Nine to five, Joel Daly works at a local communications firm. But in his spare time, he heads the D.C. chapter of Creative Mornings, a New York-based discussion series that puts interesting locals in front of a captive audience ( The next lecture, on July 26, features a NASA astrophysicist and will revolve around outer space (free, 1776, 1133 15th St. NW).

What is the goal of Creative Mornings?
We want to translate all that D.C. has to offer and represent the city in the best and most accurate light. We take advantage of the people who are doing really great work in the community in order to inspire others.

What types of topics do speakers discuss at Creative Mornings?
There are multiple chapters around the world, but we all have the same theme every month. Our first theme was Reuse, the next was The Future, then came Backwards and the [most recent] one was Food. People are getting a little more conceptual with their talks.

Who are some of the speakers you’ve featured?
Ryan Holladay [of Blue Brains] discussed the relationship between space and music. And Jonas Singer talked about his experience founding Blind Dog Cafe and Union Kitchen.

What are some of the difficulties you’ve faced in D.C.?
Most designers, artists and musicians are familiar with Creative Mornings, but not everyone has heard of us. Also, knowing that we would have to deal with a lot of bureaucracy makes securing speakers hard.
How do you go about finding speakers?
Everything is about talking to people. The best thing is to sit down and have coffee with someone new a couple of times a week. And the people I know know people who are well-connected with specific industries. A lot of it is serendipitous.

How did you get involved with Creative Mornings?
Last fall, colleagues and I were talking about the lack of a gathering that bridged the divide between different industries, especially as it pertains to creativity. And I was like, “You know what we are talking about. We’re talking about Creative Mornings.” We agreed this is just our moral responsibility to bring it to D.C.

How is Creative Mornings helping to dispel some of the stereotypes about D.C.?
A lot of people think we are wonky. It’s a disservice to artists who are working hard. D.C.’s creative scene looks a little different than in other cities. We aim to inspire those with creative pursuits. I have to admit, we do have a bit of a chip on our shoulder when it comes to wanting to show that we have something to add to the creative dialog. Holley Simmons (Express)