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Best of Atlanta 2018 Poets Artists and Madmen

Poets Artists Madmen Online 1200





Poets, Artists & Madmen

As an entertainment writer, I’ve definitely had my share of doubts. I think to myself, “should I be covering politics, something the typical reader might consider more newsworthy?” But it is in this dark time of political discourse that covering the arts is more vital than ever. It is individualized thoughts and emotions that art provokes that keep viewers curious and grounded. It isn’t so much what is actually on the canvas, but the chance to start dialogue. This issue’s Poets, Artists, and Madmen are doing their thing to bring life to whitespace and ignite a conversational fire, and it is our hope that they will continue to set the tone for creative awareness through art made for the people, by the people.

— Lauren Leathers, Events Editor



Featured


2018 Critics Pick: Best Advocate for Immigrant Rights BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Liliana Bakhtiari
When thinking of an advocate, Liliana Bakhtiari embodies the definition. The Muslim daughter of Iranian immigrants, she has dedicated her life to helping those in Atlanta, and in other countries, looking for a better life. She's raised money for Cambodian refugees and has traveled the world to gathermore...

When thinking of an advocate, Liliana Bakhtiari embodies the definition. The Muslim daughter of Iranian immigrants, she has dedicated her life to helping those in Atlanta, and in other countries, looking for a better life. She's raised money for Cambodian refugees and has traveled the world to gather stories from survivors of genocide and sex trafficking. Once she returned to ATL, she resumed working with refugees, as well as becoming active in homeless outreach, local arts advocacy, and women's health programs. In August she purchased a school bus to assist in community based projects and for living and working on the go. She's also taking it a step further running for District 5 of Atlanta City Council.

Photo courtesy of Michael Schwarz

less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Advocate for the Arts BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Dianna Settles

2018 Critics Pick: Best Art Exhibit BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design

2018 Critics Pick: Best Art Market BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
WonderRoot Artist Market

2018 Critics Pick: Best Atlanta Movie Heroes BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
The Women of Black Panther
The past year saw Atlanta enjoy being the preferred location for the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the success of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Most inspiring of all the heroes were Black Panther's supporting cast of females, including Danai Gurira's proud warrior,more...
The past year saw Atlanta enjoy being the preferred location for the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the success of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Most inspiring of all the heroes were Black Panther's supporting cast of females, including Danai Gurira's proud warrior, Lupita Nyong'o's fearless activist, Letitia Wright's witty inventor, and Angela Bassett's royal mom, a group of women so strong, they upstaged the title character in his own movie. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Atlanta TV heroes BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Critic's Pick (tie): The Fab Five, Queer Eye
The first two seasons of Netflix's revival of Queer Eye were filmed in and around Atlanta, showcasing local restaurants like Chai Pani and the charms of Georgia's small towns. The Fab Five (Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness) offer more than just makeovers andmore...
The first two seasons of Netflix's revival of Queer Eye were filmed in and around Atlanta, showcasing local restaurants like Chai Pani and the charms of Georgia's small towns. The Fab Five (Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness) offer more than just makeovers and remodels, frequently forming bridges between communities and connecting to more than just straight guys. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Beer Festival BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Dames and Dregs
This year, the Masquerade and Underground Atlanta hosted the inaugural Dames and Dregs Beer festival - a celebration of great beer and the often-overlooked contributions of local women who brew it. Events like these bring awareness to the inequality within our society, but also to the supportive communitiesmore...

This year, the Masquerade and Underground Atlanta hosted the inaugural Dames and Dregs Beer festival - a celebration of great beer and the often-overlooked contributions of local women who brew it. Events like these bring awareness to the inequality within our society, but also to the supportive communities within it. Cheers to a successful first year and many more to follow.

Photo Courtesy of Sam Holt

less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Book by a Local Author BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
The Gray Bastards by Jonathan French

2018 Critics Pick: Best Book Event BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
AJC Decatur Book Festival

2018 Critics Pick: Best Bouncer BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Sky Hi
You might not remember your fake wedding and may have browned out at the divorce party later at MJQ, but you'll never forget Sky Hi. A familiar face in a weird world. Never leave us.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Burlesque BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Royal Tee

2018 Critics Pick: Best Cat Advocate BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Java Cats Cafe
The South Asian concept coffee shop offers a chance to play with foster kitties by the hour and adopt them through the Humane Society of Cobb County. Sipping on good coffee while earning feline affection and helping save cats - what's not to love? The cozy coffee shop has expanded to a second locationmore...

