The Culture-ist is an online magazine for people who passionately care about the greater world around them. Our mission is to spread the word about innovators, entrepreneurs, activists, artisans and philanthropists who spend their days making life just a little bit better for others. We believe nothing breaks down cultural barriers like a good meal, or journeying through another country in the footsteps of a local (so you’ll find inspiring, experiential stories of travel and food). To ‘Be the Change’ we must first value and respect ourselves, which can be practiced through yoga, healthy eating and strong social bonds.We care about the planet, so we write about sustainability, climate change and any issues that threaten the welfare of the environment. Our goal is to report on the aspects of culture that truly matter, and the irony, humor and hope that go with it.
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. She received her BA in Print Journalism from American University in Washington D.C., and currently attends New York University pursuing postgraduate studies in Journalism/Editing. Her work has appeared on National Geographic, BBC America, The Huffington Post, People, Stylelist and AFAR among others. Russo is a philanthropy buff and avid traveler who loves natural wonders, cultural food experiences and finding the remaining places on earth left undisturbed. Follow Maria on Twitter @MariaCultureist
Anthony Russo, Co-founder, Chief Innovator & Head of Social
Anthony has spent the past seven years working in the international debt capital markets. He 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
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
Aimee Millwood, Partnerships Coordinator
Aimee Millwood is a writer with wanderlust who currently lives in Hanoi, Vietnam. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received her BA in Literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She believes everyone has a story to tell and is interested in the use of personal narrative to give voice to people whose stories are not always heard. She credits growing up in both Hawaii and Georgia with her constant desire to explore the concept of home and how places shape who we become. Although she has spent the past two years traveling in South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, she believes a physical trip is not the only means of travel – at times, just the wind on your face during a long drive or the scent of a campfire can rejuvenate the soul. You can check out more of her work on her blog, www.stopdroptravel.com.
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, abamundo.carbonmade.com, both of which should be cautiously used to contact her at a seance.
Amalissa Uytingco, Travel/Culture
Amalissa Uytingco is a student at New York University currently pursuing Media, Culture, and Communications. Her penchant for reading at a young age has fostered her current passion for writing, particularly writing with vivid imagery that captures her own experiences and resurrects them in the imagination of the readers. Beyond believing in the transformative power of a good story, she harbors a deep love for food, whether that means eating, cooking, or baking. Especially because of the ever-changing scope of foods sold in the Taiwanese night markets she visited every summer growing up, Amalissa enjoys being adventurous, constantly trying new dishes (unless seafood is involved). In the future she aspires to travel both locally and globally in the hopes of learning, through experience, the value in stepping outside one’s comfort zone.
Beth Lalonde , Women’s Issues/Politics
JJ Fox, Travel/Food
JJ is a student at the University of Warwick where she is studying English and French literature. A trip around southeast Asia was responsible for her love of Asian cuisine as well as her wanderlust. In addition to food and travelling, her passions include dance, skiing, reading and writing. To see more of her work check out her travel blog: http://jjversustheworld.
Diana Smith, Philanthropy/Photography
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 RoadsAmerica.com.