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9:00 - 9:30AM Central Time, Friday October 15th

Esta presentación está a cargo de la diseñadora y figura pública Verónica Figueroa Vélez. Verónica hablará sobre cómo la expresión artística ayuda a abrir nuestros ojos a la injusticia y transmite poderosas nuevas visiones, posibilidades y cómo la originalidad nos ayuda a sobrevivir y prosperar.


Ella contará su historia y hablará sobre su experiencia trabajando con individuos y en proyectos a gran escala con la Ciudad de Madison y el Estado de Wisconsin.


Short presentation followed by live Q&A. This is one of 10 sessions at the conference. You do not need a separate ticket to join this session.

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Artist, Public Figure

When Veronica Figueroa Vélez was fourteen years old, she was introduced to the mural and 3D art at a local church in her native Puerto Rico. While she learned and painted, her love for art became an integral part of her life. In 1994, she packed her suitcase and moved to Madison, WI. The bone-chilling temperatures of our Wisconsin Winters reminded her of how much she missed her family and the friends she left behind. Veronica missed the sunny days, the warm rain, and even the call of the Coquí. Art spoke to her in the midst of it all; she painted and created and found solace in her expression. This realization led her to study art. 

Veronica also has extensive experience in community engagement, violence prevention, and program development supporting marginalized families in Dane County. She is passionate about promoting healthy families and is deeply committed to empowering people who have suffered trauma through art-making practices. In 2014, Veronica's ability to skillfully address crisis management, community violence and develop and implement programs led her to become the Executive Director of UNIDOS; a nonprofit whose mission is to empower the community to break the cycle of domestic violence, end sexual assault and promote healthy family systems. Under her leadership, UNIDOS increased its capacity and implemented the first and only 24/7 Spanish Helpline to support victims in Dane County, Wisconsin. 

Because of her commitment, expertise, and action-oriented approach, Veronica has been frequently asked to serve on both nonprofit boards and city committees, including Community Shares of WI, End Domestic Abuse WI, The Latino Consortium for Action, the City of Madison Police Department Policy and Procedure Ad Hoc Committee, Body-Worn Camera Feasibility Review Committee, and Fire and Police Commission. Governors Evers has also been appointed Veronica to the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision. 

After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, she worked tirelessly to establish the Puerto Rico Relief Fund of South Central WI, raising over $90K in the Madison area to support grassroots relief organizations in the island. Her community activism expands to creative expressions where she uses her artistic abilities to bring awareness to social issues, and support community members in their healing process. She is the owner of Art MVF Design and the Interim Executive Director of Dane Arts Mural Arts. In 2003 she received an Associate Degree in Graphic Design and 2005, an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Madison College. In 2014 Veronica completed a Bachelor's Degree in Art Therapy at Edgewood College. Through art-making and creative expression, she has promoted community art spaces where people especially youth can come together to build community, heal, connect, and draw positive change. She believes that artistic expression help opens our eyes to injustice and convey powerful new visions and possibilities and that our originality helps us heal, survive and thrive.

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