Best of OKC

Best of OKC 2020: Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Best local cover band

My So Called Band

Ah, for the old days of packing ‘em in at the Tower Theater and Tulsa’s Vanguard.  Those times will return and when they do My So Called Band will be there to once again tear up hits from the 1990’s and early 2000’s.  Formed in 2010, the local five-some and their loyal following are counting down the days until we can all be together again, dancing our butts off.

Uncle Zep
Weekend Allstars
Wise Guys

Best local original band or singer


Cody Russ
Graham Colton
Kyle Dillingham
Mike Hosty

Best radio personality or team

Joey and Heather
98.9 KYIS

Lisa and Kent, 92.5 KOMA
Rick and Brad, 100.5 KATT
The Morning Animals, 98.1 WWLS
This Week in Oklahoma Politics, 91.7 KOSU

Best performing arts group

Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St.

Adèle Wolf Productions
Oklahoma City Ballet, 6800 N. Classen Blvd.
Oklahoma City Philharmonic, 424 Colcord Drive, Suite B
Terre Rouge Burlesque

Best visual artist

Greg Burns

Denise Duong
Jason Wilson
Jerry Bennett

Best local annual event or festival

Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts
Affair of the Heart
deadCenter Film Festival
Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon
Paseo Arts Festival

Best charity event

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Boots & Ball Gowns, Infant Crisis Services
GlitterBall, deadCenter
Hero Awards, Oklahoma Humane Society
Oklahoma Born & Brewed, Oklahoma Hall of Fame

Best free entertainment

Paseo Arts Festival

Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts
Local Tap Music Series @ The Jones Assembly
Scissortail Park

Best bar for live music

The Jones Assembly
901 W. Sheridan Ave.

51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St.
Blue Note Lounge, 2408 N. Robinson Ave.
Louie’s Lakeside, 9401 Lake Hafner Pkwy.
VZD’s Restaurant & Bar, 4200 N. Western Ave.

Best concert venue

Chesapeake Energy Arena
100 W. Reno Ave.

The Criterion, 500 E. Sheridan Ave.
The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave.
Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St.
Zoo Amphitheatre, 2101 NE 50th St.

Best public art/mural

Plaza Walls
16th Street Plaza District

In September of 2015, developer Steve Mason sought away to convert a shabby alleyway into something that would add to the increasingly popular Plaza District.  A plan was hatched to create Plaza Walls, a curated, rotating mural project managed and produced by The Oklahoma Mural Syndicate. The project was launched by Dylan Bradway and Kristopher Kanaly with approval by the Oklahoma City Arts Commission and Urban Design Commission with a mission to advocate and create public art throughout Oklahoma.

Plaza Walls has now become a draw in itself and has been well supported by the district businesses.

When city council passed an ordinance requiring 1% of the budget for all public construction projects to be dedicated to public art, it went relatively unnoticed.  Now, you see the results all over town with many bright murals and interesting sculptures and art displays.  Amid all the new competition for eyeballs, the passionate leaders in the Plaza District continue to evolve the Plaza Walls project, a great place to stroll after dinner and drinks.  Our readers still think it’s the best.

Aqueous by Jen Lewin, Oklahoma Contemporary
Flamenco by Jonathan Hills, The Paseo Arts District
Life in The Light by Denise Duong, Film Row
New Zealand OKC Thunder player Steven Adams by Graham Hoete, Film Row

Best place to buy local art

The Paseo Arts District

Carpe Artem Gallery, 1104 NW 30th St.
DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St.
JRB Art at the Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave.
Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts

Best art gallery

Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive

Carpe Artem Gallery, 1104 NW 30th St.
DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St.
JRB Art at the Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave.
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St.

Best museum

Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St.
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, 620 N. Harvey Ave.
Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.
Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place

Best local district

The Paseo Arts District

At the Gazette, we have been covering OKC for over 42 years and thus can remember the dark days of the 80’s when The Paseo was the only urban district in town.  Now that there are more than a dozen thriving enclaves, voters still regard the original as the top pick.  There is just something about the eclectic collection of artists, galleries, shops, restaurants and festivals combined with the organic (as in not manufactured) Southwestern architecture and charming neighborhoods that surround.  In the past few years, new construction has brought even more to love and has kept The Paseo a gem in the heart of the city.

16th Street Plaza District
Uptown 23rd District

Best casino

Riverwind Casino
1544 W. State Highway 9, Norman

Grand Casino Hotel & Resort, 777 Grand Casino Blvd., Shawnee
Lucky Star Casino - Concho, 7777 N Highway 81, Concho
Newcastle Casino, 2457 Highway 62 Service Road, Newcastle
Remington Park Racing & Casino, 1 Remington Place

Best LGBTQ+ bar or club

The Boom!
2218 NW 39th St.

Angles, 2117 NW 39th St.
HiLo Club, 1221 NW 50th St.
Partners and Partners Too, 2805 NW 36th St.
Tramps, 2201 NW 39th St.

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