DC Startup Week 2020 DC Startup Week 2020
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Think Like An Entrepreneur. Make Like An Artist: An Interview With Maryann Lombardi*

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Dana Ray
Dana Ray Consulting, Communications Consultant

Dana Ray is an expert in identifying and articulating the ideas and values that underpin great work. She believes that words are action: what we cannot say, we cannot do. As a communications consultant, she defines internal messaging for the leaders in arts and culture who lead our world into new possibilities.

Dana Ray Consulting helps artists and organizations identify compelling language for what they do and why it matters. Her signature process defines the client’s unique and fundamental approach to their craft and then translates this narrative into messaging.

Her clients represent diverse industries including fashion, dance, design, visual art, digital media, and activism. They can be found around the world in places like the Bay Area, DC, Chicago, Montreal, and New York.

Dana holds a Master’s in Literature and Writing from Bucknell University. And in 2013, Dana received a Fulbright to Bulgaria. In Dobrich, she developed and implemented original curriculum in public school classrooms that equipped students to think critically and creatively. She continues to work internationally.

Maryann Lombardi
Office of Cable TV, Film, Music and Entertainment, Associate Director, DC Creative Affairs Office

Working with an entrepreneurial approach, Maryann Lombardi has spent the past 20 years at the intersection of culture and commerce. She is at the helm of the Districts new Creative Affairs Office, where she is working to build policy and infrastructure, sustain and scale the local creative economy, strengthen economic mobility for creatives, and work with partners to improve equity and access to opportunity. Previously as the Chief Creative Economy Officer, she managed Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 202Creates creative economy brand and built the 202Creates portfolio of resources and programs for creative entrepreneurs. She was also the Executive Director of Lisner Auditorium and Partnership Development at The George Washington University, where she worked with her team to reorganize, rebuild and grow the organization. Previous, as the Director of Creative Economy for UMass Amherst, working with the City of Springfield and University administration, she established and implemented economic development and cultural activities to create jobs and improve downtown development in Springfield. Before moving to MA, she spent ten years in New York City as an independent theater producer producing Off Broadway and regional tours. Maryann has an undergraduate degree from The University of Michigan and graduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a part of the Creative Economy Coalition, National Mentor Network with Seed Spot, and speaks regularly on workforce development in the creative economy, entrepreneurship, partnership development, and community building.


Join us for for a dynamic conversation with DC Creative Economy leader Maryann Lombardi. From her years in the NYC theater world as a performer and director to her time leading 202Creates for the City of Washington, and in her work with Human Capital, Maryann Lombardi represents the best of artistic practice and business acumen. We'll talk about her experiences in all these fields plus what she's seen as the key to visibility and impact in creative careers.

*ASL interpreting is being provided by Jeenie mobile video interpreting