Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Writing Classes

The Loft Literary Center

The Twin Cities boasts two fine academic programs for writers who want to hone their craft and get an advanced writing degree: Hamline University and the University of Minnesota. But for the writing dilettante or toe-dipper; or for someone who simply doesn't have the time, money, or desire to pursue a degree; or even for the experienced writer who already has a degree in hand, the Twin Cities is lucky to have a place like the Loft. Incorporated in 1975, it's the nation's largest independent literary center, offering hundreds of classes for adults, teens, and children. The Loft covers all the standard genres — poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction — teaching classes in the creative process, children's lit, young adult lit, playwriting, screenwriting, graphic storytelling, travel writing, and even blogging. Want to take things to the next level? The Loft will train you in the business side of writing. Classes are taught by agents, editors, and working and sometimes award-winning writers. Classes are affordable and offered on a sliding-fee scale based on household income. A community like this is what keeps so many great writers in Minnesota.

Best Actor Bradley Greenwald

Best Actress Christiana Clark

Best Album of the Past 12 Months The Cactus Blossoms

Best AM Radio Personality Esme Murphy

Best Art Gallery CO Exhibitions

Best Band Name Hot Rash

Best Band to Break Up in the Past 12 Months Roma di Luna

Best Blues Club Bayport BBQ

Best Choreographer Carl Flink

Best Classical Musician Osmo Vänskä, Minnesota Orchestra

Best Club DJ Plain Ole Bill

Best Columnist Jon Tevlin

Best Comedy Club Acme Comedy Co.

Best Concert of the Past 12 Months (Local) Doomtree Blowout 7 at First Avenue and 7th St. Entry

Best Concert of the Past 12 Months (Touring) tUnE-yArDs at First Avenue

Best Concert Venue Varsity Theater

Best Country Band Cactus Blossoms

Best Country Music Venue Lee's Liquor Lounge

Best Cover Band Tramps Like Us

Best Dance Club First Avenue

Best Dance Company Ragamala Dance

Best Dance Night Get Cryphy

Best Dance Performance of the Past 12 Months Storm, Zenon Dance Company

Best Dancer Eva Mohn

Best Director Wendy Knox

Best Female Vocalist Brute Heart

Best FM Radio Personality Jake Rudh

Best Folk Artist Chastity Brown

Best Hip-Hop Artist MaLLy

Best Jazz Club Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Best Jukebox The Herkimer

Best Karaoke James Ballentine VFW Post 246

Best Live Artist Zoo Animal

Best Local Band Made Good Howler

Best Local Music Broadcast Radio K's Off the Record

Best Local Music Compilation Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 3

Best Male Vocalist Astronautalis

Best Movie Theater The Trylon

Best Museum Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum

Best Museum Exhibition "Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870" at Walker Art Center

Best Musical Cabaret

Best New Band Night Moves

Best New Nightclub Honey

Best Play In the Red and Brown Water

Best Radio Station 89.3 the Current

Best Record Label Moon Glyph

Best Rock Band Bloodnstuff

Best Songwriter Dan Wilson

Best Tattoo Parlor Leviticus Tattoo

Best Theater Mixed Blood Theatre

Best TV Newscaster Jana Shortal

Best TV Sports Anchor Joe Schmit

Best TV Station KSTC 45

Best TV Weatherperson Keith Marler