The South Asian concept coffee shop offers a chance to play with foster kitties by the hour and adopt them through the Humane Society of Cobb County. Sipping on good coffee while earning feline affection and helping save cats - what's not to love? The cozy coffee shop has expanded to a second location in Marietta, where they also plan to serve beer and wine.

Photo courtesy of Alex Patton

less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Comedy Show BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
WonderComedy
Despite a change in venue, WonderComedy hasn't missed a beat. The indie-scene staple consistently pumps out stellar shows featuring the best stand-up Atlanta and the rest of the country has to offer each month for an energetic and loyal audience that's as comedy savvy as you'll find anywhere. With chillmore...
Despite a change in venue, WonderComedy hasn't missed a beat. The indie-scene staple consistently pumps out stellar shows featuring the best stand-up Atlanta and the rest of the country has to offer each month for an energetic and loyal audience that's as comedy savvy as you'll find anywhere. With chill vibes and a helpful B.Y.O.B. policy, there's no better place to gather for laughter and camaraderie than the third Friday of every month at WonderComedy. (Courtesy of Andrew Michael). less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Dancer BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Phae Monae

2018 Critics Pick: Best Director BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Takashi Doscher
Writer and director Takashi Doscher evokes the mystique of the Appalachian Mountains in his quiet drama Still, in which a hiker becomes entwined in the lives of a mysterious couple (Lydia Wilson and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D's Nick Blood). Screening at the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival, Still captures a powerfulmore...
Writer and director Takashi Doscher evokes the mystique of the Appalachian Mountains in his quiet drama Still, in which a hiker becomes entwined in the lives of a mysterious couple (Lydia Wilson and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D's Nick Blood). Screening at the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival, Still captures a powerful sense of place amid a supernatural mystery on a low budget, leaving viewers curious to see what Doscher does next. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best DIY Arts Space BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Photo courtesy of The Bakery

2018 Critics Pick: Best Drag Queen BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Brigitte Bidet
She is ah-mazing! Hysterical and talented, she is a comedian, dancer, and the next drag superstar to emerge from the Atlanta scene.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Dragtivist BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Bentley Hudgins

2018 Critics Pick: Best Experimental Visual Artist BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Barry Brandon

2018 Critics Pick: Best Filmmakers BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Queer Moxie

2018 Critics Pick: Best Gallery BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Notch 8

2018 Critics Pick: Best Gallery Show/Art Exhibition BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Ni Aqui Ni Alla at the Bakery

2018 Critics Pick: Best Gallery to Beat the System BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Mammal Gallery
With rapid gentrification eating up Atlanta many of Atlanta's mainstays, Mammal Gallery could've easily died after they lost their space in March. However, if we know anything about the city's creative scene, it's that life finds a way even in the darkest hour. Since relocating to their temporary locationmore...
With rapid gentrification eating up Atlanta many of Atlanta's mainstays, Mammal Gallery could've easily died after they lost their space in March. However, if we know anything about the city's creative scene, it's that life finds a way even in the darkest hour. Since relocating to their temporary location on Mitchell Street, the Mammal crew have kept the dream alive with innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions that highlight the idiosyncrasy that lives under the Gold Dome. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Illustrator BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Amanda Semler

2018 Critics Pick: Best Improv BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Carlos Giron

2018 Critics Pick: Best Instagrammer BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Evah Destruction

2018 Critics Pick: Best Library BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

2018 Critics Pick: Best Literary Event BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
AJC Decatur Book Festival

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Actor BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Heather McMahan
For anyone that's had the pleasure of meeting Heather through The Law Ladies, you probably haven't stopped laughing since. Wait until her mom signs into her Instagram live.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Athlete BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Joseph Martinez
The way Atlanta sports go, you have to wonder if we deserve Josef Martinez and the entire team of Atlanta United. He's a high-scoring treasure and we're truly blessed he chose us.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Author BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Mike Nemeth

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Celebrity BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Luis Sandoval
Luis Sandoval is a force, that's why we asked him to participate in Best of Atlanta. Cheerful, generous, and inextricably linked to good times in Atlanta. He's the type of person you want to hug every time you see him - and he?ll probably hug back!

