Star City Six – Madeline Christensen
The Downtown Lincoln Association (DLA) is a nonprofit organization funded through Business Improvement Districts (BID’s) that has been a long-time pillar in Downtown Lincoln. Madeline Christensen is the communications coordinator at the Downtown Lincoln Association.
Tell us a little about your business.
We provide services for maintaining downtown’s landscape, and we champion initiatives and new businesses that enhance and grow the area. I also work as a multimedia designer at Pixel Bakery, a small, motion-based design shop located in Turbine Flats. I work mostly with 2D animation projects for clients all over the country, but we also do web design, branding, video and photography, copywriting—you name it.
How did you get started in the business?
I graduated from UNL in 2017 where I studied both graphic design and journalism. I love to write about people in the community, and did pieces for the Daily Nebraskan’s Arts & Entertainment section as well as the Lincoln Journal Star’s Ground Zero throughout college. That led me to DLA, where I now write about new businesses and interesting people in downtown Lincoln for our website and newsletter. I occasionally get to do fun graphic design projects for downtown, too. I recently rebranded the Haymarket Farmers’ Market and the First Friday Artwalk. I was hired at Pixel Bakery at the beginning of 2019 as a multimedia designer, so I’ve balanced both jobs since. It truly is a totally different gig than DLA, but I love the variety in my day.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
I love the variety in my day working multiple places (and doing freelance gigs on the side), but the biggest challenge is definitely keeping my mind focused and learning how to compartmentalize my to-do list.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Early on in college, I felt I was on a path to write at a newspaper and totally immerse myself in the world of journalism. A huge turning point was realizing that the fast-paced stress of writing hard news wasn’t for me—I was only really interested in long interviews where I got to really know a person and explore their personal story. I also wasn’t ready to abandon my love of art and design, and I realized I could do both. I’m fortunate to have found a way!
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Before COVID-19, I was out all the time seeing live music in Lincoln and Omaha. These days, I like to dance around my tiny apartment and drink boxed wine.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
For the past five years, my ska-punk band, Mad Dog and the 20/20s, has terrorized Lincoln stages with loud music and a horn section. (I’m Mad Dog.)
Who inspires you?
My boss and president of the Downtown Lincoln Association (and former Star City Six-er), Todd Ogden.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life?
I can do a headstand for a really long time.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
Either being the mean judge on a reality competition show or writing young-adult fiction.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
One of my most frequented downtown spots is Grey Whale Poke Bowl. Forever craving a Cali Bowl.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?