Best of the Best: Arts and Entertainment

Grand Rapids Symphony won Grand Rapids Magazine's readers' survey for Best Performing Arts Organization

If you’re looking to vote in our 2024 Best of Grand Rapids campaign, click here.

Our readers chose the best in arts and entertainment. From live music venues and museums to artists and TV personalities, here are the winners:

Tourist Attraction
1st Place: Frederik Meijer Gardens
Frederik Meijer Gardens invites guests to “experience masterpieces of art and nature that will delight your senses! Enjoy one of the nation’s premier horticultural display gardens and sculpture parks.”
2nd Place: Grand Rapids Public Museum

Local Music Series
1st Place: Fifth Third Summer Concerts at Frederik Meijer Gardens
2nd Place: Tuesday Evening Music Club at Meijer Gardens

Live Music Venue
1st Place: GLC Live at 20 Monroe
Modern Art Deco inspired venue that accommodates 2600 guests. Upcoming shows include Flogging Molly, March 4 and the Dropkick Murphys, March 12.
2nd Place: The Pyramid Scheme

Best DJ
1st Place: QC Event Sound
Wedding and event DJ run by husband and wife Quinn and Haley Humphrey.
2nd Place: Adrian Butler

1st Place: Rumors
Rumors is Grand Rapids’ premier nightclub and go-to place for LGBTQ events, like drag shows, and features dancing every night under disco balls and strobe lights.
2nd Place: Rosa Parks Circle

Visual Artist
1st Place: Chelsea Garter
Grand Rapids native visual artist known for colorful oil paintings.
2nd Place: Picardo Erick

Annual Festival
1st Place: ArtPrize
Annual festival started in 2009 and open to all artists over the age of 18. Read more about the future of the festival in this issue of Grand Rapids Magazine on page 12.
2nd Place: Festival of the Arts

Performing Arts Organization
1st Place: Grand Rapids Symphony

The Grand Rapids Symphony was established in 1930, and the steadfast commitment of visionary community leaders has created an organization that has received national recognition for the high quality of its concerts and educational programs.
2nd Place: Broadway GR

1st Place: Grand Rapids Public Museum

The GRPM holds within its vast walls one of Michigan’s largest collections of historical and cultural artifacts, as well as scientific specimens, a Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ and a fantastic planetarium named for hometown astronaut, Roger B. Chaffee.
2nd Place: Grand Rapids Art Museum

Local Radio Program
1st Place: Free Beer and Hot Wings

The Free Beer and Hot Wings Show is a syndicated morning talk radio show broadcast from the Townsquare Media radio station WGRD-FM in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The show is hosted by Gregg Daniels, Chris Michels, Kelly Cheesborough and executive producer Steve McKiernan.
2nd Place: Gray and Green

TV Personality–Female
1st Place: Ellen Bacca and Terri DeBoer (tied)

WOOD-TV 8 is home for this pair of weather forecasters. DeBoer has been sharing the morning weather for nearly three decades and has been co-host of 8 West for more than 10 years. Bacca, named Chief Meteorologist in 2021, provides weather details for the evening newscasts and the weekly Ask Ellen feature.
2nd Place: Rachel Ruiz

TV Personality–Male
1st Place: Brian Sterling

As co-anchor of evening news programs on WOOD-TV 8, Sterling lends his expertise as a television news reporter and experienced anchor on the much-watched programs.
2nd Place: Donovan Long

TV Station
1st Place: WOOD-TV 8
On the air since the 1950s, WOOD-TV was the first West Michigan station to broadcast in color and has continued to be “first” in the years to follow including the area’s first news helicopter in 1983 and the first regular 7 pm newscast in 2016.
2nd Place: Fox 17

1st Place: Ellen Bacca
2nd Place: Bill Steffen

Sports Team
1st Place: Griffins
Grand Rapids Griffins the AHL affiliate to the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and play home games at Van Andel Arena.
2nd Place: Whitecaps

1st Place: River City Improv
This all-local improv comedy troupe has been performing in Grand Rapids since 1993.
2nd Place: Tiny Breakfast


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