July 7, 2022

‘Designing to Share’ Hosted by Old Lyme-PGN Library

April 8, 2021 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Zoom meeting
Nike Desis

Local Community-Building Graphic Designers Share Tips with Youth

In a heavily visual and virtual world, good design and curation is key to making an impact.

On April 8, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library in partnership with Region 18 is offering Designing to Share, a panel for Youth audiences discussing the ins and outs of graphic design – particularly in the fields of arts, culture, and independent media. 

The program features Juanita Austin, founder of Cultured AF, New London, CT and Andre Salkin, founder of @leftnortheast, Lyme-Old Lyme High School ’20. They will share how they got started, their current projects, and how their design skills have helped them accomplish their goals. The panel, Designing to Share, will be moderated by Nike Desis, Young Adult Librarian, Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

Discussion will also cover topics such as free design software, establishing an audience and a “look,” using and citing credible sources, with time for Q&A with the presenters.

Juanita Austin is a curator and cultural producer, born and raised in New London, Conn. A graduate from the University of Connecticut, with a B.A. in Digital Media & Design, she has served as a leader on many grassroots community arts initiatives and now runs her own arts collective, Cultured AF.

She’s passionate about building community and creating experiences that brings art into everyone’s lives. Cultured AF’s headquarters are located at Cultured Studios, a gallery, arts boutique, and community event space in downtown New London.

Austin notes, “My work centers on supporting underrepresented artists and creating safe and equitable spaces for those artists to thrive.”

Andre Salkin is a co-admin of the grassroots, journalistic, justice-centered resource for young people known as @leftnortheast on Instagram. Attracting 52K followers in less than a year, @leftnortheast is “committed to discourse, education, and solidarity.”

Currently studying journalism at Boston University since matriculating from L-OL High School in 2020, Salkin’s academic studies inform his social media output, and the rigorousness and success of his social media platform help inspire his studies.

Commenting on corporate ownership of media he says ”I think sources of alternative media … can have a huge impact on how people see the world.”

Desis comments, “Youth who are at all curious about the creation of helpful and inspiring graphics seen on social media – especially as a tool for grassroots community building- will have a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes with the founders of impactful arts and media platforms.” –

To attend or find about more about the program, contact Nike Desis at ndesis@oldlymelibrary.org

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