Throughout Shelby’s life, the arts have played an enormous role by instilling traits of teamwork and individual achievement, widening her view of the world, and challenging her intellectually to academic success. This influence led to an associate degree in Communication Studies and the current pursuit of her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Las Vegas – also having been welcomed as a member to the both National Honor Society of Leadership and Success and the Dean’s list.


It was the combination of the arts as inspiration and a passion for giving her time and efforts to numerous local charitable groups that led to the creation of Raise the Arts - a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of which Shelby is founder and director.


As Miss Nevada United States, Shelby will represent her state as a role model for women - empowered to accomplish anything they set their mind to, especially when a team of strong women have their back. Her platform also includes continued community involvement and – taking the long view – by promoting the goals and values of Raise the Arts.


Raise the Arts actively promotes art-integrated learning for students, focusing on Nevada communities that need the most support in this area. Among other avenues, this is done by providing extracurricular programs, summer camps, tutoring, and mentorship. Her enthusiastic commitment is driven by personal experience - and statistics that confirm when art plays a role in education, students are 3 to 4 times more likely to awarded for attendance and recognized for academic achievement.


“Between Nevada’s national rank in education and graduation rates, we should be willing to do whatever it takes to help our students succeed and guide them out those graduation doors - to a future filled with unlimited opportunities and the confidence that they can achieve their dreams.”

                          --Shelby Kanani Johnson - Founder, Raise the Arts


In her ‘down time,’ Shelby enjoys shows at The Smith Center with her mom, taking Zumba and Mixxed Fit classes at the gym, travel, adventurous foods - and just hanging out with her best friend (a pit bull named Lulu) - but not sharing her cotton candy with her.



A Las Vegas native, Shelby Kanani Johnson is a pageant sister of numerous local and national organizations. Her most recent reigns include Miss Japan Las Vegas 2015 and Miss Nevada United States 2017, from which she went on to place third in the Miss United States pageant. An ardent advocate for STE(A)M – supporting women in tech and student success through art integrated learning – and also the Asian community, Shelby has participated in scores of local Las Vegas charity events to help many organizations raise funds and awareness. She has gained the support of numerous influential mentors and supporters to aid her in continuing these endeavors. Shelby is currently an analyst with Intrigma, Inc., an innovator in the field of physician and clinician scheduling.