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Best Art Gallery
Best Concert
Best Dinner Scene In A Play
Best Interactive Dance Performance
Best Leap Of Faith
Best Local Artist--Performing
Best Local Artist--Visual
Best Local Arts Administrator
Best Local Author
Best Local Dance Production
Best Local Theatre Production
Best Movie Theater
Best Mural
Best News About Desert Rock
Best Performance By A Visiting Dance Company
Best Performance Venue--Indoors
Best Performance Venue--Outdoors
Best Public Art Commission

Best Performance Venue--Indoors

Temple of Music and Art
330 S. Scott Ave.

READERS' PICK: In 1907, a group of Tucson women formed the Saturday Morning Musical Club and dreamed of a home for the arts in Tucson. Twenty years later, its founder, Madeline Heineman Berger, commemorated the opening of the Temple of Music and Art with these words: "We are offering you this Temple, with its Spirit of Music, to be yours for all time; to enjoy, to care for, and cause to grow. Let its harmony spread from the few who are here to the many who are not here. Tonight it is young; into your kind hands and big hearts, we place it. Look then into the future and make it the Mecca of Art."

Thank you Madeline, for giving us this place, for the balconies from which we watch the crowds, for the great acoustics, for the fountain splashing in the courtyard. Thank you for that giddy feeling we now look forward to each time the lights go down and the audience is silent. Thank you for believing the arts had a future in a dusty desert town. And thanks for all those whose hard work and foresight saved this local treasure from imminent disaster just a few short years ago.

RUNNER-UP AND STAFF PICK: It's been just over a year since longtime Tucson music movers and shakers Paul Bear and Jeb Schoonover, of KXCI Houserockin' Party renown, launched their campaign to save the historic downtown Rialto Theater from ruin. The Congress Street mainstay opened early in the 1900s as a burlesque showclub, rose to prominence as a movie palace in the roaring '20s, and then hit the skids in the ensuing decades. But Bear and Schoonover, under the umbrella of the non-profit Rialto Development Corporation, have made great strides in restoring this fair lady to her previous state of splendor: They've rebuilt the stage, filled in the fly (which had a gaping hole in it from years ago when a boiler burst and sent the theater up in flames), put in wide rows of cushy fixed seating, intimate hanging lamps, and imparted a host of other improvements that will make patrons and fire inspectors very happy when the club reopens in October.

The theater offers something for everyone: plenty of room to sit, plenty of room to dance, plenty of space up in the balcony to see the stage clearly, a non-smoking environment inside and a lobby thick with smokers near the entrance. This is a place where musicians enjoy performing as much as the audience enjoys watching; and we can't wait for those doors to reopen!

Case History

1998 Winner: Rialto Theater
1997 Winner: Temple of Music and Art

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