From artists to accountants, these ladies are all changemakers in their own right, so to pay tribute to their work, we’re including them in our list of local women that are set to make the year special. That being said, this list can always get bigger, so if you know someone to add to our women to watch list, feel free to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to the year ahead!
Brandi Caruthers, AKA “BOOKS:”
The mind behind initiatives with Girls Rock! Indy and the Indianapolis Arts Council, BOOKS launched Smart Girl Records, aiming to elevate the stories of women, artists of color, and marginalized people in Indiana. Oh, and did we mention she’s an attorney, too? Look out for the debut of her radio show, the Pink Power Mixtape, in March, and the premiere of her podcast, Invisible Ink, in May — 2022 is what she is calling a “boon in her own creativity.”
This Cathedral High School and DePauw University grad co-founded Pluie, the world’s first and only self-sanitizing diaper changing table for public restrooms. Featured on TIME Magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2021” list and equipped with a patented UV-C light system that kills 99.9% of germs, bacteria, and viruses, including Coronavirus, word has it that Pluie will be installed in a major local museum (ahem, Conner Prairie) in 2022.
Dutchez DuVall, Kila J. Adams, and Trina Dingle:
As the co-founders of KaidyDid productions, these inspiring women have collaborated with Indiana Performing Arts to become one of Indiana’s first all-black female production companies. They bring Broadway to Indy in a way that fans say is yet to be matched anywhere across the nation.
A military kid, this functional medicine coach finally found her happy place in Indiana, where she’s here to stay. Living the Lady Leader Lifestyle, she even has a three-step program that’ll set you up for success with what she calls a ‘Lifestyle that Lasts!’ She’s also planning some philanthropic initiatives for the year.
If you’re looking for financial advice as the new year kicks off, Jasmyn Squires is your girl. Her new firm, Accntable, offers a myriad of services for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to launch their initiatives — they’re all about self-sufficiency, so check them out to ring in 2022 plentifully.
If you live in Indianapolis or have an Instagram account (or both), you’ve definitely heard of the wonders that Newfields holds — in fact, you may have even sat in its midst, taking in Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” recently. Newfields’ Chief Operating Officer Kathryn Haigh tells us that’s just the beginning. This year, they’re bringing back both “Spring Blooms” and the “Art in Bloom” exhibit, and that’s not all: Look out for the launch of “The Clowes Pavilion Reimagined” at the end of March, along with a few other surprises.
Looking to make a career change this year, but don’t know where to start? We’ll give you the first step: Talk to Kristen Lampkin. She’s got all the skills — resume revamping, LinkedIn refreshing, and so much more. She knows how to make you shine as a candidate, so much so that she’s called the “HR Guru.” This year she will also be one of HR Indiana SHRM’s volunteer leaders as the Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity Director, and also partnering with her co-founder Jaylin Fisher for events for their Black in HR Indy.
This talented writer, reporter, and editor kicked off her journalism career with local favorites like Indianapolis Monthly and the Indianapolis Star, and now her illustrious work has taken her all the way to the pages of The New York Times. While the pandemic has kept her in Indianapolis, she’s put the city on the map, speaking about newsmaking incidents such as the mass shooting that took place in Indianapolis last spring. Keep an eye out for more of Sarah’s bylines in 2022; they’ll be worth reading.
There’s no dearth of musical talent in Indianapolis, and Schawayna Raie is proof of that. This west-sider and R&B artist loves gospel music and uses her art for philanthropic initiatives all around the city. The artwork for her upcoming album also showcases her love of Indy, including a custom-made jacket by fellow Hoosier Tiffany Jones, and a pair of Converse shoes that tell an inspiring story.
Sharon Jiskra Brooks:
Sharon Jiskra Brooks is ushering in the new year with a brand new art exhibit that will be on display January-March. Titled “Inspire & Empower,” it will be hosted at Fishers’ High Frequency Arts gallery and will raise funds for the Pass The Torch for Women Foundation. An exhibit focused on floral-inspired paintings, Sharon is here to celebrate the power of art, women, and mentorship — if you’re an art buff, don’t miss what she’s got coming!
This local hairstylist-turned-artist has hosted a multitude of high-profile pop-ups, from painting a racecar live at the Indy 500, to collaborating with Ivy Tech, Indiana University, and local Meijer stores to showcase her artwork. 2022 will see her transform into an arts mentor while continuing to beautify the city with her art.
Lavanya Narayanan is a regular Indy Maven contributor.
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