Readers Say the Darndest Things: Arts and Culture

Best Annual Event
City of El Cerrito 4th of July Festival
Wear sunscreen! — Miranda Felix

Eat Real Festival
I love pigging out in the sunshine with every kind of fun-loving Oakland neighbor! — femily

Forbidden Island Annual Plant Swap
Free community event where folks can swap plants and expand their garden for free, meet other gardeners, learn about plants and have a tiki drink. — JennyM.

They were told that they could never have a beer festival in East Oakland and they did. And they do. And it keeps going. And no one gets violently wasted. And there’s music, and activities. EVERYTHING you want in an event — especially because the Dimond district has a history in German beer. — Kristi Holohan

Richmond Juneteenth
It rocks! Best music EVER! More whites and other ethnicities should attend, as it is a celebration of the final end of slavery in America. This event is the best-kept secret (except among African Americans) in the Bay Area. The one in Richmond is especially fine! — Susan J. Hybloom

Best Art Gallery
Guerrero Gallery
Even without a permanent location, Andres Guerrero is still killing it, whether it’s holding a series of shows at his home in the city or occupying the soon to be New Normal Brewery in Oakland. — Emily Winslow

Incredible, thoughtful, moving artistic programming + a fly shoe store … BRAVO! — Candi Martinez

Vessel Gallery
Lonnie Lee has a great eye and deserves the accolades she and her gallery have received. — wendyedel75f5

Best Artist
Mark Bulwinkle
We all know his great crazy uncensored metal sculptures from all around the bay. — adi gevins

Best Band
Fantastic Negrito
Does one person count as a band? — Nicole Maria Vermeer

PUNX AS FUCX — Matt Sanford

Lila Rose
Love love love love love dat gurl… <3 — Sora Olam

Temp House
Hot dudes with even hotter tunes. — Elizabeth Carlton

Best Dance Company
Fantastic dance troupe — they dance off vertical surfaces — don’t miss their annual performance on the Great Wall of Oakland! — ed mahl

Best DJ Night at a Club
HELLA GAY!!! — Jane Sheehan

Oakland Faders
Any of the nights they do. — Kel Troughton

The Revenge of 80 cent 80s Night
Good tunes, 80 cent well drinks, um … yes please — Sara Sakurada

Best Local Author
Alice Walker
Of course — Gathering Tribes

Michael Chabon
How could you not love an author who writes a book called Telegraph Avenue. — Janet Winter

Best Local Filmmaker
Cheryl Dunye
I mean, how incredible is it that THE Cheryl Dunye now lives in Oakland!? — Jiz Lee

The Guy Who Directed Licks
The Licks director — Algie83

Best Museum
Oakland Museum of California
Friday night perfection! — Judy Kerr

Richmond Museum of History
This place has so much history on Richmond and the local area that it will really blow your socks off. — David Schoenthal

Best Music Venue
924 Gilman
I’m over sixty and I’ve attended concerts here off and on, and I’ve always felt welcome. — Janet Winter

The Starry Plough
Tin whistles and fiddles fill the air on Sunday afternoons, when the Starry Plough opens its doors for an Irish folk jam session. A true community event, the session draws musicians and listeners from all around the Bay. Members of the singing Black family, Shay, Michael, and Mary Black, have been known to join the sessions. — sarahsmiles

The Fox Theater
AC on the floor, what could top that? — Kristina G

Your Living Room
Nothing is better than playing music at home, with friends or alone. You don’t have to be good, you just have to try — and maybe even have a little fun. — GO

Best New Cultural Event
The Hundy
Who would program a hundred poets? This event really captured some of the poetry renaissance in Oakland right now. — Zoe Tuck BEST BURLESQUE SHOW!!!!!!

Séduction Féroce
— shebameow

Best Chamber Music Series
Four Seasons Arts
Four Seasons Arts provides a wonderful series of chamber music concerts primarily at Holy Names University. But what is really great is that they have a package for people who no longer drive that includes transportation. They also sponsor a summer program in Yachats, Oregon that is a delight. Participants get to mingle with the artists at mealtime and at seminars. — H. Leabah Winter

Best Choir Director
Terrance Kelly
As the supremely talented director of multiple choirs (for Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and Imani Community Church), Terrance Kelly has expanded the musical excellence of Oakland and the East Bay for thirty years. — Farley Walker

Best Dance Party
Featuring Aima the Dreamer, Lady Ryan, and DJ Emancipacion on second Sundays at the New Parish (outdoor/afternoon party!).

— Candi Martinez

Best Drag Performer
Chico Suave
— Tigress Osborn

Best Local Publisher
Sugartown Publishing
A voice for local poets. — Helene Maxwell

Best Magazine/Publisher
Radio Silence
As Greil Marcus, the foremost authority on rock ‘n’ roll stated: “This Bay Area journal is something people have been waiting for for fifty years, whether they knew it or not.” — Davis Lukrich

Best School for Showgirls
Fishnet Follies School of Classic Burlesque
Fishnet Follies holds up life entertainment in Oakland, and the students emerging from the school are regularly near pro level. This year, they were in the lineup among the “Movers, Shakers & Innovators” of “Burlesque Hall of Fame,” the most prestigious burlesque festival worldwide. — Harden Reddy

Best Writing Club
California Writers Club
Best place to find local published authors. — JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

Best OG Local Artist Support Shop that Keeps Holding It Down for the Community
Rock Paper Scissors Collective
— Kristi Holohan

Best Jazz Club
The Sound Room
— Susan Wittcoff

Dream Day
#DreamDay Memorial event for graffiti legend, Mike Dream TDK — WillieMaze

Warriors Parade and Rally
Let’s make it happen every year, in Oakland! — Caleigh Rae Cleone Schrey

Best Music Festival
Point Richmond Music Summer Concert Series
Where else can you get this kind of “good feeling” music experience? Where children dance with elders and every ethnicity and culture joins together to enjoy the incredible selection of talented musicians that Point Richmond Music sponsors each year. AND it’s all free too!!! The organizers deserve a toast and an award for the great service they’ve provided their community. What a gem!!! — Nina Utigaard

Best Nightclub
The Uptown
I miss you, Uptown! Come back to us soon! — Birdie ByNight

Best Place to See a Movie
Grand Lake Theater
You can’t beat a classic. — Lisa Grantham

Rialto Cinemas Cerrito
Nachos!!!!! Beer!!!! — Mollie D.S.

The New Parkway Theater
How did it take me so long to find you?! — Ingrid Bauer

Best Theater Company
Shotgun Players
Big art, little theater. — Rachel Hope Crossman

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