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Comedian BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Dedrick Flynn
A comedian you love to watch, but hate to follow, Dedrick Flynn captures and firmly holds the room's attention by bringing fiery passion and an airy playfulness to every set regardless of his surroundings.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Craft Market BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Indie Craft Experience

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Hero BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Fabian “Occasional Superstar” Williams
Fabian Williams has a passion for art and expression. Last year, along with a few other local artists, he fought against city officials who attempted to exert control over murals being painted on private property. And he won. Williams is responsible for vibrant paintings like the fluorescent Hosea Williamsmore...
Fabian Williams has a passion for art and expression. Last year, along with a few other local artists, he fought against city officials who attempted to exert control over murals being painted on private property. And he won. Williams is responsible for vibrant paintings like the fluorescent Hosea Williams mural he painted last year on on the parking deck at Studioplex, and, most recently, the one of Stacey Abrams on the corner of Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium - Come on in, Precious. But he likes to shake things up and tackle art of all mediums. "Atlanta should look how it feels," he says. "Culture is reflected in the music, food, and now, the walls." Whether it's advocacy or creativity, Williams makes Atlanta a better place and for that, we?re thankful. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Play BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Shakespeare on Draught

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Playwright BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Pearl Cleage

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Playwright BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Topher Payne

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Podcast BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Atlanta Monster

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Podcast BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
ATL Podcast Matt Davis
Matt B. Davis tends to interview the familiar Atlanta names we love, while also introducing all new ATL faces worth discovering. Either way, there?s always the feeling of a little more Atlanta after listening. Give it a whirl!

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Political Figure BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Stacey Abrams
If there's anything we learned from 2016, it's don't assume anything. And if we know anything about Stacey Abrams, it's that she won't give up without a fight. Previously serving as minority leader for the Georgia House, Abrams has run a tireless campaign for governor based on the issues, including themore...
If there's anything we learned from 2016, it's don't assume anything. And if we know anything about Stacey Abrams, it's that she won't give up without a fight. Previously serving as minority leader for the Georgia House, Abrams has run a tireless campaign for governor based on the issues, including the expansion of Medicaid, criminal justice reform, and affordable housing. As we stand on the precipice of change in our country, Abrams might be the surefire candidate that'll lead us to an inclusive and equitable future that benefits all Georgians. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Sports Team BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Atlanta United FC

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Sports Team BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Atlanta United FC
Despite the giant silver Falcon emblazoning its doors, the golden spike symbolizes the true rulers of Mercedes-Benz stadium. Record-breaking strikers and homegrown phenoms immediately stirred up an intense fanbase that repeatedly breaks attendance records to rep the Five Stripes and King Peach. Josefmore...
Despite the giant silver Falcon emblazoning its doors, the golden spike symbolizes the true rulers of Mercedes-Benz stadium. Record-breaking strikers and homegrown phenoms immediately stirred up an intense fanbase that repeatedly breaks attendance records to rep the Five Stripes and King Peach. Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron, and Co. not only ignite a fire and passion for soccer, they bring back a feeling of hope Atlanta sports has been missing for some time. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Mural BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
The Keep by Sabek
With political discourse plunging deeper into negativity, it's important to remember compassion and kindness. Though Spanish artist Sabek is not from ATL, what he left behind - a mural that spans seven stories and represents the mutual care between humans and nature - carries a huge (both in physicalmore...
With political discourse plunging deeper into negativity, it's important to remember compassion and kindness. Though Spanish artist Sabek is not from ATL, what he left behind - a mural that spans seven stories and represents the mutual care between humans and nature - carries a huge (both in physical size and figurative thought) positive message for our city. Sabek's work presents a constant reminder that care and kindness can extend beyond geography, species, or anything else. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Muralist BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Sanithna Phansavanh
Sanithna Phansavanh came to Atlanta via Kansas City, MO, where he and his family lived through a refugee program after his mother escaped Laos. He's created murals all over Atlanta incorporating ideas of growth, women as strong members of society, and perception. This year alone he completed three murals,more...

