(a.k.a. #DBAC)


People. Places. Positive Change.

The Culture-ist is a media platform and a movement for social good that revolves around a community of storytellers, travelers, and changemakers who use their words and actions to make the world we love a better place. Mark Twain once said that “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness” and we believe that through the experience of exploring the world and its vast array of cultures we can inspire one another to create positive change for the good of all.

Join the movement.



Meet the Team

headshot 150x150 Maria Russo, Co-Founder, Editor

Maria is a writer and editor who has worked in print and broadcast media at companies such as: MTV Networks, Harper’s Bazaar, Warner Bros. and WOR News Talk Radio. Her work has appeared on National Geographic, BBC AmericaThe Huffington Post, People, Stylelist and AFAR among others. Russo is a humanitarian and avid traveler who loves natural wonders, slow food, yoga and good conversation over a cup of Masala chai. Follow Maria on Twitter @MariaCultureist

anthony headshot 150x150 Anthony Russo, Co-founder, Chief Innovator & Head of Social

Anthony is an active philanthropist involved in organizations focusing on microfinance and providing rural communities access to clean water. Anthony is currently pursuing an MBA in Marketing and Global Business Strategy at Rutgers University. Follow Anthony on Twitter @AJCultureist & @TheCultureist


Diana Smith 150x150 Diana Smith, Editor

Diana Smith is a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to her travels in Europe, she has also explored the US, adventuring from coast to coast and back again by way of the road. When Diana isn’t road-tripping she volunteers with a non-profit AIDS organization in New York City. Diana holds a BA in film and media studies from the University of California-Irvine and an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. To view more excerpts from her travels visit

angelica olstad 150x150 Angelica Olstad, Assistant Editor

Angelica Olstad is a professional musician, yogi, and freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Her work as an events produce and wellness expert has been featured in such publications as Buzzfeed, The Gothamist, and Well+Good. She is also a regular contributor for MindBodyGreen and is a guest blogger for numerous health and wellness companies. She received a Master’s in Music for piano at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and hasn’t regretted her liberal arts degree for one second. As a writer she is passionate about exploring cultural, health and wellness trends all around the world. She is also the founder of Pop Up Yoga NYC, a yoga company that provides free and lost cost yoga classes in urban spaces. Follow her on Twitter: @yogipianist

1616253 10202837787776589 1944797157 n 150x150 Angelica Bamundo, Graphic Designer

Angelica is an illustrator, designer, and reanimated ghoul from New York who is responsible for The Culture-ist’s branding and promotional imagery. Legend has it that on clear nights when Saturn is aligned with Alpha Centauri, she can be found studying illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Although this is a subject of great speculation, leading paranormal experts agree: “Those among us who are more sensitive to psychic energies can clearly see her drawing many otherworldly things, logos and graphic novel concepts included. When the dark spirits are feeling particularly benevolent, she might even be seen smacking at buttons on an iMac, according to an eyewitness account from 1892.” The most convincing piece of evidence comes in the form of her purported email address, [email protected], and her final resting place/website,, both of which should be cautiously used to contact her at a seance.

seanna 150x150 Seanna Pratt, Curator

Seanna Pratt is currently a Biology student at the State University of New York at Oneonta. Despite the scientific nature of her degree, writing is one of her true passions in life. She is a staff writer at Germ, an online magazine geared towards women of all ages, and is co-editor in chief of a nutrition and fitness webpage at her college. Her plans for after college have changed more times than she can count, but currently she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in journalism to really delve into the depths of this art form. Apart from writing, you will often find her binge watching her latest Netflix obsession, or spending way too much time at coffee shops. She hopes to someday make travel a part of her career and experience all the world has to offer.

Shaz 150x150 Shaz De Pinto, Travel Photographer

Shaz has been traveling since he was young. Currently based in the San Francisco/Bay Area he has lived on five different countries in four different continents (Sri Lanka, Namibia, Malawi, Australia, and now the States). Living and experiencing these various cultures meant an early addiction to the sensory overload that comes with travel. Besides travel and photography, Shaz enjoys eating copious amounts of cheese and cured meats and some have dubbed him a cappuccino snob. To get in touch with Shaz, please reach out to him via @shazdepinto or at his personal blog

rachel wallace 150x150 Rachel Wallace, Travel/Food

Rachel Wallace is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where she studied psychology, journalism, and warm weather. She recently moved back to her home state of New York to attend the Columbia Publishing Course and pursue a career in writing and editing. Some of her interests include poetry, hip-hip, yoga, and YouTube. She is adventurous when it comes to food and passionate about traveling. Her favorite places to be include London and the New York Renaissance Faire.

lucy 150x150 Lucy Munday, Travel/Social Good

Lucy is a UK based traveller, writer, photographer, coffee snob and stew expert. She has lived and worked in Austria, New Zealand, Australia and Bali and hopes the list will get longer. On her travels she discovered her concerns with environmentalism, and feminism and her love of writing and travel is a bug that won’t stop biting. Her favourite food is anything from everywhere, plus a glass of red wine. She loves Asian sunrises, European mountains and scuba diving in her beloved Asia. She is currently studying the NCTJ in Journalism.



Tammy Allman
Daphne Auza
Kimberly Bryant
Michael Cavanagh
Jessica Festa
David Frey
Anna Frisk
Lane Florsheim
Veronica Lavenia
Aimee Millwood
Lisa Monozlai
Katie Gatens
Erica Jordan
Kae Lani Kennedy
Rachel Kohn
Veronica Lavenia
Matt Lawyue
Christine Medina
Shawn Moksvold
Silvia Mordini
Kendra Bailey Morris
Marissa Sertich
Justine Thorner
Sarah Zinn