Featured Alumni: Elizabeth Rose Daly '94SIPA

Alumni Artist

Featured Alumni: Elizabeth Rose Daly '94SIPA

Architecture & Design
Visual Arts

As part of our blog series on Featured Alumni, we interview Elizabeth Rose Daly ‘94SIPA, who created Liz Daly’s Culture Digest as a way to share her love of New York City’s amazing cultural offerings and showcase some of the lesser known arts and cultural presentations.   

More about Elizabeth Rose Daly ‘94SIPA

Elizabeth Rose Daly is an executive with extensive experience in international business, government, and economic development. Since May, 2015, she has undertaken various consulting assignments, as well as advising foreign businesses and governments on how to connect with New York City government and resources. She has also been publishing Liz Daly’s Culture Digest, (www.LizDalyCultureDigest.com) a blog about arts and culture in New York City.

Ms. Daly was Director, International Business, in the New York City Mayor's Office for International Affairs from 2003 until 2015, promoting New York City to foreign companies contemplating opening operations in the City, and helping them access the resources they needed to get started. She also assisted the foreign trade and diplomatic community on business and government issues.

Previously Ms. Daly held various management and administrative positions with Crédit Industriel et Commercial, New York Branch, and Commerzbank, New York Branch, as well as the New York Office of FTCC Communications, a French telecommunications company. She also ran Brooklyn Goes Global, a program of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce that assisted Brooklyn-based manufacturers to export their products.

Ms. Daly has a long history of community service, having served in various capacities on the Boerum Hill Association, Brooklyn Community Board 2, and the 84th Precinct Community Council.

Ms. Daly holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University. A native of the Bronx, she has traveled extensively overseas, and has studied in France and Germany. She speaks fluent French and intermediate German.

For our members who are not familiar with your blog, can you tell us about Liz Daly’s Culture Digest and what inspired you to create it?

After leaving the Mayor’s Office, I wanted to take a new direction in my career. I have a long-standing love of the arts – I was an art major in high school, and more recently studied jazz singing. Starting the blog was a way of sharing that passion and my knowledge of New York City with others, while developing my writing. It was also a way for me to learn about cultural life across the five boroughs, and explore venues I hadn’t visited before. And yes, I confess, it’s a way to have a lot of fun.

I’ve always worked in international business, and saw early on how important the arts are – in many countries, if you want to land a deal, your familiarity with theatre, music and art is just as important as your knowledge of business.  From an economic development point of view, one of the attractions for companies and entrepreneurs setting up shop here is NYC’s vibrant cultural life – not just the major institutions, but the local theatre companies, dance troupes, galleries, music venues…  And those are really my focus.

As you review the various shows, exhibitions, performances, what were some surprising and interesting highlights from this past year? 

The exhibits at the Wallach Gallery – I confess I never visited it while I was studying at Columbia, but it’s a gem, and I can’t wait for the CAA tour! (Join us on August 15 for a tour of current exhibition Uptown at the Wallach Art Gallery!)

It was also places like the Museum of American Finance where I discovered how much symbolism and hidden messaging there is in coins and paper money; the Museum of the American Indian has taught me a lot about Native American history and culture, and the Chelsea Music Festival has made me more aware of the ties between jazz and classical music…. And the list goes on. I grew up in the Bronx, and I’m impressed with what’s happening there, like the shows at the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, the Bronx Art Space, writing workshops at Poe Cottage – the Bronx Council for the Arts is doing phenomenal work. All across the city, in venues like Flushing Town Hall, or at performances by companies like Origin Theatre, you’ll find lots of talented people and great stories. 

The Crocheted Coral Reef exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Design is one of my all time favorites – it marries math, craft and social activism and takes them to a global level to make people aware of how the planet’s coral reefs are dying.

Many of our readers are interested in career advice and career development. You previously worked in the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, how has your Columbia degree help shape your career path?

At SIPA we were required to do group projects – I think they were called workshops - which was a very good way of learning to work with other people and figure out how to keep them motivated and your project on target – an essential skill for life as well as business. For one of the workshops I had to conduct several interviews, and that experience has stood me in especially good stead. I also think that for many companies and organizations, having the Columbia degree is a kind of validation that you have the tools and training to figure out how to get the job done.

While you were pursuing your Masters of Public Administration at SIPA, what were some of your favorite Columbia memories?

I don’t have specific memories, but what I do remember is feeling part of a community, of being with people who were very supportive and generous. I had graduated college some 15 years earlier, so going back to school full time was not easy – especially since I had been a French major, and was now required to take classes such as calculus, economics and statistics. Many of my classmates spent lots of hours explaining utility curves to me. I’m sure there’s a special place in Heaven for them.

What can we look forward to the next feature in the Culture Digest?  Can you give us a sneak peek?

I’m not sure of the order in which I’m going to publish them, but two articles in the pipeline are an interview with Jonathan Hopkins of the Smith Street Theatre Company in Brooklyn, and a review of the show of WW1 art at the New York Historical Society.  In the coming weeks I’ll be adding a listing of the foreign cultural organizations that are here.

I’d love to hear from your readers their ideas for any shows, artists or organizations they might want me to cover.

Please contact Elizabeth Rose Daly at lizdaly@verizon.net to share your ideas!