Sanithna Phansavanh came to Atlanta via Kansas City, MO, where he and his family lived through a refugee program after his mother escaped Laos. He's created murals all over Atlanta incorporating ideas of growth, women as strong members of society, and perception. This year alone he completed three murals, all full of energy, bringing the streets of Atlanta to life with every brush stroke. Keep doing your thing, Sanithna. We?re thankful for your passion and talent.

Photo courtesy of Sanithna Phansavanh

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2018 Critics Pick: Best Museum BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Atlanta Monetary Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank

2018 Critics Pick: Best Museum Exhibition BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Guo Pei: Couture Beyond at SCAD

2018 Critics Pick: Best Non-Profit DIY Leader BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Southern Fried Queer Pride
Just the name makes your happy flag fly. Not to mention they do it all for queer arts advocacy. Be proud to be a queer creative in Atlanta, thanks to groups like Wussy and Southern Fried Queer Pride.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Person Who Left BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Adron
Before heading out West this year in the name of love, Adron left behind a treat for ATL - her latest record, Water Music. Perhaps because we're struggling to define what is "real" in this time of social media and political discourse, there's a great need for an artist like Adron, whose record groundsmore...

Before heading out West this year in the name of love, Adron left behind a treat for ATL - her latest record, Water Music. Perhaps because we're struggling to define what is "real" in this time of social media and political discourse, there's a great need for an artist like Adron, whose record grounds its listeners in reality while giving them the impetus to take on the world. Her shows are an intimate experience, as she explains in brutal honesty the meanings behind her songs. Water Music will continue her legacy of authenticity regardless of where she is. Thank you, Adron, for keepin' it real.

Photo Courtesy of Charles Mitchell

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2018 Critics Pick: Best Person You Assume is Famous, But Is Not BOA Award Winner

2018 » Poets, Artists, & Madmen » Critics Pick
Cousin Dan
Cousin Dan has been pretending to be famous for years. And for this, we thank him. He is really just petitioning to play Shaky Knees, as he is quite the performer. Are you reading, Tim Sweetwood? Until then, catch him hosting Gaja Karaoke once a month.
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2018 Readers Pick: Best Art Exhibit BOA Award Winner

