Community Arts Partner

Participant Details

Community Arts Partner Name
Nikkita "KO" Oliver
Partner Type
Profile Photo
Individual Bio or
Organizational Statement
Nikkita is a Gates Scholar at the University of Washington Law School and M. Ed. candidate in the UW College of Education, a member of the 2014-2015 Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab, a two-time Women of the World rep for the Seattle Poetry Slam (2013, 2014), the 2014 Seattle Poetry Slam Grand Slam Champion, a member of the 2013 & 2014 Seattle Poetry Slam National Team, coach of the 2014 Seattle Poetry Slam National Team (that took 8th of 72 teams), a member of the 2013 UW College and University Poetry Team, and took 19 of 72 poets at the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2013. She has performed at the Nuyorican, Seattle Poetry Slam, Rain City Slam, Freshest Roots, and opened for Dr. Cornell West. In her free time she is the Slam Master at the Seattle Poetry Slam, the head master at the Ringside Slam, a boxer at Arcaro boxing, a singer/song writer, and god mama to the world’s most beautiful twin gals!

Contact Information

First Name
Nikkita "KO"
Last Name
Address 2

Grade Levels Preferred

Grade Levels Preferred
6th - 8th, 9th - 12th

Artistic Disciplines

  • Slam Poetry & Spoken Word Performance
  • Poetry Writing & Editing
  • Basic Vocal Direction: Air control, Intonation, Rhythm
  • Arts Activism
  • Oral Storytelling
Literary Art or Spoken Word/Performance Poetry, Theater, Vocal Direction


Previous School Partnerships
Other Trainings or Certifications
Sample Lesson Description: Student / Classroom Residencies
Sample Workshop Description: Teacher Professional Development

Areas of Experience and Expertise

Approved Professional Development Provider
Approved Classroom Residency Provider
Experience with English Language Learners
Experience with Students in Special Education

