Best Of Tucson®

Best Arts & Culture 2023

Best Gallery

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

6300 N. Swan Road


Established by Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia in 1950, the De Grazia Gallery in the Sun celebrates the life and rebellious art of its namesake. Run by the DeGrazia Foundation, the gallery features six permanent and several smaller rotating exhibitions of the artist’s oil paintings, watercolors, sketches, ceramics and bronze sculptures. The works of upcoming local artists are also displayed between November and March.

Reader Recommended


3035 N. Swan Road


Philabaum Glass Gallery

711 S. Sixth Avenue


Best Art Museum

Tucson Museum of Art

140 N. Main Avenue


Open Wednesday through Sunday, the Tucson Museum of Art exhibitions and engaging experiences connect art to life. Its collection includes art from the American West, Latin America, Asia, Indigenous cultures, Europe, as well as contemporary art. The museum also features lectures, tours, an art camp and a research library.

Reader Recommended

Tucson Desert Art Museum

7000 E. Tanque Verde Road


The Mini Time Machine of Miniatures

4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive


Best Visual Artist

Jessica Gonzales

Jessica Gonzales’ murals and paintings can be found throughout the greater Tucson area. The local artist’s work bursts with color, expression and life.

Reader Recommended

Joe Pagac

1930 E. Grant Road


Diana Madaras

3035 N. Swan Road


Best Movie Theater


3233 E. Speedway Boulevard


The nonprofit Loft Cinema brings films and visiting filmmakers to the community that might otherwise go unseen and unheard. The member-supported cinema screens new independent and foreign films and documentaries, as well as classic art films. It also hosts interactive events, a short film contest, an international film festival in the autumn, and a free children’s film festival in July.

Reader Recommended


4811 E. Grant Road



100 S. Houghton Road


Best Art Classes

Art Institute at the Arizona-

Sonoran Desert Museum

2021 N. Kinney Road


The Art Institute at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum believes in promoting conservation through the medium of art. Its expert instructors teach both beginning and advanced students how to connect to the desert and its inhabitants through courses in drawing, mosaics, photography, generative AI and other subjects. Classes are also available online.

Reader Recommended

Sonoran Glass School

633 W. 18th Street


Tipsy Picassos


Best Musical instrument Store

Chicago Music Store

45 S. Sixth Avenue, 520-622-3341

5646 E. Speedway Boulevard, 520-886-1516

The Chicago Music Store has been keeping Tucson in tune since 1919. The family-owned retailer carries everything from accordions to guitars to keyboard to amplifiers. Rental and repair services are available.

Reader Recommended


Three Tucson locations

Instrumental Music Center

7063 E. Speedway Boulevard


Best Theater Company

Gaslight Theatre

7010 E. Broadway Boulevard


The Gaslight Theatre has been entertaining Tucson families since 1977 with musical comedies, Westerns, sci-fi spoofs, Christmas shows and more. Guests can order food and beverages to enjoy during any of the six nights a week when shows are performed. The theater also hosts concerts every Monday night.

Reader Recommended

Arizona Theater Company

330 S. Scott Avenue


Unscrewed Theater

4500 E. Speedway Boulevard


Best Author

Lydia Millet

Award-winning author Lydia Millet has penned numerous novels, book reviews, opinion pieces, essays and other works. A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2010, she also works as an editor and staff writer at the Center for Biological Diversity. Her most recent work, 2022’s “Dinosaurs,” was also a Pulitzer finalist.

Reader Recommended

Adam Rex

Brian Smith

Best Dance Studio

Ballet Tucson

200 S. Tucson Boulevard


The official school of Tucson’s only professional ballet company, the School of Ballet Tucson provides students of all ages with advanced training in a variety of styles. The school is committed to delivering an educational experience that fosters a deep love and appreciation for dance while developing skills that can serve students in all aspects of their lives. Students receive discounts for Ballet Tucson performances and are even given an opportunity to perform alongside the company’s professional dancers in select productions.

Reader Recommended

Viva Performing Arts

4563 S. Park Avenue


Breakout Studios

5811 E. Speedway Boulevard


Best Dance Company

UArizona Dance

1713 E. University Boulevard


The faculty and undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Arizona School of Dance are the driving force behind performances in a wide array of styles throughout the year. Sporting custom-fitted costumes designed by professionals, the up-and-coming dancers take the stage at the Stevie Eller Dance Theater, which was designed and built specifically for dance. Tours for prospective students and their parents are available.

Reader Recommended

Ballet Tucson

200 S. Tucson Boulevard



650 N. Sixth Avenue


Best Outdoor Art Installation

Joe Pagac’s Murals


Joe Pagac’s murals dot so many parts of Tucson that they are, in essence, a part of the municipality’s cityscape. His murals capture everything from portraits to nature to trompe l’oeil techniques. His murals also decorate other cities such as Washington, D.C., and Phoenix.

Reader Recommended

Ben’s Bells

40 W. Broadway Boulevard, 520-622-1379

816 E. University Boulevard, 520-628-2829

Tucson Jewish Community Center

Sculpture Garden

3800 E. River Road


Best Music School

Tucson Jazz Institute

3233 S. Pinal Vista


The experienced and proven instructors at the Tucson Jazz Institute enable young musicians to reach their highest potential through educational and performance opportunities. The school has been honing the musical skills of middle and high school students throughout the Tucson area and beyond since 2008. Students learn to play jazz, big band and other styles in both large and small ensemble classes.

Reader Recommended

Chicago Music Store

45 S. Sixth Avenue, 520-622-3341

5646 E. Speedway Boulevard, 520-886-1516

Instrumental Music Center

7063 E Speedway Boulevard


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