Special Sections » Best of Rochester

Best Arts & Entertainment 2016

Best Local Original Band

Teagan and The Tweeds. @teaganandtweeds; teaganandthetweeds.com

Runners up: Joywave | KOPPS | Machine Gun English

Best Local Solo Musician

Paul Strowe. paulstrowe.com

Runners up: Jackson Cavalier | Cammy Enaharo | Roger Kuhn

Best Local Album of 2016

"Head Honcho" by Harmonica Lewinski. harmonicalewinski.bandcamp.com

Runners up: "The Devil's Undertow" by Jackson Cavalier and The Fevertones | "Out to Lunch" by Jon Lewis | "Pleasantries" by Total Yuppies

Best Live Music Venue (Arena/Large Venue)

CMAC. 3355 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua, 394-4400, cmacevents.com

Runners up: Blue Cross Arena | Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre | Main Street Armory

Best Live Music Venue (Club/Small Venue)

Bug Jar. 219 Monroe Avenue, 454-2966, bugjar.com

Runners up: Abilene | Anthology | Flour City Station

Best Live DJ

DJ Kalifornia. @djkalifornia; djkalifornia.net

Runners up: DJ Alykhan | DJ Darkwave | MK Ultra

Best Local Author

Frank De Blase. frankdeblase.com

Runners up: Charles Benoit | David Cay Johnston | Bethany Snyder

Best Local Poet

Rachel McKibbens. @rachelmckibbens; rachelmckibbens.tumblr.com

Runners up: Andrew Conley | Tony Leuzzi | Jacob Rakovan

Best Locally Written Book of 2016

"Rochester Through Time" by Mary Hasek Grenier and Emily C. Morry. arcadiapublishing.com

Runners up: "Copper and Stone" by Bethany Snyder | "A Cougar's Kiss" by Frank De Blase | "The Making of Donald Trump" by David Cay Johnston

Best Local Theater Production of 2016 (At a resident space)

"To Kill a Mockingbird" @ Geva's Mainstage. gevatheatre.org

Runners up: "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" @ JCC CenterStage | "Heathers: The Musical" @ Blackfriars Theatre | "Spring Awakening" @ RAPA

Best Local Theater Production of 2016 (At a community space)

"Romeo and Juliet" @ Highland Park Bowl. rochestercommunityplayers.org

Runners up: "The Language Archive" @ MuCCC | "The Presstitutes" @ MuCCC | "The Secret Garden" @ Aquinas Institute

Best Local Theater Company

Geva Theatre Center. 75 Woodbury Boulevard, 232-4382, gevatheatre.org

Runners up: Blackfriars Theatre | RAPA | Rochester Broadway Theatre League

Best Local Stand-up Comedian

Vinnie Paulino. @vinniepaulino

Runners up: Woody Battaglia | Malcolm Whitfield | Todd Youngman

Best Local Comedy Group

Geva Comedy Improv. @gevaimprov; gevacomedyimprov.org

Runners up: EstroFest | Hardwood | Nuts and Bolts Comedy Improv

Best Local Dance Company

Garth Fagan Dance. 50 Chestnut Street, 454-3260, garthfagandance.org

Runners up: Dunleavy Irish Dance | Rochester City Ballet | Sirens and Stilettos

Best Local Artist

Shawn Dunwoody. @shawndunwoody; shawndunwoody.com

Runners up: Cordell Cordaro | Jay Lincoln | Mr. Prvrt | St. Monci

Best Art Exhibit of 2016

6x6x2016 @ RoCo. rochestercontemporary.org

Runners up: One Cubic Foot @ Seneca Park Zoo and RoCo | RochesTarot @ Lux Lounge | Hoarders of Cool @ Art Museum of Rochester

Best Art Gallery

Memorial Art Gallery. 500 University Avenue, 276-8900, mag.rochester.edu

Runners up: ARTISANworks | Makers Gallery and Studio | Rochester Contemporary Art Center

Best Local Photographer

Jim Montanus. @jamesmontanus; montanusphotography.com

Runners up: Trish Frank | Natalie Sinisgalli | Gerry Szymanski

Best Local Filmmaker

Alex Freeman. @followfreeman; vimeo.com/freemanfilm

Runners up: Matthew Ehlers | Ben Gonyo | Aaron Gordon | Chris Hogan-Roy

Best Local Film Festival

Rochester International Film Festival. rochesterfilmfest.org

Runners up: Fast Forward | High Falls | ImageOut

Best Local Family-Friendly Attraction

Strong National Museum of Play. 1 Manhattan Square Drive, 263-2700, museumofplay.org

Runners up: Rochester Museum and Science Center | Seabreeze | Seneca Park Zoo

Best Local Music Festival

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. rochesterjazz.com

Runners up: Fairport Music Festival | Lilac Festival | Party in the Park

Best Local Arts Festival

Park Avenue Summer Art Fest. rochesterevents.com

Runners up: Corn Hill Arts Festival | Clothesline | First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

Best Food And Drink Festival

Food Truck Rodeo. cityofrochester.gov/foodtruckrodeo

Runners up: Flour City Brewers Fest | Rochester Greek Festival | Rochester Real Beer Week

Best Local Drag Performer

DeeDee Dubois. @deedeedubois

Runners up: Mrs. Kasha Davis | Darienne Lake | Wednesday Westwood

In This Guide...