From artists to entrepreneurs, attorneys to counselors, our 2023 list of Women to Watch is proof that women really can do it all. Now, we at Indy Maven know that this list hardly scrapes the surface. It is not definitive or exhaustive, but it is in alphabetical order. Let’s celebrate and champion those on it. Then let us know who else you want us to pay attention to! Send us a message to let us know.
Tracy Betz, attorney
Tracy has been passionate about advocating for women ever since she was 5 years old and learned that all the US Presidents were men, asking her father if that was a rule. She is a commercial litigation Partner at Taft Stettinius and Hollister LLP where she serves as a member of the Executive Committee, the Participation Committee, and is the co-chair of the firm’s Gender Advancement Committee. In 2022, Tracy spent countless hours at the Indiana statehouse advocating for reproductive freedom and is a founding member of the newly formed bipartisan Our Choice Coalition, a political action committee (PAC) dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and electing candidates for state and local offices in Indiana who believe that every person should be able to make private reproductive healthcare decisions without governmental interference.
In 2023, the OCC plans to ramp up its work to identify pro-choice Hoosiers across Indiana, register them to vote, and motivate them to go to the polls for the candidates who share our views on reproductive rights. They just held their kick-off event on the 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, raising more than $50,000. To stay up to date, follow OCC on Instagram.
Dana Bradford-Majors, self-published author & publisher
Dana Bradford-Majors is co-contributor of “Humans Can’t Fly”, “…Because Big Boys Aren’t Afraid of Outer Space”, “Hey New Kid”, and “A Very Different Butterfly”—three works published in the “Black Boy Joy” series with her sons and coauthors, Pheldon J. Majors, III and Atreyu Majors. While she recently shifted her focus to publishing children’s books under her self-named company, B. Majors Publishing, she’s currently teaching high school students IT Support to receive paid apprenticeships once they leave for summer break. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her five children of distinct personalities, two dogs, and an amazingly talented drummer husband.
In 2023, she will continue to collaborate with Dinah Allen A/K/A “Muffy” on her upcoming book “Jada’s New Skates,” as well as publish the “Black Boy Joy Series” in Spanish. But that’s not all. Her first book under B. Majors Publishing is coming out with “Mrs. Majors is Missing,” a well as the first novel, “There’s Something Living in the Laundry Room.” To stay up to date, follow her on Instagram.
Lauren Briggeman, actor, director & founding artistic director of Summit Performance Theatre
Lauren Briggeman and Georgeanna Smith Wade (artistic director of REACT) co-founded Summit, a feminist theater company, in 2016, “in response to the blatant misogyny in the political sphere.” They’d also surveyed local theaters and found that female-identifying playwrights, directors, and actors were woefully underrepresented. So Summit (tagline: “By Women. About Women. For Everyone.”) was born— and it’s been growing ever since.
The theater will produce its first two-show season in 2023-2024. Until then, don’t miss Summit’s production of “The Convent,” from March 24-April 9, at Phoenix Theatre Cultural Center. It’s an often-funny play about a group of modern women who’ve lost the plot of their lives and seek answers at a spiritual retreat in a medieval convent. One character is described as a “sexy, dissatisfied alumna”—and we know we can count on her to twist the plot.
Starla Kay Mathis & Lateva Woolfork, entrepreneurs
Starla Kay Mathis (CEO) and Lateva Woolfork (COO) founded the membership-based organization Create. Connect. Collab. as a safe space for women to create, build, and scale their businesses. Members receive immersive professional development through monthly virtual MasterClasses, as well as community and support through our monthly virtual MasterMinds. In addition to those offerings, Create. Connect. Collab. offers monthly Maven Space programming and their annual flagship Unstoppable Retreat.
They have their own individual ventures, too. Lateva has a thriving PR Firm, Socially Coordinated (SoCo PR), which specializes in brand strategy, community engagement and search engine Optimization (SEO). Starla runs Mathis Media with her husband and hosts her own podcast as well, Creative Life, Mom & Wife.
Arianna Cruz, founder of MORE Magazine, creative strategist at Long-Sharp Gallery
Arianna curates content for her magazine, MORE with a focus on Making Opportunities Reachable for Everyone and is “for the people that want more for themselves, the people they love, and the world we live in.” She holds mentorship as a core pillar in addition to connection. This is evident in her work at MORE, as well as her career at Long-Sharp Gallery, where she went from an intern to Gallery Assistant to her current role as Creative Strategist.
In 2023, Arianna is hopeful to continue growing MORE through both expansion of their internship program, as well as growing their Founder to Founder content, and is actively accepting partnerships for companies and brands that want to Seek MORE together. Moreover, she is excited for the upcoming year of events she will be joining through Indiana Latino Institute, Pass the Torch, The Gifted Gown, amongst other community-centric celebrations in Indianapolis. In addition to all that, Arianna is getting married to her fiancé, Andrew. Keep up with her on Instagram or connect with her on LinkedIn.
