Judy Thomas

Who is Judy?

President of the Madam Walker Legacy Center, expected to reopen in 2020 after major renovations

 


Q. It must be an exciting time to be involved with the Madam Walker Legacy Center! Can you explain what physical changes the building is undergoing? 

It will be so much more than a building. It will be an experience. Many features will be enhanced, and the story of the Madam Walker Legacy Center (MWLC) and Madam Walker will be told in creative ways throughout the building. Many historical artifacts from Madam Walker’s business will be on display. We are looking forward to the 2020 grand opening of the Madam Walker Legacy Center. We plan to kick it off with a bang and keep the energy going on for years and decades to come. 
 

Q. What can guests expect as far as programming and events when the building reopens?

Guests can expect culturally diverse programming on a national and local level. Existing and new partnerships will create unique events and artistic endeavors. The MWLC will feature international and national performers, business leaders, artists, speakers, and game-changers.
 
MWLC

Q. What stands out to you most about Madam Walker’s legacy? How does her story inspire you?

Madam Walker’s legacy is an American story. She is an amazing example of what is possible in this country. To think she was born a few short years after her own parents were freed from slavery and with hard work and a solid business plan, became the first female self-made millionaire. Imagine the obstacles – there were laws in place to enforce racial segregation, yet she persevered and created a thriving profitable business. She was a trailblazing entrepreneur. \
 

Q. Where in Indy do you like to go for a great meal, and why?

Indy is a food mecca! It is hard to choose because I love so many places for specific reasons:

Bluebeard

Q. Which local boutiques do you enjoy browsing, either for yourself or for gifts?

I am a big shopper and love 8Fifteen, Vintage 54 CollectiveDecorate, Chatham Home, and several stores at Keystone at the Crossing.
 

Q. Where might you take out-of-town visitors for an authentic Indy experience?

NewfieldsEiteljorg, Canal gondola ride, The Jazz Kitchen, a Colts game, and the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library. At the top of the list in 2020 will be an amazing interactive tour at the Madam Walker Legacy Center and the Indiana Avenue cultural district!

Newfields

Q. You’re a board member at The Cabaret. What should visitors know about that venue and organization?

The best talent in the world of cabaret, jazz, and Broadway perform at The Cabaret! The top of the top right here in Indy. The setting is intimate, posh, and full of energy. A truly unique experience.
 

Q. Is there a park, trail, or garden you prefer to visit for fresh air?

I enjoy visiting several Indy parks – there are so many wonderful options: Garfield, Riverside, Holliday, and Tarkington. And, of course, a longtime favorite, Butler University’s Holcomb Gardens – Go DAWGS!! (Class of 1990!)
 
Holcomb
 
 

Get an insider view and experience Indy Like a Local

Judy Thomas

Judy Thomas

Madam Walker Legacy Center

Tommy Dant

Tommy Dant

Owner of James Dant

Fabian Rodriguez

Fabian Rodriguez

Drink Culture Podcast

Tiffany Benedict Browne

Tiffany Benedict Browne

Local Historian and Author

Justin Sears-Watson

Justin Sears-Watson

Phoenix Theatre Dance Company

Stevi Stoesz Kersh

Stevi Stoesz Kersh

City Market Director

Clayton Geathers List

Clayton Geathers

Indianapolis Colts Player

Kelli Morgan

Kelli Morgan 

Curator of American Art 

Jared Thompson

Jared Thompson 

Saxophonist and Restaurant Manager

George Turkette

Salumist and Owner of Turchetti's Salumeria

Brandon Burdine

Brandon Burdine

Barber Shop Owner and Barista 

Larra Overton

Larra Overton

Sports Reporter

Deborah Dorman

Deborah Dorman 

Realtor and Fashion Expert

Martin Rennie

Martin Rennie

Indy Eleven Head Coach

Chris Handberg (Left)

Chris Handberg

Indy Pride Executive Director

Josh Baker

Josh Baker

Music Club Owner and Promoter

Oreo Jones

Oreo Jones

Hip-Hop Artist

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Walter Lobyn Hamilton

Vinyl Record Collage Artist

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Yoshiko Kamikusa

Ballet Dancer

Ed Rudisell and Carlos Sanchez

Ed Rudisell and Carlos Salazar

Food and Drink Purveyors

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Meredith Kong and Kelly Ryan

Ice Cream Innovators

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Jingo M. de la Rosa

Illustrator and Educator

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Josh Rush

Painter and Biking Enthusiast

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Consuelo Poland

Manager, RUCKUS Makerspace, and Executive Director, Latinas Welding Guild

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Sonja and Alex Overhiser

Food Bloggers and Authors

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Mab Graves

Artist and Illustrator

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David Ranalli

Magician and Illusionist

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Michael Pettry

Choir Director

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Andrea Hunley

Public School Principal

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Ben "Action" Jackson

DJ and Founder, Rad Summer

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Trip (Butler Blue III)

Mascot, Butler Bulldogs

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Marisol Gouveia

Zoo Membership Director

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Martha Hoover

Restaurateur

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Pedro Fernandez

Symphony Percussionist

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Hattie McDaniel

Pastry Chef, Vida

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Brian Kelly and Alex Janeczek

T-Shirt Shop Owners

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Chris Eley

Owner, The Smoking Goose and Goose the Market

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Clay Robinson

Co-Founder, Sun King Brewing

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Cole Farrell and Aric Furfaro

Writer and Exhibit Designer

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Ed Carpenter

IndyCar Driver and Team Owner

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Ersal Ozdemir

Owner, Indy Eleven soccer club

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Gary Brackett

Former Colt Linebacker and Owner, Brackett Restaurant Group

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Beth Chappo

Blogger, Seersucker + Saddles

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Jamie and Martine Locke

Fine Artist and Musician

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Julia Moffitt

News Anchor, WTHR

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Julia Whitehead

Executive Director, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

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Mali Jeffers

Director of Marketing and Community Initiatives, Ambrose Property Group

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Peter Dunn

Personal-Finance Guru/Comedian

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Polina Osherov

Executive Director, Pattern

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Sam Cronk

Hair Stylist

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Tamika Catchings

Former WNBA Star, Indiana Fever

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Erin Edds

President, Garden Party Botanical Hard Soda

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James Hinchcliffe

IndyCar Racer, Contestant on Dancing with the Stars

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Januarie York

Spoken-Word Artist

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Mina Starsiak and Karen Laine

Stars of HGTV's Good Bones

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Neelay Bhatt

TedX Speaker

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Shane Brown

Chalk Artist and T-Shirt Shop Owner

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Charlie Kimball

IndyCar Racer

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Ben Hardy

Owner, The Gallery Pastry Shop

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Kimberly Schrack

Owner, Manayunk Calligraphy

Maria Romaine Brace

Maria Romaine Brace

Owner, Like the Lettuce: Fitness + Health Coach



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