Arts & CultureMusicThe Best in Charlotte - Best in the Nest

Arts & Entertainment Readers’ Pick Winners: Best in the Nest 2023

Best of Charlotte's arts and entertainment scenes chosen by Queen City Nerve readers

Best in the Nest Readers’ Picks were chosen exclusively by readers through a one-month nomination process followed by a one-month voting process. The nominations were not tampered with by Queen City Nerve staff at all — save for removing ourselves from a few categories to proactively dispel any notions of favoritism. In other words, if you disagree with these ones, that’s on your fellow reader, not us. 2023 saw more than 25,000 ballots cast between the nomination and final rounds of voting.

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Winners: Download your award graphics here


VISUAL ARTS

BEST ART GALLERY

Winner: Goodyear Arts
Runner Up: Charlotte Art League

It Takes a Village
Sculptures by Goodyear Arts’ Todd Stewart from It Takes a Village. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

BEST DISPLAY OF PUBLIC ART

Winner: Camp North End
Runner Up: Charlotte International Arts Festival

 

BEST EXHIBIT

Winner: Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds @ The Mint Museum
Runner Up: Doomsday & Night III @ Goodyear Arts

BEST INSTALLATION ARTIST

Winner: Malu Tan
Runner Up: Elizabeth Palmisano

 

BEST MURALIST

Winner: Bree Stallings
Runner Up: Osiris Rain

 

BEST MUSEUM

Winner: The Mint Museum
Runner Up: Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture

A man takes a pen to a sculpture handing on the wall at The Mint Museum with a sign above it that days "Draw on my white parts" at LOCAL/STREET 2022
Patrons interact with a piece of art during opening night for LOCAL/STREET 2022 at the Mint Museum Uptown. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

BEST PHOTOGRAPHER

Winner: Gloria Zavaleta
Runner Up: Brian Twitty

 

BEST SCULPTOR

Winner: Grace Stott
Runner Up: Liz Cisneros

 

BEST TATTOO ARTIST

Winner: Hayley Moran
Runner Up: Rodney Raines

 

BEST VISUAL ARTIST

Winner: Arko
Runner Up: Elizabeth Palmisano

A look inside ARKO & the MOON at Flux Galleries. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

PERFORMING ARTS

BEST ACTOR

Winner: Scott Tynes-Miller
Runner Up: Timothy Hager

 

BEST ACTRESS

Winner: Becca Worthington
Runner Up: Kadey Ballard

 

BEST AERIALIST

Winner: Satarah
Runner Up: Carolina Quirós Otárola

Satarah aerialist (Photo by Brian BT Twitty)

BEST CLASSICAL DANCER

Winner: Aidan Conway
Runner Up: Sarah Hayes Harkins

 

BEST COMEDIAN

Winner: Joy Surles
Runner Up: Jason Allen King

 

BEST COMEDY VENUE

Winner: The Comedy Zone
Runner Up: Starlight on 22nd

 

BEST CONTEMPORARY DANCER

Winner: Audrey Baran
Runner Up: Carolina Quirós Otárola

Audrey Baran (Photo by Butch Delatina)

BEST DRAG PERFORMER

Winner: Onya Dover Nerves
Runner Up: Riley Malicious

 

BEST IMPROV TROUPE

Winner: Shameless Society
Runner Up: Group Hugs-n-Harmony

 

BEST MAGICIAN

Winner: Caleb Morgan
Runner Up: Colin Eleazer

 

BEST MOVIE THEATER

Winner: Independent Picture House
Runner Up: Cinemark Bistro Charlotte

 

BEST PERFORMING ARTIST(S)

Winner: The Flamingo Revue
Runner Up: SHAE Movement African Arts

 

BEST PLACE TO HEAR SPOKEN WORD

Winner: Petra’s
Runner Up: The Evening Muse

 

BEST SKETCH COMEDY ROUTINE

Winner: Charlotte Squawks
Runner Up: Black Power Rangers

 

BEST STORYTELLER

Winner: Hannah Hassan
Runner Up: Becca Worthington

Muddy Turtle Talks
Hannah Hasan of EPOCH Tribe.