The Atlanta Beltline

2018 Readers Pick: Best Art Market BOA Award Winner

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival

2018 Readers Pick: Best Beer Festival BOA Award Winner

Decatur Beer Festival

2018 Readers Pick: Best Book by a Local Author BOA Award Winner

Chocolate Covered Honey Buns by Sean Fahie

2018 Readers Pick: Best Book Event BOA Award Winner

AJC Decatur Book Festival

2018 Readers Pick: Best Bouncer BOA Award Winner

Scott Schweitzer at Whiskey Blue

2018 Readers Pick: Best Comedy Show BOA Award Winner

Cineprov at The Plaza Theatre

2018 Readers Pick: Best Drag Queen BOA Award Winner

Phoenix

2018 Readers Pick: Best Gallery BOA Award Winner

High Museum

2018 Readers Pick: Best Gallery Show/Art Exhibition BOA Award Winner

Golden Hour at Oakland Cemetery

2018 Readers Pick: Best Instagrammer BOA Award Winner

atl_bucketlist

2018 Readers Pick: Best Library BOA Award Winner

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

2018 Readers Pick: Best Literary Event BOA Award Winner

AJC Decatur Book Festival

2018 Readers Pick: Best Local Actor BOA Award Winner

Allison Hastings

2018 Readers Pick: Best Local Athlete BOA Award Winner

Matt Ryan

2018 Readers Pick: Best Local Author BOA Award Winner

Emily Giffin

2018 Readers Pick: Best Local Celebrity BOA Award Winner

Donald Glover

2018 Readers Pick: Best Local Comedian BOA Award Winner

Lace Larabee

2018 Readers Pick: Best Local Craft Market BOA Award Winner

Inman Park Festival

2018 Readers Pick: Best Local Hero BOA Award Winner

Arthur Blank

2018 Readers Pick: Best Local Play BOA Award Winner

Black Nerd

2018 Readers Pick: Best Mural BOA Award Winner

Northside Hospital's Lynn Teague Tribute by Ryan Coleman

2018 Readers Pick: Best Muralist BOA Award Winner

Occasional Superstar - Fabian Williams

2018 Readers Pick: Best Museum BOA Award Winner

Center for Civil and Human Rights

2018 Readers Pick: Best Museum Exhibition BOA Award Winner

Choze at Mason Fine Art

2018 Readers Pick: Best Photographer BOA Award Winner

Phyllis Iller

2018 Readers Pick: Best Place to Take the Kids BOA Award Winner

Fernbank Museum

2018 Readers Pick: Best Poet BOA Award Winner

Jessica Katoff

2018 Readers Pick: Best Public Art Event BOA Award Winner

Tree Haus Atl

2018 Readers Pick: Best Public Art/Artwork BOA Award Winner

Tiny Doors ATL

2018 Readers Pick: Best Radio Station BOA Award Winner

WABE 90.1 FM

2018 Readers Pick: Best Street Art/Graffiti BOA Award Winner

Krog Street Tunnel

2018 Readers Pick: Best Street Character BOA Award Winner

(tie): ATL TVHead / Baton Bob

2018 Readers Pick: Best Visual Artist BOA Award Winner

Fahamu Pecou

2018 Critics Pick: Best Advocate for Immigrant Rights BOA Award Winner

Liliana Bakhtiari
When thinking of an advocate, Liliana Bakhtiari embodies the definition. The Muslim daughter of Iranian immigrants, she has dedicated her life to helping those in Atlanta, and in other countries, looking for a better life. She's raised money for Cambodian refugees and has traveled the world to gathermore...

When thinking of an advocate, Liliana Bakhtiari embodies the definition. The Muslim daughter of Iranian immigrants, she has dedicated her life to helping those in Atlanta, and in other countries, looking for a better life. She's raised money for Cambodian refugees and has traveled the world to gather stories from survivors of genocide and sex trafficking. Once she returned to ATL, she resumed working with refugees, as well as becoming active in homeless outreach, local arts advocacy, and women's health programs. In August she purchased a school bus to assist in community based projects and for living and working on the go. She's also taking it a step further running for District 5 of Atlanta City Council.

Photo courtesy of Michael Schwarz

less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Advocate for the Arts BOA Award Winner

Dianna Settles

2018 Critics Pick: Best Art Exhibit BOA Award Winner

Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design

2018 Critics Pick: Best Art Market BOA Award Winner

WonderRoot Artist Market

2018 Critics Pick: Best Atlanta Movie Heroes BOA Award Winner

The Women of Black Panther
The past year saw Atlanta enjoy being the preferred location for the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the success of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Most inspiring of all the heroes were Black Panther's supporting cast of females, including Danai Gurira's proud warrior,more...
The past year saw Atlanta enjoy being the preferred location for the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the success of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Most inspiring of all the heroes were Black Panther's supporting cast of females, including Danai Gurira's proud warrior, Lupita Nyong'o's fearless activist, Letitia Wright's witty inventor, and Angela Bassett's royal mom, a group of women so strong, they upstaged the title character in his own movie. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Atlanta TV heroes BOA Award Winner

Critic's Pick (tie): The Fab Five, Queer Eye
The first two seasons of Netflix's revival of Queer Eye were filmed in and around Atlanta, showcasing local restaurants like Chai Pani and the charms of Georgia's small towns. The Fab Five (Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness) offer more than just makeovers andmore...
The first two seasons of Netflix's revival of Queer Eye were filmed in and around Atlanta, showcasing local restaurants like Chai Pani and the charms of Georgia's small towns. The Fab Five (Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Jonathan Van Ness) offer more than just makeovers and remodels, frequently forming bridges between communities and connecting to more than just straight guys. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Beer Festival BOA Award Winner

Dames and Dregs
This year, the Masquerade and Underground Atlanta hosted the inaugural Dames and Dregs Beer festival - a celebration of great beer and the often-overlooked contributions of local women who brew it. Events like these bring awareness to the inequality within our society, but also to the supportive communitiesmore...

