Best Of 2019

Best We Told You So
Photo by Maria Jones

Kristen Arnett conquers the literary world

kristenarnett.virb.com

Kristen Arnett – our longtime pick for funniest local librarian on Twitter, and conductor of our favorite (maybe only) book release party in a 7-Eleven – released her debut novel, Mostly Dead Things (Tin House Books), in June of this year. The response to the novel – about a Florida lesbian taking over her family's taxidermy business after her father's suicide – has been nothing short of stellar. It's become a New York Times bestseller, been featured on summer reading lists in media outlets from Entertainment Weekly to Vanity Fair, and even got Arnett invited to appear on NPR and on PBS' Amanpour & Co. Arnett recently tweeted about signing a "bigass writing contract" in her car in front of her childhood home and was retweeted by none other than (presumable fan) Stephen Goddamn King. Arnett's charmingly understated response: "oh man thank you buddy." See, we told you so.

Arts & Culture: Best of Orlando 2019: Orlando's best artists, writers, comedians, museums and more

Arts & Culture: Best of Orlando 2019

Photo illustration by Adam McCabe

Arts & Culture

Best Adult Art Classes

1. Crealdé School of Art, crealde.org

2. SAK Comedy Lab, sak.com

3. Sam Flax, samflaxorlando.com

Best Arts Event or Festival

1. Orlando Fringe Festival, orlandofringe.org

2. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org

3. Mount Dora Arts Festival, mountdoraartsfestival.org

Best Burlesque Troupe

1. Les Vixens Burlesque, facebook.com/lvburlesque

2. Corsets and Cuties, corsetsandcuties.com

3 Cherry Bomb Burlesque, cherrybombburlesque.com

Best Comedy Club or Night

1. SAK Comedy Lab, sak.com

2. Orlando Improv, theimprovorlando.com

3. Bull & Bush Shit Sandwich, bullandbushorlando.com

Best Dance Company

1. Orlando Ballet, orlandoballet.org

2. Phantasmagoria, phantasmagoriaorlando.com

3. VarieTease, thevenueorlando.com

Best Film Fest or Series

1. Florida Film Festival, floridafilmfestival.com

2. Orlando Film Festival, orlandofilmfest.com

3. FilmSlam at Enzian, facebook.com/filmslam

Best Gallery

1 CityArts, facebook.com/cityartsfactory

2 Snap! Orlando, snaporlando.com

3 Downtown Arts Collective, downtownartscollective.com

Best Literary Reading Series

1. Orlando Story Club, orlandostoryclub.com

2. Get Lit: Closed Mic, facebook.com/ncbekpoet

3. Queer Quills, facebook.com/queerquills

Best Local Actor/Actress

1. Benjamin Ptashinsky

2. Carlos Navarro, iamcarlosnavarro.com

3. Blue Star, facebook.com/babybluestar