The Future is Friday featuring Monina Velarde

Event Description

The Future is Friday is an event series focused on creative, self-identifying women and their stories. In an intimate one-on-one talk between our event host and featured guest, you’ll get a first-hand account of the highs, lows, and everything in-between on their journey to get to where they are today. Grab a cup of coffee, a donut, and start your Friday morning inspired.

Note: Our ticket donations support operation fees, speaker stipends, student awards, and other free programming for our creative community. If you are unable to afford a ticket or donation for any AIGA Chicago event (including this one) and would like to attend, we want to accommodate you. Please reach out to for more info.

The link to the Zoom conference will be sent out to you via email a day before the event.


About Monina Velarde

Monina Velarde a designer residing in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently a Senior Art Director at The New York Times where she designs for print and digital to amplify’s NYT’s mission of helping people understand the world. Monina is an adjunct assistant professor at NYU Steinhardt teaching typography and design. She was a part of Hillary For America’s design team where she worked on the digital advertising & videos for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016. Before HFA, she was a Design Director at R/GA and took on a range of projects from social media campaigns to branding & identity and short films. She also served as the Mentorship Chair on AIGA Chicago’s Board of Directors where she connected over 400 people to Chicago’s design community. For Monina, designing is rewarding, but watching others make meaningful connections and reach their full potential is even more so.


About Valerie Craig (host)

Valerie Craig is a designer and leader who brings brands to life through collaboration, curiosity, storytelling, and excellent design. Her passion is in building and shaping brands through design that is intentional, raises awareness, and delivers remarkable results. Valerie is the Creative Director at Customer Experience Automation leader ActiveCampaign. In this role, she leads strategic communication design that is impactful and beautiful to tell the ActiveCampaign story. Prior to ActiveCampaign, she led design at the industrial software company Uptake as Brand Director.

A passionate advocate of the design community, she serves as the President of the AIGA Chicago Board of Directors. Valerie lives in Chicago with her husband, Grant, and two tiny children, Jonah and Lucy.


Event Schedule

8:00–8:05am CST: Attendees arrive

8:05–8:10am CST: Introductions

8:10–8:45 am CST: Discussion

8:45–9:00 am CST: Q&A


Code of Conduct

By registering to attend this event, you agree to abide by AIGA Chicago Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct may be found here.


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Special thanks to Kelly Knaga for planning this event, to Valerie Craig for hosting this event, to Bianca Smith and Melinda Benoit for communications, and to Morgan Garleff and Leo Burnett for the event graphics.

When & Where
Fri, Jan 15, 2021 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CST