Big Brain Awards

New Times' Artopia and Big Brain Awards Are at Monarch Theatre May 9

Phoenix, you rock.

Finding up-and-coming creatives making waves in the Valley's performing art, visual art, design, culinary art, and music scenes for this year's Big Brain Awards was almost too easy.

Narrowing down that list to 15 gems who could use cash for their projects was a bit tougher. But the 2015 Big Brain finalists -- whether they're designing homes, belting out songs, or handcrafting candy -- shine.

The five Big Brain winners will be announced and awarded $500 each during Artopia, a celebration of art, music, food, and drink, that runs from 8 p.m. to midnight at Monarch Theatre on Saturday, May 9.

See also: Announcing the 2015 Big Brain Finalists

We'll also announce winners in next week's paper and here on

The 21-and-over party will feature performances and live music from 2015 Big Brain finalists Beth May, Xanthia Walker of Rising Youth Theatre, Clandestino, Angel Castro of Halo Movement Collective, and Ichi Sound. 2013 Big Brain finalist MAN-CAT will also perform.

Bringing fashion, art, and design into the mix will be 2015 Big Brain finalists The Ranch Mine, Leonor Aispuro, Jon Jenkins, Jorge Ignacio Torres of Palabra, and Jeff Slim.

Food and drink samples at Artopia will be complimentary with ticket purchase and come from 2015 finalists Uptown Farmers Market and BRAZEN Chocolates. Unwined Bar & Bistro, Café Tranquilo, and Oatmeal Cafe will also be on hand with edibles and/or drinks.

Each ticket holder will receive a drink passport that will grant a sampling of cocktails crafted with Roger Clyne Mexican Moonshine, AZ Distilling Co., Ketel One, Stella Artois, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois Cidre, and Woodwork Wine.

Find more information at Tickets are $25 and available via

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski