Arts & Entertainment
2021 Readers Poll
2021 Critics Picks

photo by Jana Birchum


"The Blanton shows diverse collections of art that open minds and eyes." Sally Van Sickle

The Blanton Museum of Art
200 E. MLK

Art Gallery

"Cool spot, cool art." Victoria Rodriguez

Ao5 Gallery
10000 Research #118

photo by Jana Birchum

courtesy of Mila Sketch

Visual Artist

"Mila is an amazing artist who shares her talents with underserved communities. She deserves this!" Quana Smith

Performance Space/Theatre

"It's Austin's most historic and most beautiful performance space, and the programming is wonderfully eclectic." Mark Weiss

Paramount Theatre
713 Congress

photo by David Brendan Hall

photo by Jana Birchum

Theatre Director

"Hardest working person in the theatre world." Ted Branson

Lisa Scheps
Ground Floor Theatre
979 Springdale #122


"Her work is always so centered in truth. I've never been disappointed." Valoneecia Tolbert

Photo by Steve Rogers | Courtesy of Liz Beckham

photo by David Brendan Hall


"A Texas-sized personality that's plenty weird enough for Austin." Bradford Fults

Classical Musician

"Graham is excellent across disciplines and is a giver." Lisa Scheps

photo by David Brendan Hall

photo by Amitava Sarkar | courtesy of Forklift Danceworks


"Allison is an inventor. She is creating art that has never been done before." Liz Ferguson

Allison Orr
Forklift Danceworks
2023 E. Cesar Chavez


"Zuzu has filled this city with color, light, and positivity. It’s great seeing her work scattered through the streets of Austin." Ruben Esquivel

Photo by Ruben Esquivel / Courtesy of Zuzu Perkal

courtesy of Dear Ninja

Graphic Artist

"Matthew Rodriguez’s (Dear Ninja) art is by turns funny, profound, and subversive." Marshall Lee

Comedy Troupe

"Esther's Follies will go down in history as one of the most iconic things about Austin." Lois Rodriguez

Esther's Follies
525 E. Sixth

Courtesy of Esther's Follies

Courtesy of KLBJ 93.7FM

Stand-Up Comic

"Matt Bearden slays when he's on stage and off. Class act with a heart of gold and a mouth of not gold." Matt Martino

Comedy Club/Venue

"Cap City was home for a lot of people for many years. Here's to hoping the new Cap can walk the walk." Rae Ward

Cap City Comedy Club
11506 Century Oaks Ste. B-100

photo by John Anderson

Comedy/Storytelling Showcase

"They bring in big name talent and it's always a great time." Eva Meteye

Moontower Comedy Festival

Fiction Writer

"Prolific and wonderful storyteller. An Austin treasure." Libby Doggett

photo by Christopher Durst | courtesy of UT Press

Nonfiction Writer

"She has shared her life openly and with such powerful grace." Billie Devine

Comic Creator/Graphic Novelist

"Ben Sargent deserves a Presidential Medal for his decades of brilliance." Susan Farrell

courtesy of Ben Sargent

New Book by an Austin Writer

"I loved listening to McConaughey read his story. From the heart, honest, funny and a great self-reflection." Alex Furlong

Burlesque Performer

"Amazing. Every. Time. Every costume, every performance is incredible and unique! Diverse performances and an incredible talent and person." Kei Hoffmann

Courtesy of

photo by Jana Birchum

Drag Performer

"Everything about Louisianna is fire. Her pivot to online performance and video during the pandemic was brilliant and a great distraction from 2020, and she's an actual goddess." Sarah Marloff

Drag Showcase

"Rhonda puts on a show like no other! Watching her perform to a sold out crowd is always a treat." Juliet Rosso

506 West Ave.

photo courtesy of Irene's

Local Video Game Developer

"Diablo is the bestest game ever. FACT." Bryan Sloane

Movie Theatre

"Austin had a cathedral to film and fun and all that's fantastic. It was the Ritz and I so often worshipped there." Owen Egerton

photo by John Anderson

photo by Michael Loccisano | courtesy of SXSW

Film Festival/Series

"This year's virtual festival was amazing!" Shannon Sedwick


"Always thinking outside the box. Always coming up with something new." Chris Humphrey

photo by David Brendan Hall

photo by David Brendan Hall

Outdoor Festival

"No contest. ACL always brings their A game, and there are choices for everyone." Mary Forma

Austin City Limits Music Festival

Most Innovative Pivot

"I got to go to Sundance finally … in a historic farm with longhorn cattle?!" Andrea Mellard

AFS Cinema
6406 N. I-35 #3100

courtesy of Austin Film Society

Front Porch Sessions featuring Dale Watson

Arts and Entertainment Wild Card

"Love how they've pivoted the live performances to virtual and gotten local breweries/distilleries involved with each new show." Erin Ashworth

2021 Intro
Readers: Food & Drink

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