Best Music Act
RC & The GritzRC Williams and company’s Wednesday sessions at The Prophet Bar are the stuff of local legend, each show a free-flowing jam where the likes of Erykah Badu and Leon Bridges are known to drop in. Dallas’ best collaborators, whose cosmic and inclusive R&B sound epitomizes this evolving city, are overdue for their own star turn.
Best Little Online Upstart
Best Dance Company
Max Geron (@MaxDPD)The 25-year Dallas Police vet, a major over the Southeast Patrol Division, tells his 13,000 followers the way it is, whether the subject is World Cup sailing or the way police handle protests. The latter, by the way, was the subject of his master’s thesis at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Nini Nguyen (@ninistyle)From Vietnamese refugee to Rihanna’s personal stylist, Nini Nguyen has a life worth living vicariously. Scroll through birthday dinners at Nobu, Arboretum picnics with her adorable family, and fabulous Palm Springs gatherings hosted by her superstar client. Naturally, she always looks 100 percent. And don’t miss the yummy vegan soup concoctions she often posts in Stories.
Best Radio Station
KXT 91.7We just randomly checked the last four songs on a Tuesday afternoon: “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb,” by Spoon; “The Thrill Is Gone,” by B.B. King; “Steady, as She Goes,” by The Raconteurs; and “Shine on Me,” by Dan Auerbach. Add The Paul Slavens Show, on Sundays. Case closed.
Best TV News Broadcast
NewsFix, The CW33This is the (intentionally, we think) bonkers news report that 2017’s (unintentionally, we hope) bonkers news cycle demands, with wacky sound effects, extremely broad voice-over work, and music beds that give it an America’s Funniest Home Videos feel. It’s like if every story were treated like a piece about a water-skiing squirrel.
Best Gallery or Art Space
Best Sports Team
Chris VognarIn 2014, with a simple title change from film critic to culture critic, the Dallas Morning News unshackled its longtime cinema scribe. Since then, Vognar’s poignant essays on subjects ranging from race relations to culture wars to grief, not to mention his continued book and film criticism, remind us of the lasting relevance of the full-time daily newspaper critic.
Best Movie Theater
Best Print Reporter
Tristan HallmanThe DMN’s city hall reporter doesn’t settle into any politician’s camp. He isn’t afraid to tick people off—even good sources—if the reporting takes him there. Hallman is an old-school, agnostic, independent news-gatherer, and that sets him apart in a media environment where other journalists are busy instead crafting narratives.
Best Local Attraction
Best Stray Theater
Best Drive-In Movie Theater
Best Performing Arts Space
Arturo TorresWriter Shea Serrano got most of the attention when The Rap Year Book became a surprise New York Times best-seller in 2015, and rightfully so. But it wouldn’t have been the same without Torres’ illustrations, more than 150 of them in all, done in his unique blend of ’80s comics audacity, detailed realism, and tumble-dry coloring, with a heavy helping of “hey, why not?” The pair’s next collaboration, Basketball (And Other Things), comes out in October.
Best Coffee-Table Bookstore
Jim SchutzeNot only did the Dallas Observer’s franchise player change the narrative on the West Dallas “slumlord” story with an insightful series of stories that revealed an attempted land grab, but then he artfully humiliated the DMN’s Robert Wilonsky for so credulously reporting that Mayor Rawlings was the good guy in this tale. The old guy still has his fastball.
Best High School Football Stadium
Best Sports Venue
Best Radio Show
The Kidd Kraddick Morning ShowWhen Kidd Kraddick died, in 2013, it was easy to imagine the show flying apart, as the cast he’d masterfully assembled—J-Si, Jenna, Big Al, Kellie—was left without the huge star they orbited. But J-Si continues to grow into his leadership role as the show continues to dominate in the ratings.
Best Public Official
Victor VandergriffHe comes from the family that built Arlington, but as a member of the Texas Transportation Commission, he is on a mission to rebuild Dallas. He got TxDOT to create a bold, workable plan called CityMAP that would reverse decades of poor engineering—and bring new housing and growth to the city’s core. Other cities around the state are now clamoring to get their own version.
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Editor’s Choice: Attractions