Juneteenth ’22

Today we celebrate the freedom, education, and achievements of African Americans and take time to reflect on the contributions which have shaped our society. Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.

AIGA Cincinnati is proud to support all of the Black designers and creatives in our community today and every day. We have chosen a handful of our design week events featuring Black professionals, and are thankful for the ideas and experiences shared. There is a lot of content to absorb from these amazing presentations. We recommend bookmarking this page and coming back to these talks throughout the week to get the most out of them all. 

According to the 2019 AIGA Design Census, 3% of designers are Black. Where are the Black Designers is an initiative, platform, and community by and for Black Designers that was established in 2020 that aims to heal, support, amplify, and make space for the entire spectrum of Black creativity while also decolonizing design through their efforts. If you are a Black Creative, consider joining their slack community of 1500+ Black Designers. If you’re an Ally, the best way to support the furthered growth of this community is by donating, but the slack community is also open to Allies! Learn more about WATBD Communities.

AIGA Cincinnati is dedicated to amplifying the voices of those on the forefront of change. As a chapter we strive to be inclusive and aim to level the playing field by providing designers with the tools and resources they need to be successful. If you have an itch to share something with the community we welcome you to submit your ideas, so we can chat about planning an event together. 

Featured Design Week Presentations

Eso Tolson – Take a Stand with Lettering

In a world where there’s so much happening and so much content, how do you stand out and create work that connects with people? In this talk, learn skills to help you develop a feel and voice to your work that will resonate as well as distinguish you from others.

Eso Tolson is a lettering artist and brand strategist who creates work rooted in affirmation, pride, and community that allows people to feel safe and inspired. As a lover of community, pop culture, and inner-city life, he uses lettering to highlight current events and promote positive social messages and affirmations.

Mike Nicholls – The 3 Ions of Design: PassION, VisION, and MissION

Mike breaks down how you can take passion and vision, and give it something to do. We are all great designers with amazing talents and skillsets, but how can you give your talents a sense of purpose that’s authentically you? Mike will break it down for us and give attendees the inside scoop as to how he utilized his skills and passion when creating UMBER, the creative thinker’s graphic journal.

Mike Nicholls is a creative director, brand strategist, publisher, visual designer, and illustrator. He translates ideas into visionary creative solutions utilizing over 20 years of design experience and natural talent. As UMBER’s creative director, he visually designs and illustrates the perspectives of each release’s contributors, from curation of content to final magazine design. As a founder, Mike is responsible for content creation, community engagement, and managing an amazingly talented team. He also enjoys flicking dust balls off of his turntable needles.

Katrina Lenzly – Advancing our Industry | The Power of Creative & Cultural Diversity

Who is truly allowed to show up as their whole selves at work? In this thought-provoking presentation, rapper-art-director-advocate, Katrina Lenzly, a.k.a King Cooley, shares her unique experience navigating the professional world of Design. As a Black multi-hyphenate creative, Cooley explores how we limit ourselves by compartmentalizing our passions and discusses ways we can advance the Graphic Arts Industry through vulnerability and community support.

Katrina—J—Lenzly is an award-winning art director, performing artist, and public speaker also known as “King Cooley”. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Katrina/Cooley is known for her human-centered and experiential approach to design and music. As one of the few Black, female Art Directors in her field, Katrina is trailblazing as an advocate for authenticity in workplace culture. She spends her time mentoring junior designers and speaks with design agencies and leadership teams about the power of creative and cultural diversity.

Ciara LeRoy – Why Not Us

Ciara discusses the passion project that sparked more inclusion in her design community and beyond. We’ll also get into how allies in the design world can actively and radically upset the inequities in design.

Ciara LeRoy is a Cincinnati-based independent artist specializing in hand lettering, illustration, murals, and embroidery. Whether you’re looking for impactful art for your next social media campaign, a mural in your brick & mortar shop, or some weird and wonderful fine art for your home, Ciara’s studio, Pretty Strange Design, has what it takes to give your brand, business, or living room an artistic edge that differentiates you from the flock.

Terresa Moses – Design for Liberation

The ‘racialized’ systems in which we exist were designed to oppress and marginalize the experiences and voices of Black people. To change these systems, we must use design to work with our communities to reimagine a future free from discrimination and violence. A future where the design process is anti-racist at its very core and design approaches seek justice and liberation as the outcome for all Black people.

Terresa Moses (she/her) is a proud Black queer woman dedicated to the liberation of Black and brown people through art and design. As a designer and illustrator, her work focuses on race, identity, and social justice. She advocates for positive change in her community using creativity as tools of community activism like her recent solo exhibition, Umbra. Terresa is the Creative Director at Blackbird Revolt, a social justice-based design studio. She is also an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design (CDes) and the Director of the CDes Design Justice Network.

Celebrating Cincinnati’s Black Creatives

We hope to feature more talent in the future and are committed to inclusion and diversity goals within our local chapter and the events that we produce throughout the year. If you have an idea to share, please fill out our call for presenters form

Photo by Derek Lamar on Unsplash

Now accepting Board Nominations

We are also looking for nominations to add more talent to our board of volunteers. If you know someone that is driven and passionate about community, please nominate them (or yourself) to join the AIGA Cincinnati board.

About AIGA Cincinnati:

Our mission is to help local creatives reach their full potential because we believe the growth of one is the success of all.

Joining our local chapter’s board means being an advocate for the Cincinnati creative community where we independently support our small region while contributing to the national organization’s overall goal to advance design as a professional craft, strategic advantage, and vital cultural force. AIGA Cincinnati is one of 70+ local chapters for AIGA and holds its own 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit organization. Our small but mighty team of volunteers represents an ever-passionate approach to advancing design in and around the Cincinnati area.

How to learn more:

Reach out to us over social or email us at communications@aigacincinnati.org.

By aigacincinnati
Published June 20, 2022
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