Best of OKC

Best of OKC 2021: Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Best local cover band

My So Called Band

Banana Seat
Blink 405
The Blues Brothers OKC
Wise Guys

Best local original band or singer (ex: singer/songwriter, rapper, hip-hop group)


To call Jabee Williams the “best original band or singer” is kind of like referring to the Mississippi River as a creek. Rapper, activist, community organizer, entrepreneur and all around great guy, Jabee embodies the best of what OKC has to offer. But rather than take this space to gush about him further, we’ll instead plug his Gift Raps! charity event Dec. 16 at Ponyboy, where he, Thomas Who?, Nymasis and a number of others will be performing live. Entry is free with a donation of toys, socks, gloves and nonperishable food.

Graham Colton
Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road
Mike Hosty
Scott Miles

Best performing arts group (ex: theater company, dance company, orchestral group)

Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St.

Carpenter Square Theatre, 806 W Main St.
Oklahoma City Ballet, 6800 N Classen Blvd.
Oklahoma City Philharmonic, 424 Colcord Dr., suite B
Terre Rouge Burlesque

Best local radio personality, team or show

Joey and Heather, 98.9 KYIS

Jim Traber & Al Eschback, WWLS
Rick & Brad, KATT
Ronnie Kaye, KOMA
This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU

Best visual artist

Denise Duong

David Bricquet
Kris Kanaly
Maria Anderson Art
Theresa Hurt

Best local annual event or festival

Paseo Arts Festival

Asian Night Market Festival
Festival of the Arts
Plaza District Festival

Best charity event

Boots & Ballgowns, Infant Crisis Services

Glitterball, deadCenter Film
Oklahoma Born & Brewed, Oklahoma Hall of Fame
Red Tie Night
The Santa Market

Best free entertainment

Scissortail Park

Myriad Botanical Gardens
Norman Music Festival
Paseo Arts Festival

Best bar/club for live music

The Jones Assembly
901 W Sheridan Ave.

While The Jones Assembly is certainly the spot to see amazing live shows many nights a month, the former Fred Jones Manufacturing Co. that was repurposed in 2017 also offers an impressive food and drink menu. With performers ranging from Willie Nelson to Vince Staples to Dr. Dog and Lord Huron with everything in between, the 20,000 square-foot building has become a jewel of OKC’s burgeoning downtown renaissance.

51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St.
Blue Note Lounge, 2408 N Robinson Ave.
Frankie’s OKC, 2807 NW 36th St.
Ponyboy, 423 NW 23rd St.

Best place for karaoke

2304 N Western Ave.

40 WEST, 501 N Mustang Rd., Yukon
Kat’s Tavern, 901 NW 64th St.
Phoenix Rising, 2120 NW 39th St.
Ponyboy, 423 NW 23rd St.

Best concert venue

Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St.

For years, it was uncertain whether the Tower Theatre in Uptown 23rd would ever return to its former glory, but once Stephen Tyler and Chad Whitehead took over the venue, the only direction has consistently been up. Whether improving the quality of live music, bringing movies to the big screen or hosting public or private gatherings, Tower Theatre has imbued the 85-year-old theatre with new life, in addition to opening its adjacent smaller stage upstairs at Ponyboy. With Beer City Music Hall opening in early spring and major show announcements for the Tower ahead, OKC is leaping ahead by bounds due in no small part to the efforts at Tower.

Paycom Center, 100 W Reno Ave.
The Criterion, 500 E Sheridan Ave.
The Jones Assembly, 901 W Sheridan Ave.
The Zoo Amphitheatre, 2101 NE 50th St.

Best public art, not a mural (give intersection and artist)

Oklahoma Land Run Monument by Paul Moore

Birds Watching OKC Thunder Dance Party by Joe Slack, NW Classen Between 7th and 9th Streets
Headlines by Joe Slack, I-35 Edmond
Flamenco by Jonathan Hills, The Paseo Arts District
OKConnected by Matt Goad, Will Rogers World Airport

Best public mural (give intersection and artist)

Plaza Walls (multiple artists)
Plaza District

OKC this year voted the best city in the country for public art by USA Today and that laurel rests solely on the efforts of Kris Kanaly and Dylan Bradstreet, whose vision has given voice to dozens and dozens of local artists. The revolving art project hidden from direct street view has created a new type of public square where a cross-section of the city’s populace can congregate to enjoy live music, breakdancing and congregating together while a revolving slate of artists create new, temporary murals. The success of Plaza Walls has given rise to a number of other mural festivals put on by the Oklahoma Mural Syndicate across the state.

Life in The Light by Denise Duong, Film Row
Woodstock Mural by Roadrunner Murals (Grant & Kaylyn Stacey)Flower Power Cannabis Co.
Murals by Dusty Gilpin, Zuma
With Love Project (multiple artists), The Market at EastPoint

Best place to buy local art

The Paseo Arts District
3024 Paseo

Carpe Artem Gallery, 1104 NW 30th St.
DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St.
Howell Gallery, 6432 N Western Ave.
North Gallery & Studio, 12100 N May Ave, suite L

Best art gallery

Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.

21c Museum Hotel, 900 W Main St.
Carpe Artem Gallery, 1104 NW 30th St.
DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St.
JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N Walker Ave.

Best museum

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
620 N Harvey Ave.

Choctaw Cultural Center, 1919 Hina Hanta Way, Calera
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum,1700 NE 63rd St.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St.

Best local district

Paseo Arts District

Asian District
Plaza District
Uptown 23rd

Best casino

Riverwind Casino
1544 OK-9, Norman

Choctaw Casino & Resort-Durant, 4216 US-69, Durant
Grand Casino, 777 Grand Casino Blvd, Shawnee
Newcastle Casino, 2457 Highway, 62 N Service Rd., Newcastle
Remington Park, 1 Remington Pl.

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