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: 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
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 Mass Ave
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 Ave.
Little Orphant 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 St. (James Whitcomb Riley Home)
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
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