Martina Barksdale is a multimedia maven and is currently the Director of Communications for VisitLEX. She formally was a producer/TV host for Everyday Kentucky on WKYT.
She’s originally from Lexington, Kentucky where she graduated from Tates Creek High School and also spent 7 years in New York City as a graduate from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
While in New York, she worked as a Host/Producer for Big Review TV and has worked as an actress in tv shows, web series, films, and off-Broadway plays. One of the feature films she was in won the Louisville International Film Festival 2018 and went to screen at the Cannes Film Festival 2019.
Once she moved back to Lexington in 2018, she started a food blog and show called The Sit-in where she shined a light on minority talent, specifically black people in Lexington. She also worked for the Cincinnati Reds as a Game-day Host/Correspondent.
Before moving back to Lexington in August 2021 she was a Host/Producer for Lifestyle Programming at WLBT (NBC affiliate) in Jackson, Mississippi.
Currently, she is a co-founder of Soulfeast Week: Celebrating the Black Culinary & Agriculture experience, a Black Restaurant week paired with curated events that completed a successful third year, this past June.
She’s a huge foodie and enjoys getting the scoop on all the latest foods, drinks, events & music while continuing to uplift the community and move the needle forward.
Learn more about Matina here:
What has been our greatest & favorite achievement so far and why?
My greatest achievement by far is SoulFeast Week because it is not about ME but about WE. I love that we’re able to impact so many Black-Owned businesses with a positive economic impact. I also love that we’re able to bring the community together over a shared cultural experience.
If you are an entrepreneur, what motivated you to start your own business?
I wanted to change and opportunity. Though I am not a full-time entrepreneur, I knew I needed to change the way people viewed our city and provide opportunity to those who are talented who don’t have access due to systemic racism. I didn’t feel as thought the community was supporting and trying to make real equitable change so I decided to spearhead that initative. I’m just thankful the community got on board and supported the cause.
What does success mean to you?
Success can only be defined by you. Success looks different for everyone, but for me it’s seeing real growth and progressive in concurring my goals and dreams regardless on the level or scale they are achieved.
What is your mantra or favorite saying? (If it's a known quote, please let us know who said it first!)
My family (Martin Family) always says “There’s always room for one more” and I believe that whole heartedly with every aspect in my life.
What failure taught you the most about life or business? What was the lesson?
When I had to move back to Lexington, not by choice, but because of my health. Moving back home after seven years in New York City felt like a failure at first but honestly was the best decision I ever made because the lack of opportunity was the opportunity.
What's your favorite book - fiction or non-fiction! - in the past year?
Believe Bigger by Marshawn Evans Daniels
If you could teach the world one five-minute lesson, what would it be?
To open to learning new things even if you don’t understand it. Also how to be open to accepting people for people.
Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you were first starting out?
I would have said No a lot more. No is a full sentence and I would have prioritize my health mentally and physically a lot more if I said no.
What does women's empowerment look like to you in action?
Showing up to support and giving access to resources and economic opportunities.
What would you tell 19-year-old YOU?
No one knows what is going so relax and you’ll never have it 100% figured out.
What will 86-year-old you want you to know TODAY?
Anything outside of cultivating healthy relationships won’t matter.
Does anyone call you by a nickname? What is it?
Marti or Tina
What is your favorite place for our audience to reach you?
What is your favorite quote? (It can be yours or from someone that you look up to.)
“The lack of opportunity is the opportunity”