’s Party. Her campaign narrowly missed the general election by approximately 1,100 votes, coming in third of 21 candidates.

After the mayoral race, Oliver stayed in the spotlight with her activism opposing a new youth jail in Seattle.

But she has long been acclaimed in Seattle for her creative and impactful work in the intersections of the arts, law, education and community organizing.

She has worked, in recent years, as a case manager for Creative Justice, an arts program aimed at transforming the criminal legal system and at providing space for young people to be self-empowered and self-determined. She is also the co-creator, with Nikki Etienne and DJ Rise, of the Ringside, a monthly poetry slam and artist showcase.

She has opened for Cornel West and Chuck D of Public Enemy, performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and has been featured on The Breakfast Club and KUOW’s “The Week in Review.” Her writing and poetry have been widely published, and she has won multiple championships in the Seattle Poetry Slam. She is also the recipient of the Seattle Office of Civil Rights Artist Human Rights Leader Award.

Oliver last appeared on Vashon in May, when she performed at VCA for school groups in a daytime performance and a general audience in an evening show. For those appearances, she was hosted by a coalition including members of Hosted by Harbor School Race Equity Committee, Vashon Artist in Schools and Vashon-Maury Showing Up for Racial Justice.

In advance of that event, Oliver told The Beachcomber that “art has the capacity to bridge people’s hearts.”

“Cultural work helps us shift cultures [and] policies,” she said.

Tickets to Oliver’s appearance on Feb. 28 range from $5 to $25; get tickets in advance at vashoncenterforthearts.org.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Arts

For some local artists, local auction is a 43-year tradition

VCA’s gala fundraising auction is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25.

A night at the drive-in is for the birds

Two programs, both Vashon bird-centric, will be shown on the big screen on Tuesday.

What’s Happening Sept. 10 – 17

Drive the red carpet at Open Space, Passport2Pain switches gears, Rotary plans a benefit, and more.

At Subway, a family perseveres to live their dream

In this ongoing series, we hear from island restaurateurs about how they are faring in the pandemic.

Original dance works find a place in the sun

Four pieces slated to take the stage at the Vashon Center for Dance have been reworked for video.

The arts bring clarity and purpose to a confusing time

Almost every island family engages in the arts in some way.

What’s Happening Aug. 20 to 27

Movie magic, Sundae + Mr. Goessl pop up in concert, author pens an island mystery, and more.

Our Town: Painting in a pandemic, with Richard Lipke

The virus has pushed him to work even harder, creating 34 paintings since October.

With passion for the arts intact, key staffer returns to VCA

“I have so enjoyed working with the VCA team through the years and that continues to be the case.”

Local author sheds light on how to cope with climate change

The book explores how climate change indicators affect the daily work of scientists.

Summer Arts Fest to open its final set of shows

For this week, the walls of Vashon Center for the Arts will be filled with works by 22 local artists

What’s Happening Aug. 13 – 20

Drive up to the drive-in, Ian Moore concert sure to please, and more.