"My mission is to provide life-changing education and resources to the creative community."
Melissa Albertario Peck (she/her/hers) is a multi-passionate educator and advocate for creative sustainability. Whether she is championing financial literacy, de-stigmatizing “money-talk”, or promoting creative entrepreneurship, Melissa's mission is to provide life-changing education and resources to the creative community.
With over two decades of simultaneous professional experience in both the Performing Arts and Financial Services industries, Melissa founded Smartistry, LLC in 2018 as a bridge between those worlds.
As Director of Client Services for global learning & development company Hoopis Performance Network, Melissa has coached and trained over 50,000 financial agents, advisors, and sales managers to improve their communication skills and sales effectiveness by using leading-edge digital training. In this role, Melissa honed her expertise in crafting the learner's journey, virtual meeting facilitation, digital course design, and driving learner engagement.
Melissa recently directed her first feature film, Falling For You, which was released in 2022. She was previously the Founding Artistic Director of Focal Point Theatre Company and Literary Manager for 20% Theatre Company, both in Chicago. She directed the Chicago premiere of Patrick Marber's play After Miss Julie in 2012, and won the Curator's Choice Award for directing an original adaptation of Prometheus Bound at Chicago's Around the Coyote Festival in 2004.
On her podcast The Smartist, Melissa examines the intersections between creativity, finance, and entrepreneurship, with thought-provoking guests like pay equity leader Elsa Hiltner and award-winning director Monty Cole. In response to the Chicago creative community's demand for entrepreneurial upskilling brought about by COVID-19, in 2021 Smartistry co-created the Accidental Entrepreneur’s Club, in partnership with Chicago’s Artist Mobilization Resource, and Apparel Industry Board, Inc.
In 2022, Melissa launched her first live workshop series for arts students: Financial Literacy for the Creative Student, which debuted as part of the biennial Odyssey Arts Festival at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, a four-time United States Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Award winner.
Melissa received an MFA in Theatre Directing from the University of Essex (UK) and a BA in Theatre from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She also trained at the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS) and is a Certified Professional Life Coach.