Before launching her own agency in 2010, Rassa first started at the age of 15 in political fundraising for six years in her hometown of Washington DC. After working closely with then Senator John Kerry (the former Secretary of State), Senators, Bob Kerry, Chris Dodd, Fritz Hollings and the late Teddy Kennedy, Rassa completed her BA in Electronic Media with minors in Art History and British Media & Culture from George Washington University, The Courtauld Institute of Art and City College in London. She continued in New York where she produced international runway shows in close collaboration with designers of various brands – Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Jil Sander, Gucci, Cartier, Chloe, Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Vuitton and Anna Sui, amongst others. Working closely with designers segued her passion into working with and developing the trajectory of emerging and established fine artists. Rassa offers a cross spectrum synergy whilst keeping the brand’s and organization’s core identity, values and long-term integrity intact. These partnerships open a strategic alliance and mutually beneficial environment of cultural exchange. Rassa has nurtured the careers of many notable artists helping to shape much of the current landscape where art meets commerce.

Creators Connect Interview, December 17, 2014

1. Name.

Rassa Montaser

2. Current location and where you come from.

My current location is New York. Born in Tehran, Iran. I was raised in Washington, DC.

3. What do you do?

I generate projects, working with all types of disciplines.

4. How long have you been doing what you do? Why did you start?

I started at the age of 15 working in the Senate House with Chris Dodd, Bob Kerry, Teddy Kennedy, Fritz Hollings and the now Secretary of State, John Kerry until I was about 19 yrs old, around the time of my first year at University. I was the assistant to Barbara Kaltenbach who is an excellent democratic fundraiser where I started to practice raising funds for people and projects. Then, during my time at George Washington University, my thesis — examining how surrealist film directly influenced commercial film — was an early document of my interest and belief in various kinds of creative disciplines and their capacity to intersect and coexist with commerce. Since then, I have been nurturing the ability to select and interpret individual talents for commercial and noncommercial purposes.

5. Where is your favorite place to go for inspiration and why?

Most places that I find myself in I don’t actually seek out for inspiration but am already in them based on a sort of resolute instinct.

6. What ideas, books, people, films, artists, etc are inspiring you personally or informing your work right now?

At this moment I would say, The Blue Four: Feininger, Jawlensky, Kandinsky and Klee in the New World, by Ms Vivian Endicott Barnett.; Anne Collier, TS Eliot, Joan Didion, Willard Ahdritz, Renata Lucas, Abbas Kiarostami.

7. Who are your favorite people to collaborate with and what does collaboration bring to your work?

To me, collaborating with a broad range of talents is fun in that it will often facilitate more creative solutions.

8. Do you have any rituals or practices that help you get into the creative zone?

I don’t think so. Just continual thought processes.

9. If you could collaborate with anyone in the world (living or dead), who would it be and what would you do together.

I would collaborate with Irving Thalberg and produce a film about America today.

10. What’s been your career highlight?

Not sure about any one highlight or milestone in particular but lots of little personal ones along the way.

11. What do you think our generation’s creative legacy will be?

‘Legacy’ seems an embellished concept to me. Our generation should try to help people communicate with one another. Try to extend yourself as a human being and try to be a part of your time.

12. Where are your favorite places to eat, drink, visit, or hang out in your city?

Home cooked recipes with family and friends is always preferred. I love to walk almost anywhere, especially near the ocean or in the mountains, in national parks, in cities.

13. What’s something that you haven’t experienced yet that you want to?

Living without a computer or mobile device again.