This year, the Masquerade and Underground Atlanta hosted the inaugural Dames and Dregs Beer festival - a celebration of great beer and the often-overlooked contributions of local women who brew it. Events like these bring awareness to the inequality within our society, but also to the supportive communities within it. Cheers to a successful first year and many more to follow.

Photo Courtesy of Sam Holt

less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Book by a Local Author BOA Award Winner

The Gray Bastards by Jonathan French

2018 Critics Pick: Best Book Event BOA Award Winner

AJC Decatur Book Festival

2018 Critics Pick: Best Bouncer BOA Award Winner

Sky Hi
You might not remember your fake wedding and may have browned out at the divorce party later at MJQ, but you'll never forget Sky Hi. A familiar face in a weird world. Never leave us.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Burlesque BOA Award Winner

Royal Tee

2018 Critics Pick: Best Cat Advocate BOA Award Winner

Java Cats Cafe
The South Asian concept coffee shop offers a chance to play with foster kitties by the hour and adopt them through the Humane Society of Cobb County. Sipping on good coffee while earning feline affection and helping save cats - what's not to love? The cozy coffee shop has expanded to a second locationmore...

The South Asian concept coffee shop offers a chance to play with foster kitties by the hour and adopt them through the Humane Society of Cobb County. Sipping on good coffee while earning feline affection and helping save cats - what's not to love? The cozy coffee shop has expanded to a second location in Marietta, where they also plan to serve beer and wine.

Photo courtesy of Alex Patton

less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Comedy Show BOA Award Winner

WonderComedy
Despite a change in venue, WonderComedy hasn't missed a beat. The indie-scene staple consistently pumps out stellar shows featuring the best stand-up Atlanta and the rest of the country has to offer each month for an energetic and loyal audience that's as comedy savvy as you'll find anywhere. With chillmore...
Despite a change in venue, WonderComedy hasn't missed a beat. The indie-scene staple consistently pumps out stellar shows featuring the best stand-up Atlanta and the rest of the country has to offer each month for an energetic and loyal audience that's as comedy savvy as you'll find anywhere. With chill vibes and a helpful B.Y.O.B. policy, there's no better place to gather for laughter and camaraderie than the third Friday of every month at WonderComedy. (Courtesy of Andrew Michael). less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Dancer BOA Award Winner

Phae Monae

2018 Critics Pick: Best Director BOA Award Winner

Takashi Doscher
Writer and director Takashi Doscher evokes the mystique of the Appalachian Mountains in his quiet drama Still, in which a hiker becomes entwined in the lives of a mysterious couple (Lydia Wilson and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D's Nick Blood). Screening at the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival, Still captures a powerfulmore...
Writer and director Takashi Doscher evokes the mystique of the Appalachian Mountains in his quiet drama Still, in which a hiker becomes entwined in the lives of a mysterious couple (Lydia Wilson and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D's Nick Blood). Screening at the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival, Still captures a powerful sense of place amid a supernatural mystery on a low budget, leaving viewers curious to see what Doscher does next. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best DIY Arts Space BOA Award Winner

Photo courtesy of The Bakery

2018 Critics Pick: Best Drag Queen BOA Award Winner

Brigitte Bidet
She is ah-mazing! Hysterical and talented, she is a comedian, dancer, and the next drag superstar to emerge from the Atlanta scene.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Dragtivist BOA Award Winner

