People Who Make NY Special

40 Women Who Make New York Special

Who run the city?

Photo by Jeff Burak/Unsplash

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re looking back at some of the dozens of incredible and inspiring women—innovators, educators, performers, artists, curators, business owners, activists, scientists, chefs, and more—who we’ve had the honor of chatting with for our People Who Make NY Special interview series over the past two years.

Each of these women is tough, smart, and relentlessly true to her creative vision—just like New York City itself. While some of them are well-known (Sandra Bernhard, the consummate New Yorker, for example), many more are largely unsung, tirelessly stitching their genius into the living fabric of the city, making it stronger and more vibrant than ever.

From a feminist pole dancer to a Mister Rogers for a new generation to a jazz icon in the making, these are women paving the way for women in every city. And they’re the women who make NYC such a crazy-special place to live and work and create and raise girls and boys.

  1. Alexis Coe Tells the True Stories Behind “Bad” Women
  2. Artist Alex Posen Will Dress You for the Resistance
  3. Performer Penny Arcade on Her Must-See, Sexy Show
  4. How Lindsay Amer Edutains Kids About LGBTQ
  5. Jocelyn Bioh’s Superpower? She Can Write an Entire Play in One Week

    Jocelyn Bioh / Photo by Daniel D’Ottavio
  6. Professional Artists in Public Schools? Rachel Watts Makes It Happen
  7. How Claudia Norman Gives Mexican Culture a Home in NYC
  8. Playwright Heidi Schreck Wants You to Rethink the Constitution
  9. Cartoonist Gabrielle Bell on Sexism in the Comicsphere
  10. Could Shakina Nayfack Be Our First Trans Action Hero?

    shakina nayfack
    Shakina Nayfack / Photos courtesy of Mayumi Ando
  11. How Soccer Mom Lisa Raymond-Tolan Became One of NYC’s Fiercest Resisters
  12. Deep Diving With Scientist Estefanía Rodríguez, an Underwater Expert at the American Museum of Natural History
  13. Brianna Thomas Leads the Jazz Band
  14. Hear #MeToo Voices Come to Life in Chris Henry’s Women on Fire
  15. Daphne Rubin-Vega Rocks Out (Again)

    Estefanía Rodríguez
  16. Town & Country’s Stellene Volandes Keeps It Contemporary
  17. NYC’s Busiest Theater Director, Leigh Silverman
  18. How Tonya Lewis Lee Does the Right Thing
  19. Meet Artist (and Vagina Cake Maker!) Molly Surno
  20. Susanne Bartsch, the Queen of NYC Nightlife

    Stellene Volandes
  21. Juju Chang on Nightline and New York
  22. Sandra Bernhard on Showbiz, Vacuums, and Being an NYC Celeb
  23. Talking Jazz (and Grit) With Trumpeter Bria Skonberg
  24. Vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant Takes the Jazz Scene by Storm
  25. Celisse Henderson Sings the Blues

    Juju Chang / Photo by Phil Penman
  26. Stacey Griffith, SoulCycle Goddess
  27. Fearlessly Frank With Glow Actress Gayle Rankin
  28. Jill Kargman: Not an “Odd Mom Out” in NYC
  29. Rachel Chanoff, the Eyes and Ears Behind BRIC House
  30. Annie Bruce: The Unicorn Mom

    Annie Bruce / Photo by Michelle Danahy
  31. Shanta Thake on Programming Joe’s Pub
  32. Choreographer Brook Notary Reclaims the Pole
  33. Installation Artist Jean Shin on the Second Avenue Subway
  34. Carla Hall Bites Into the NYC Restaurant Scene
  35. Dia Curator Alexis Lowry on Minimalist Art in the City

    Carla Hall
  36. Actress Janet McTeer on Being a Brit in NYC
  37. Christina Tosi, Founder of Momofuku Milk Bar
  38. Art on the Run With Marnie Kunz
  39. Meet the Witch of Catland Books, Melissa Madara
  40. Comedian Catherine Cohen Is Making 2019 Her Year
Catherine Cohen
Catherine Cohen / Photo by Bea Helman/Courtesy of Catherine Cohen