Lesson Plan

Integrated Art
Cultural Art

Teaching Approach

Teaching Philosophy + Approach
  • I love teaching the Arts because of the power and capacity get students excited and engaged in their education and community!
  • I aim for my teaching to be student centered, cognitive, and social.
  • I believe that the goal of arts education is to pull out of students their gifts and what they already know to allow space for them to see the areas where they need to grow. Most students want to grow and further develop their craft and skills. Once a student is aware of a growth area a good teacher walks alongside encouraging them to the next level in their art.
  • I desire for each student to find their own voice; not mine!
  • The Washington State Arts Commission has reported that students involved in the Arts by 8th are more effective academically and develop a positive sense of self.
  • We do not all grow and develop at the same pace. It is essential that teachers be attentive to differences in the experience and development of their students in order to provide the best environment for growth and learning.
  • I work to meet students where they are at while simultaneously encouraging them to experience the discomfort of learning new and challenging skills and lessons.
  • Research (Skills)! Great art often requires research and preparation. (Ie. The history of an Art, the skills of an art form, topic based art, etc.)
  • Performance and/or displaying one's work is a major part of my curriculum and teaching. It is important for an artist to have the tool belt to prepare a piece, practice it, edit it, perform it, and draw lessons and ideas from this cycle of creation and preparation.
  • Lastly, it is important to take time to celebrate achievement and to recognize hard work. This spurs us on to grow and explore further!
Curriculum Integration Possibilities
Spoken Word can be infused into almost any field of study. To craft a piece of writing (for performance) that articulates an idea to an audience in a way that they can both receive and understand is an essential work/life skill. I have worked in science classrooms, language arts classrooms, community advocacy, law and policy, know your rights, in therapy settings, theatre, religious settings, etc. Most people learn best by exploring question that they find compelling. A good lesson poses questions about big themes, concepts, question, problems, and solutions/innovations. These can be explored in many ways through multiple lenses and multi-disciplinary tools (from different subjects) for discovery and understanding. WORKSHOPS Finding Your Voice and Telling Your Story--We all have our perspective, story, and lense. How do you bring this out and say it in a way that is creative, artistic, and natural to your voice? How to Write a Team Piece--A few different methods for writing strong team pieces of performance and competition. Sharing your Story Poetically--How to write a moment or a story into a poem for performance. The Quick & Dirty of Spoken Word--Walk through different styles and histories of spoken wording a short workshop. Poetry Slam: 101--The basics of what you need to know to start slamming. So You Want to Write Spoken Word?--A 2-3 hour introductory workshop in spoken word, slam and the basics of writing a poem. Politically Poetic and Poetically Political--The Arts have always played an important role changing the political and social context of the world. Turning your political ideologies into Art takes time, knowledge of self, and practice. 10-Week Basic Poetry Workshop--Learning the basics of the art of poetry. A.R.T. – Actualizing Real Transformation--Art is a powerful tool for processing our lives experiences. It can enable us to better understand ourselves, others and the world around us.
Special Skills and Areas of Expertise
WORK EXPERIENCE The American Civil Liberties Union, Legal Intern, Seattle, WA--June 2015-August 2015
  • Legal research and community education projects
The University of Washing Street Law Clinic, Seattle,WA--September 2013-June 2014
  • Teach weekly courses for Rainier Beach High School students on Basic "Know Your Rights"
  • Prepare students for a high school mock trial competition
The REAL Project, Seattle,WA--September 2013-June 2014
  • Prepare and facilitate workshops on School Educational Rights including School Discipline
  • Represent students in Discipline Appeal Hearings
The Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, New York--June 2014-August 2015
  • Legal research and writing
Student Development Coordinator and Teacher; Seattle, WA--August 2011-August 2012
  • Academic services, behavioral management, administration, in-classroom teacher
Recruitment, Outreach, and Internships Coordinator; Seattle, WA--January 2011-August 2011
  • Admission, student services and in-classroom teacher
Who's Next? Creative Activism Project (Youth Anti-Violence Campaign) Co-Coordinator; Seattle, WA-2010-Present
  • Curriculum creator, social service provider, teaching artist
World Vision, Youth Empowerment Project Co-Trainer; Seattle, WA-2010-Present
  • Prepare and teach curriculum as provided by World Vision and prepare students for the annual youth summit in Washington D.C.
Empire Nights Adult Facilitator
  • Arts based education, community outreaching, writing and performance coaching
Youth Programs Director, Urban Impact; Seattle, WA — 2006-2010
  • Manage high school youth programs, curriculum development and data tracking
Urban Youth Leadership Academy Program Coordinator, Seattle Pacific University John Perkins Center; Seattle, WA — 2008-2010
  • Coordinate the annual internship program and summer youth leadership institute
Mosaic Staff Advisor, Seattle Pacific University Multi-Ethnic Programs; Seattle, WA — 2008
  • Support and advocate for students of color and advise student leaders coordinating campus events
Youth Outreach Intern, Urban Youth Leadership Academy, Seattle Pacific University John Perkins Center; Seattle, WA — 2007
  • Develop and coordinate summer leadership retreat for high school student and facilitate high school and middle school leadership group during the academic year
Additional Areas of Experience:
  • Working with students 6th-12th grades
  • Working with communities of color
  • Know Your Rights Trainings for Youth
  • Some ELL experience
  • Wrap around services/Social service background
  • Remedial Education Practices
  • Working with students who have had behavior issues in main stream classrooms
  • Montessori and Mastery Curriculums/Education
  • Youth at Risk
  • Racial Reconciliation
  • Community Development
Testimonials from Schools
  • Sharon Okamota - Seattle Urban Academy (former supervisor/principal)  -
  • Michele Storms - Dean at UW Law School -
  • Tali Hairston - Seattle Pacific University John Perkins Center (former supervisor) -
  • Mike Davis - The Union Gospel Mission (former supervisee) -
  • Glenn McCray - Urban Impact Seattle (former co-director) -
  • Paul Patu - The Urban Family Center (former supervisor) -
  • Laura Wright - Urban Impact Seattle (former supervisee and co-creator of arts project) -
  • Gregory Davis - Casey Family & Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition -
  • Troy Osaki - Team Member Seattle Poetry Slam (Coached and Mentored Troy) -
  • Cecily Schuler - Co-Slam Master at SPS 2013-2014 -
  • Daemond Arrindell - Arts Mentor and Friend -




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Video Description
Poem: Murder - CUPSI 2013
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Poem: Lady Lips
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Feature at Everett Poetry Night