Bentley Hudgins

2018 Critics Pick: Best Filmmakers BOA Award Winner

Queer Moxie

2018 Critics Pick: Best Gallery BOA Award Winner

Notch 8

2018 Critics Pick: Best Gallery Show/Art Exhibition BOA Award Winner

Ni Aqui Ni Alla at the Bakery

2018 Critics Pick: Best Gallery to Beat the System BOA Award Winner

Mammal Gallery
With rapid gentrification eating up Atlanta many of Atlanta's mainstays, Mammal Gallery could've easily died after they lost their space in March. However, if we know anything about the city's creative scene, it's that life finds a way even in the darkest hour. Since relocating to their temporary locationmore...
With rapid gentrification eating up Atlanta many of Atlanta's mainstays, Mammal Gallery could've easily died after they lost their space in March. However, if we know anything about the city's creative scene, it's that life finds a way even in the darkest hour. Since relocating to their temporary location on Mitchell Street, the Mammal crew have kept the dream alive with innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions that highlight the idiosyncrasy that lives under the Gold Dome. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Illustrator BOA Award Winner

Amanda Semler

2018 Critics Pick: Best Improv BOA Award Winner

Carlos Giron

2018 Critics Pick: Best Instagrammer BOA Award Winner

Evah Destruction

2018 Critics Pick: Best Library BOA Award Winner

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

2018 Critics Pick: Best Literary Event BOA Award Winner

AJC Decatur Book Festival

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Actor BOA Award Winner

Heather McMahan
For anyone that's had the pleasure of meeting Heather through The Law Ladies, you probably haven't stopped laughing since. Wait until her mom signs into her Instagram live.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Athlete BOA Award Winner

Joseph Martinez
The way Atlanta sports go, you have to wonder if we deserve Josef Martinez and the entire team of Atlanta United. He's a high-scoring treasure and we're truly blessed he chose us.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Author BOA Award Winner

Mike Nemeth

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Celebrity BOA Award Winner

Luis Sandoval
Luis Sandoval is a force, that's why we asked him to participate in Best of Atlanta. Cheerful, generous, and inextricably linked to good times in Atlanta. He's the type of person you want to hug every time you see him - and he?ll probably hug back!

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Comedian BOA Award Winner

Dedrick Flynn
A comedian you love to watch, but hate to follow, Dedrick Flynn captures and firmly holds the room's attention by bringing fiery passion and an airy playfulness to every set regardless of his surroundings.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Craft Market BOA Award Winner

Indie Craft Experience

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Hero BOA Award Winner

Fabian “Occasional Superstar” Williams
Fabian Williams has a passion for art and expression. Last year, along with a few other local artists, he fought against city officials who attempted to exert control over murals being painted on private property. And he won. Williams is responsible for vibrant paintings like the fluorescent Hosea Williamsmore...
Fabian Williams has a passion for art and expression. Last year, along with a few other local artists, he fought against city officials who attempted to exert control over murals being painted on private property. And he won. Williams is responsible for vibrant paintings like the fluorescent Hosea Williams mural he painted last year on on the parking deck at Studioplex, and, most recently, the one of Stacey Abrams on the corner of Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium - Come on in, Precious. But he likes to shake things up and tackle art of all mediums. "Atlanta should look how it feels," he says. "Culture is reflected in the music, food, and now, the walls." Whether it's advocacy or creativity, Williams makes Atlanta a better place and for that, we?re thankful. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Play BOA Award Winner

Shakespeare on Draught

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Playwright BOA Award Winner

Pearl Cleage

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Playwright BOA Award Winner

Topher Payne

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Podcast BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Monster

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Podcast BOA Award Winner

ATL Podcast Matt Davis
Matt B. Davis tends to interview the familiar Atlanta names we love, while also introducing all new ATL faces worth discovering. Either way, there?s always the feeling of a little more Atlanta after listening. Give it a whirl!

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Political Figure BOA Award Winner

Stacey Abrams
If there's anything we learned from 2016, it's don't assume anything. And if we know anything about Stacey Abrams, it's that she won't give up without a fight. Previously serving as minority leader for the Georgia House, Abrams has run a tireless campaign for governor based on the issues, including themore...
If there's anything we learned from 2016, it's don't assume anything. And if we know anything about Stacey Abrams, it's that she won't give up without a fight. Previously serving as minority leader for the Georgia House, Abrams has run a tireless campaign for governor based on the issues, including the expansion of Medicaid, criminal justice reform, and affordable housing. As we stand on the precipice of change in our country, Abrams might be the surefire candidate that'll lead us to an inclusive and equitable future that benefits all Georgians. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Sports Team BOA Award Winner

