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Next Up Columbus 2021: KaTanya Ingram

KaTanya Ingram
KaTanya Ingram

Photo by Matt Reese / CityPulse Columbus

Interview by Derek Grosso

Name: KaTanya Ingram
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Age: 43
Profession: Columbus-based Vocalist & Sidewalk Perfomer
Neighborhood: Westerville
Education: University of Maryland University College, Business Administration
Community Involvement: Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC), Columbus Young Professionals (CYP) Club
Personal Quote: “Music is what feelings sound like and binds us together.”
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram

Give us a snapshot of your path: I began performing during the monthly Short North Art District Gallery Hop series over 12 years ago. Every month, thousands of people could find me somewhere on High Street from 4-10 p.m. monthly singing songs of great musicians past and present… then Covid appeared and my performance days changed and at one point ended. Yet I wanted to bring some cheer back to our community, local businesses, the many homebound residents throughout Columbus and those who were still shopping and supporting local. From a relationship with the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) that began over a decade ago, Sidewalk Serenades was birthed. It came to me in the summer of 2019 while volunteering doing curbside concerts through the Columbus area. It was ministry to me and I continued to sing. Rain, sleet or snow (just not lightning). What can I say, I just love to sing.

How do you start your morning?
As soon as the clock goes off, I make my way downstairs to have a fresh-brewed cup of coffee from local businesses here in the Columbus area. I started drinking coffee only a few years ago and make mine extra creamy with a dab of fresh local honey! I also start my morning searching for what happened throughout the city while I slept the night before. Our city always has something going on. It’s also a guarantee that I will find something cool going on that day or during the week I might want to participate in.

What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
The best advice I have ever received was taught by my Sunday School teacher, Sister Pippen. She simply said, “Until the very last breath there is hope.” I’ve never forgotten that phrase and have quoted it often to others. I know this to be true for myself. Despite numerous corporate layoffs and a January 2021 brain surgery where I almost died, I understand on an extremely personal level that “until the very last breath, there is hope!”

What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
I sing, all day every day!
In the car…
In the shower…
….working at my computer and while the TV is on!
I find somewhere to go locally and enjoy a night of karaoke!

What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
When I think of local spots that bring me joy, the first thing that comes to mind is food! I love the food at Tula Taquera, a spot around the corner from my home. The chorizo tacos are everything. When I just want to walk, shop or enjoy the fresh morning air, I go to one of the numerous farmer/community markets that take place throughout the entire city. Places like Short North Arts District Gallery Hop, North Market, Worthington Farmers Market, Grandview Hop, Pearl Street Market… the list goes on and on!

When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
A singer! One morning sitting on the couch at my aunt and uncle’s home I heard the voice of Whitney Houston singing “The Greatest Love of All.” In that moment I said I want to be a singer one day. My dream has come to fruition.

What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
I’m humbled, surprised, excited, and grateful. Knowing that someone sees the work I do and found it to be interesting and worthy of city-wide recognition is awesome. I promise to not let anyone down.

If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
The pulse of Columbus in one simple word is Diversity. I see the growth in Columbus every day and year over year. It’s needed and necessary in these times.


The Next Up Columbus Awards highlight emerging leaders who are connectors and ambassadors in central Ohio and who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus. The Columbus Young Professionals Club would like to offer special thanks to our 2021 co-presenters, Discover Financial, Future Possibilities and Zipline Logistics for their support of this awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2021” »

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