Lauren Hall Bushman, therapist & executive director at Irvington Counseling Collective
Lauren serves as the founding therapist and Executive Director for Irvington Counseling Collective (ICC), an equity-based mental health counseling nonprofit working to make culturally attuned care available to all Hoosiers. In addition to serving more than 500 people and redistributing more than $12,000 of mutual aid funds to Gender Diverse and BIPOC Indy residents in 2022, the organization created Indianapolis’s first BIPOC Postgraduate Residency Fellowship for Clinicians of Color in 2023 and will be introducing fully subsidized group offerings for LGBTQ+ adults beginning this Spring.
On the weekends she and her partner run Red’s Super Rose, their family Flower Variety Store & Café, located in historic Irvington. Hosting a large selection of nonalcoholic beverages, locally made food options, and homegrown flowers from their quarter-acre garden in Christian Park, Red’s is a playful and meaningful space where community can connect.
Tasha Jun, writer
Tasha is a biracial Korean American who’s spent her life navigating cultural collisions and liminal space. She writes about melancholy dreams, faith, and cultural and ethnic identity. On May 9th of this year, her first book will be released, “Tell Me The Dream Again, Reflections on Family, Ethnicity, & The Sacred Work of Belonging”.
In addition to launching her first book into the world, this year Tasha will continue gathering together with the women of Indy Asian American Sisterhood, as well as travel with her family to South Korea (the pandemic canceled the original date almost three years ago). Pre-order the book, find her on Instagram, and sign up for her newsletter, Shalomsick Notes.
Robin Long-Jordan, designer & artist
Despite a B.F.A. in Furniture Design and an M.F.A. in Fine Art, Robin Long-Jordan spent years as Blackline’s Studio Manager before becoming one of their Designers. A multi-discipline designer who curates Blackline’s art and exhibit space and maintains the in-house materials library, Robin focuses primarily on residential and hospitality design with an emphasis on FF&E specification and staging.
Her plans and goals for 2023 focus on sustainability and community-building. “Design has a huge role in what kinds of products get into the built environment and we have to do better enabling our clients to make informed decisions about what we are using.” She played a large role in IPS 57’s new playground in honor of a student killed in an aggravated driving incident. Hannah’s Memorial Playground is nearly complete and will be dedicated on February 25th. Connect with Robin on LinkedIn and Instagram.
Julia Muney Moore, Indy Arts Council public art director
Working with artists to create public art seems glamorous, no? Yet once in a while, Julia Muney Moore finds herself wearing rubber gloves and carrying a bucket of stinky chemicals to scrub off, for example, a “male bathing-suit-area appendage” (translation: penis) that someone has spray-painted onto a mural.
That aside, in 2022, Muney Moore had a hand in helping some of Indy’s most beautiful public art come to life: The Madam Walker mural on Indiana Avenue by Tasha R. Beckwith, the Transitions fence at the Indianapolis International Airport by Jackie Head, the 60 new artworks at Gainbridge Fieldhouse by 23 artists.
This year, she’s excited about managing the Hoosier Historia project with the Indiana Pacers for the February 2024 NBA All-Star Game weekend, a new mural of poet Etheridge Knight, and “a massive mural for a location I’m not ready to disclose, but it will be spectacular–trust me.”
Jazmyn Perry, 1610 Eats chef & curator
1610 eats is a community-focused food company. As a child, Jazmyn’s interest in food sprung from her lack of personal options as compared to the variety she saw on The Food Network. She credits her father, a culinary art school graduate, and grandmother for nurturing her passion. “I use food to express myself creatively and build connections with others… There is a luxury in the choice of ingredients I pull from local grocers and butchers.”
In the past, Jazmyn taught classes and created The Cookbook Club, an event aimed at bringing food access and education to the city’s near east side. She was recently featured in New School Suspension at Storage Space Art Gallery. This year she plans to collaborate with local chefs and complete a cookbook inspired by their families’ matriarchs. She’s available for private chef bookings and catering. Book club? Dinner party? Birthday? Baby shower? She’ll handle whatever it is you plan to take off your cooking to-do list. For inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org. But don’t wait too long; her calendar is sure to book fast.
Teresa Reynolds, musician
While living in NYC, Reynolds sang backup for Gloria Gaynor of “I Will Survive” fame and performed off-Broadway. Now back in her hometown of Indianapolis, she fronts Teresa Reynolds and the Slicktones – a pop R&B band with jazz, soul, and electronica influences. Their album, “Live From Postal Recording,” will be released soon. A film crew captured the recording process, “so there’s new music and videos on the near horizon,” she says.
In 2023, Reynolds is working on a hip hop and R&B album with her brother, artist TJ Reynolds–their first “totally joint effort.” Another project that’s close to her heart: She’s researching her family history and using that as inspiration for new music, as part of her Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship project. Her grandmother, Violet Reynolds, was hired by Madam C.J. Walker as a secretary in her growing company in 1914; she retired in 1982 as executive director. “I’m looking forward to learning more about Violet, especially since I named my daughter after her.” Follow her on Instagram.
Maura Malloy is Indy Maven’s Assistant Editor. Amanda Kingsbury is co-founder of Indy Maven.
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