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Downtown Indy’s Notable Ladies

Category Downtown Vibe

March is Women’s History Month. Celebrate with Downtown’s most recognizable ladies. Perched atop the Indiana Sailors and Soldiers Monument, Victory stands commemorating Indiana heroes. Learn more about America’s first “self-made” female millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker. Check out Ann Dancing and all of Downtown’s familiar gals.

Victory: All eyes fall on me as I am THE center of the city perched atop the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument over 284 ft. above Monument Circle (only 15 ft. shorter than the Statue of Liberty!). Made of limestone and designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz, I was dedicated in 1902. For the past 118 years I have symbolized the City of Indianapolis and commemorated the service of Indiana’s heroes who served before World War I. Much needed structural and cosmetic repairs led to my first trip off the statue in the spring of 2011. Now I am looking better than ever! Location: Monument Circle

Ann Dancing moving graphic on Mass Ave in Downtown Indianapolis

Ann Dancing: Known for my smooth, LED-illuminated sway, I greet visitors to Mass Ave and pedestrians along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Designed by internationally celebrated Welsh artist, Julian Opie, I joined Mass Ave in 2008 and had a major hardware and technology upgrade in 2019. I aim to encourage random, spontaneous and inspired creativity. Come dance with me! Location: intersection of Mass Ave, Alabama and Vermont Streets

Madam C.J. Walker: I developed and marketed a hugely
popular line of beauty and hair products for black women and became the first self-made American woman millionaire. In 1910, I moved to Indianapolis where I established my headquarters and built a factory. My generous nature led to the creation of the community center known as Madame Walker Theatre Center. Today, you can learn more about me by taking a tour at the Madame Walker Theatre Center located on Indiana Avenue. Location: 617 Indiana Avenue

Eva Kor: Although I was 4'9" in person, I left a giant impact on the world. I was born to a Jewish family in northern Transylvania in 1934. Ten years later, my family and I were deported to Auschwitz. My mother, father, and two older sisters perished in a gas chamber while my twin sister and I were brutally experimented on. Decades later, after I moved to Terre Haute in 1960, I found a way to forgive those who hurt me and my family. My sister and I created a nonprofit organization, Candles (Children of Auschwitz — Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors) in 1984, after finding more than 100 other twins who had been tortured, in hopes of connecting after so many years. I spent the remainder of my life spreading the message of hope and forgiveness. If you want to learn more about me, go to the Indiana Historical Society anytime between now and August 3, 2024 to see my exhibit "Eva Kor from Auschwitz to Indiana." Location: 21 Virginia Avenue

Mari Evans Mural on Mass Ave Indianapolis

Mari Evans: Being a fan of the arts, it is not a surprise that my legacy continues in a mural created by my artist, Michael “Alkemi” Jordan. My words were well-known in literature and theater. The passion seen in my art quickly became an inspiration to others as I used my influence to express the ideals and actions of the Civil Rights Movement. You can see me, one of the leaders of the Black Arts Movement, on Mass Ave. Location: 448 Massachusetts Avenue

Little Orphan Annie: Four stanzas written by famous Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley, launched my story into the spotlight of plays, comic strips, television shows, movies and more. The poem was aimed to teach children the importance of obeying one’s parents and being kind to the unfortunate. You can learn more about me by visiting the James Whitcomb Riley Home located in the historic Lockerbie Square neighborhood in Downtown Indianapolis. Location: 528 Lockerbie Street (James Whitcomb Riley Home)

Charlotte "Pink" Cathcart: I was born in 1877 and grew up at 9th and Pennsylvania streets. I developed my typing skills as an early student at Shortridge. Those skilled helped me land a job at the Indianapolis News, which led to my manuscript Indianapolis From Our Old Corner being published into a book by the Indiana Historical Society. During World War 1, I served as a medical records keeper alongside Indiana doctors and nurses who were stationed in France. Location: 907 N. Pennsylvania Street 

Dimensional Shadows: You’ll find my muraled-self decked out in bold hues of grey and blue on the 600 block of Mass Ave. My artist, Eduardo Mendieta, was commissioned to create me as part of the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ 46 for XLVI mural project. I signify the importance of self-empowerment and represent the breaking of planes–be it planes found in work, relationships or life. Location: 609 Massachusetts Avenue

Morphos: Find three of us dressed in dark gray hues on the side of the Canal embracing change and resting in the connections that tie us together. We represent the different generations of woman in a family, each one of us presenting beauty and maturity in different manners. Look for the vibrant butterfly and soft yellow flower next to us and see how the environment grows as each generation changes. Location: Canal Walk/West New York Street