Atlanta United FC

2018 Critics Pick: Best Local Sports Team BOA Award Winner

Atlanta United FC
Despite the giant silver Falcon emblazoning its doors, the golden spike symbolizes the true rulers of Mercedes-Benz stadium. Record-breaking strikers and homegrown phenoms immediately stirred up an intense fanbase that repeatedly breaks attendance records to rep the Five Stripes and King Peach. Josefmore...
Despite the giant silver Falcon emblazoning its doors, the golden spike symbolizes the true rulers of Mercedes-Benz stadium. Record-breaking strikers and homegrown phenoms immediately stirred up an intense fanbase that repeatedly breaks attendance records to rep the Five Stripes and King Peach. Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron, and Co. not only ignite a fire and passion for soccer, they bring back a feeling of hope Atlanta sports has been missing for some time. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Mural BOA Award Winner

The Keep by Sabek
With political discourse plunging deeper into negativity, it's important to remember compassion and kindness. Though Spanish artist Sabek is not from ATL, what he left behind - a mural that spans seven stories and represents the mutual care between humans and nature - carries a huge (both in physicalmore...
With political discourse plunging deeper into negativity, it's important to remember compassion and kindness. Though Spanish artist Sabek is not from ATL, what he left behind - a mural that spans seven stories and represents the mutual care between humans and nature - carries a huge (both in physical size and figurative thought) positive message for our city. Sabek's work presents a constant reminder that care and kindness can extend beyond geography, species, or anything else. less...

2018 Critics Pick: Best Muralist BOA Award Winner

Sanithna Phansavanh
Sanithna Phansavanh came to Atlanta via Kansas City, MO, where he and his family lived through a refugee program after his mother escaped Laos. He's created murals all over Atlanta incorporating ideas of growth, women as strong members of society, and perception. This year alone he completed three murals,more...

Sanithna Phansavanh came to Atlanta via Kansas City, MO, where he and his family lived through a refugee program after his mother escaped Laos. He's created murals all over Atlanta incorporating ideas of growth, women as strong members of society, and perception. This year alone he completed three murals, all full of energy, bringing the streets of Atlanta to life with every brush stroke. Keep doing your thing, Sanithna. We?re thankful for your passion and talent.

Photo courtesy of Sanithna Phansavanh

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2018 Critics Pick: Best Museum BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Monetary Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank

2018 Critics Pick: Best Museum Exhibition BOA Award Winner

Guo Pei: Couture Beyond at SCAD

2018 Critics Pick: Best Non-Profit DIY Leader BOA Award Winner

Southern Fried Queer Pride
Just the name makes your happy flag fly. Not to mention they do it all for queer arts advocacy. Be proud to be a queer creative in Atlanta, thanks to groups like Wussy and Southern Fried Queer Pride.

2018 Critics Pick: Best Person Who Left BOA Award Winner

Adron
Before heading out West this year in the name of love, Adron left behind a treat for ATL - her latest record, Water Music. Perhaps because we're struggling to define what is "real" in this time of social media and political discourse, there's a great need for an artist like Adron, whose record groundsmore...

Before heading out West this year in the name of love, Adron left behind a treat for ATL - her latest record, Water Music. Perhaps because we're struggling to define what is "real" in this time of social media and political discourse, there's a great need for an artist like Adron, whose record grounds its listeners in reality while giving them the impetus to take on the world. Her shows are an intimate experience, as she explains in brutal honesty the meanings behind her songs. Water Music will continue her legacy of authenticity regardless of where she is. Thank you, Adron, for keepin' it real.

Photo Courtesy of Charles Mitchell

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2018 Critics Pick: Best Person You Assume is Famous, But Is Not BOA Award Winner

Cousin Dan
Cousin Dan has been pretending to be famous for years. And for this, we thank him. He is really just petitioning to play Shaky Knees, as he is quite the performer. Are you reading, Tim Sweetwood? Until then, catch him hosting Gaja Karaoke once a month.

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