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Best of SLO County 2021: Art Scene 

Best Community Event (city specific)

SLO Downtown Farmers' Market

Higuera Street, SLO

(805) 541-0286

farmers@downtownslo.com

downtownslo.com

@downtownslofarmersmarket

Best Movie Theater

Palm Theatre

817 Palm St., SLO

(805) 541-5161

palmcinema@aol.com

thepalmtheatre.com

@palmtheatre

facebook.com/ThePalmTheatre/?rf=1413260802299962

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In a world of strip mall multiplexes, the Palm Theatre stands out. It's a theater that strives to fill your mind, not just your eyeballs and earholes with the newest blockbuster. Proprietor Jim Dee carefully curates what you see by traveling to film festivals and finding the best in independent and foreign cinema. Dee's been a cinephile since he was a Poly student in the '70s, hosting special screenings at various locales until he opened his first theater in 1979. The Palm may not have stadium seating or reclining seats, but it's where true film lovers have found a home.

—Glen Starkey

Best Theater Group

SLO Repertory Theatre

888 Morro St., SLO

(805) 786-2440

kevin@slorep.org

slorep.org

@sloreptheatre

facebook.com/sloreptheatre

click to enlarge DANCING SCENE CORE Dance San Luis Obispo students follow COVID-19 safety protocols while learning how to make some dance magic at SLO County's Best Dance Company. - PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • Photo By Jayson Mellom
  • DANCING SCENE CORE Dance San Luis Obispo students follow COVID-19 safety protocols while learning how to make some dance magic at SLO County's Best Dance Company.

Best Dance Company

CORE Dance San Luis Obispo

882 Ricardo Court, SLO

(805) 541-2669

info@coredanceslo.com

coredanceslo.com

@coredance.slo

facebook.com/coredanceslo

Best DJ

Malik Miko

malikmikoweddings@gmail.com

malikmikoweddings.com

@djmalikmiko

Best Live Music Venue

Vina Robles Amphitheatre

3800 Mill Road, Paso Robles

(805) 286-3680

amphitheatre@vinarobles.com

vinaroblesamphitheatre.com

@vinaroblesamp

facebook.com/vinaroblesamphitheatre

Best Place to Catch a Band

The Siren

900 Main St., Morro Bay

(805) 225-1312

info@thesirenmorrobay.com

thesirenmorrobay.com

@thesirenmorrobay

facebook.com/thesirenmorrobay

Best Place for Karaoke

Bill's Place

112 E. Branch St., Arroyo Grande

(805) 489-9989

billsplaceag.com

facebook.com/billsplaceag

click to enlarge TUNES, TUNES, TUNES Boo Boo Records owner Mike White stands in the back of his shop, the Best Place to Buy Music for several years running. - PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • Photo By Jayson Mellom
  • TUNES, TUNES, TUNES Boo Boo Records owner Mike White stands in the back of his shop, the Best Place to Buy Music for several years running.

Best Place to Buy Music

Boo Boo Records

978 Monterey St., SLO

(805) 541-0657

info@booboorecords.com

booboorecords.com

@booboorecords

facebook.com/booboorecords

Best Place to Buy a Musical Instrument

Lightning Joe's Guitar Heaven

100 E. Branch St., Arroyo Grande

(805) 481-2226

info@lightningjoes.com

lightningjoes.com

@lightningjoes

facebook.com/lightningjoesguitarheaven

Best Photographer

Asia Croson

1242 Monterey St., SLO

(805) 888-7448

asiacroson@gmail.com

asiacroson.com

@asiacrosonphotography

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Asia Croson mastered the art of preserving precious moments on film while making her clients look absolutely amazing. Her secret? She's the best hype-woman and can literally make you feel like a million bucks in front of her lens. There are a lot of photographers on the Central Coast, but Croson stands out in the industry with her warm and bright photo hues, stunning angles, and naturally composed portraits. Need a new professional headshot, engagement session, senior photo, or maternity shoot? Croson does it all. You can trust that she'll go to great lengths, even if that means lying on the ground, to get the perfect shot of you.

—Karen Garcia

Best Place for Camera Equipment

The Photo Shop

1027 Marsh St., SLO

(805) 543-4025

info@photoshopslo.com

photoshopslo.com

@photoshop_slo

facebook.com/ThePhotoShopSLO

Best Kids Arts Program

The San Luis Obispo Children's Museum

1010 Nipomo St., SLO

(805) 544-KIDS

info@slocm.org

slocm.org

@childrensmuseumslo

facebook.com/SLOCM

Best Music School

Music Motive

SLO, Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles

(805) 543-0377

office@musicmotive.com

musicmotive.com

@musicmotive805

facebook.com/MusicMotive

Best Visual Artist

Collen Gnos

141 Suburban Road, No. C4, SLO

(805) 441-8277

colleen@colleengnos.com

gnosart.com

@gnosart

facebook.com/colleengnosart

click to enlarge PACIFICARRIBEAN Artist Juan Alberto Negroni designed and executed the large-scale mural painted on four walls of the Best Art Gallery on the coast, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. - PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
  • Photo By Jayson Mellom
  • PACIFICARRIBEAN Artist Juan Alberto Negroni designed and executed the large-scale mural painted on four walls of the Best Art Gallery on the coast, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

Best Art Gallery

SLOMA

1010 Broad St., SLO

(805) 543-8562

info@sloma.org

sloma.org

@slomuseumofart

facebook.com/slomuseumofart

Best Public Art

Kin Coffee Bar

847 Higuera St., SLO

kincoffeeca@gmail.com

kincoffeebar.com

@kin.slo

facebook.com/Kin-Coffee-Bar-108794720471273

Best Tattoo Artist

Danny Derrick (San Luis Tattoo Company)

390 Higuera St., suite E, SLO

(805) 704-9772

sanluistattoo@gmail.com

slotattoo.com

@sanluistattoocompany

facebook.com/SanLuisTattooCo

Best Bookstore

Phoenix Books

986 Monterey St., SLO

(805) 543-3591

@phoenixbooksslo

facebook.com/pages/Phoenix-Books/121050681242482

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Phoenix Books is a literature fanatic's dream: novels stacked to the ceiling, a cozy maze of bookshelves with innumerable genres to peruse, overflow titles stacked on the floor in some places—a little bit chaotic, but in a comforting way, just like a good book. Look closer, and you'll find there's order among the chaos: If you're looking for some Steinbeck, he will most certainly be among the S's in the fiction section. Phoenix's friendly staff is there to lead you in the right direction. Nineteenth century Russian literature, traditional Italian cookbooks, astrology for beginners—you name it, Phoenix probably has it. You might have to do some digging, but that's half the fun.

—Malea Martin

Best Local Podcast

Your Own Backyard

yourownbackyardpodcast@gmail.com

yourownbackyardpodcast.com

@yourownbackyardpodcast

facebook.com/yourownbackyardpodcast

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Although 2021 marks the debut of this category, last year's votes showed that New Times readers were already eager to acknowledge Your Own Backyard, as the podcast took home 2020's Best Controversy or Scandal award. In re-examining the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart, podcast creator Chris Lambert was credited by the SLO County Sheriff's Office for helping find new witnesses, leading to the arrests of prime suspect Paul Flores and his father, Ruben Flores. Recently topping the charts on Apple Podcasts with nearly 10 million downloads to date, Your Own Backyard continues to bring worldwide attention to a case that's haunted the Central Coast for more than two decades.

—Caleb Wiseblood

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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