BEST THEATRE COMPANY

Winner: Theatre Charlotte
Runner Up: Three Bone Theatre

 

BEST THEATRE SHOW (NATIONAL)

Winner: SIX: The Musical
Runner Up: The Book of Mormon

 

BEST THEATRE SHOW (LOCAL)

Winner: The Chinese Lady, Three Bone Theatre
Runner Up: POTUS, Charlotte Conservatory Theatre

Amy Wada as Afong Moy, wearing a blue and loral hanfu robe, in 'The Chinese Lady.'
Amy Wada as Afong Moy in ‘The Chinese Lady.’ (Photo by Becky Schultz/Three Bone Theatre)

MUSIC BY VENUE

BEST CONCERT VENUE

Winner: Visulite Theatre
Runner Up: The Evening Muse

 

BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL

Winner: Four Finger Records
Runner Up: Self Aware Records

 

 

BEST LOCAL SHOW OF THE PAST 12 MONTHs

Winner: Thousand Dollar Movie Cassette Release Show @ Petra’s
Runner Up: The Flamingo Revue: Summer of Sin @ Visulite Theatre

Thousand Dollar Movie (from left): Zach Luper, Jeremy Radio, Leo Solis, and Dominic Geralds. (Photo by Blue Amber)

BEST MUSIC FESTIVAL (IN STATE)

Winner: Hopscotch Music Festival 2023
Runner Up: Dreamville Fest 2023

 

BEST MUSIC FESTIVAL (OUT OF STATE)

Winner: Shaky Knees Music Festival
Runner Up: Riot Fest

 

BEST MUSIC SCHOOL/LESSONS

Winner: School of Rock Charlotte
Runner Up: We Rock Charlotte

 

BEST NATIONAL SHOW OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS

Winner: Tenacious D @ PNC Music Pavilion
Runner Up: Blink-182 @ Spectrum Center

 

BEST OPEN MIC NIGHT

Winner: Find Your Muse @ The Evening Muse
Runner Up: Free Comedy Night @ Starlight on 22nd

 

BEST PLACE TO HEAR COUNTRY MUSIC

Winner: The Thirsty Beaver Saloon
Runner Up: Coyote Joe’s

 

BEST PLACE TO HEAR JAZZ

Winner: Petra’s
Runner Up: Middle C Jazz

Petra's
Petra’s in Plaza Midwood (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

BEST RECORDING STUDIO

Winner: Sioux Sioux Studio
Runner Up: Old House Studio


MUSIC BY ARTIST(S)

BEST ALTERNATIVE/PUNK BAND

Winner: Thousand Dollar Movie
Runner Up: Dovecage

 

BEST BLUES/JAZZ/SOUL BAND

Winner: Patt Mostle
Runner Up: Rich Skeleton

 

BEST COUNTRY/FOLK BAND

Winner: Sinners & Saints
Runner Up: Jason Moss and The Hosses

BEST DJ

Winner: DJ Smitty
Runner Up: DJ Spider

 

BEST ELECTRONIC/POP

Winner: Natalie Carr
Runner Up: IIOIOIOII

 

BEST EXPERIMENTAL MUSICIAN/BAND

Winner: Mercury Dimes
Runner Up: Dovecage

 

BEST INDIE-ROCK BAND

Winner: Dovecage
Runner Up: Petrov

 

BEST LIVE PERFORMER(S)

Winner: The Flamingo Revue
Runner Up: Thousand Dollar Movie

Flamingo Revue (Photo by Josh Taggart)

BEST LOCAL ALBUM

Winner: Give Me a Year by Thousand Dollar Movie
Runner Up: Better Never by Mercury Dimes

 

BEST NEW BAND

Winner: Once Below Joy
Runner Up: Distracted Eyes

 

BEST POTENTIAL BREAKOUT ARTIST

Winner: Dovecage
Runner Up: Forever May Fall

BEST PRODUCER

Winner: Leo Solis
Runner Up: Krystle Baller

Quarantine Sessions
Leonardo and Kellie Solis. (Photo by Paul C Rivera)

BEST R&B SINGER

Winner: Tamra Simone
Runner Up: Wesley Jackson

 

BEST RAPPER

Winner: Lil Skritt
Runner Up: Phaze Gawd

 

BEST SOLO PERFORMER

Winner: Lisa De Novo
Runner Up: MonaLisa

 

BEST SINGER/SONGWRITER

Winner: Lisa De Novo
Runner Up: Kadey Ballard


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