Culture News

Big Brain Award Finalists Announced

With no further ado, we announce the finalists for New Times' first-ever Big Brain Awards. The award was created to recognize emerging creatives in metropolitan Phoenix -- and let us tell you, we had our work cut out for us, narrowing the list from more than 150 to 15.

The winners in five categories -- plus a surprise sixth winner! -- will be announced Saturday, May 22 at New Times' 40th Anniversary Party at Madcap Theaters in Tempe. Winners will receive $1000 (per category).

Tickets may still be available.

We'll be sharing more details about the finalists soon here on Jackalope Ranch, but here are the names:

DESIGN Jay Atherton & Cy Keener Mark Dudlik Seesaw Design

FILM Nathan Blackwell Robert Kilman & Safwat Saleem Saxon Richardson

ONLINE MEDIA CenPho.TV Light Rail Blogger Monster Commute

PERFORMING ARTS Tricia Moore Kara Roschi Marcelino Quinonez

VISUAL ARTS Peter Bugg Spencer Hibert Jen Urso

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at