The Best of the Best: Kansas City Arts & Culture

Expand your horizons and let your inner artist soar with cutting edge exhibits and classics that never disappoint.

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Best Innovative Theatre

Unicorn Theatre For 44 years (316 Productions and 64 World Premieres), the Unicorn has been pushing the envelope with cutting-edge theatre. The Unicorn achieves their mission of producing thought-provoking plays which illuminate social issues and shine a light on diversity by continuing to present bold, in your face, works of art.

Best Makeover


Kansas City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Yes, it’s been a couple of years since the KCB unveiled their new reimagined Nutcracker with sumptuous new sets and costumes. But it’s the on-going work of artistic director Devon Carney that’s keeping crowds flocking back again and again. Carney has a gift for giving audiences something fresh to experience each time, whether it’s eye candy that you didn’t notice before or inspired choreography that seems to evolve each time you take in the ballet.


The Nutcraker

"the Nutcracker", photo courtesy kc ballet media

Best New Space


The Truman

The Truman could be Goldilocks’ favorite venue — it’s not too big or too small — it’s just right. With a crowd capacity of around 1,400, it fills a niche for performances that don’t yet attract enough people to fill the Midland or Uptown and is enticing more emerging artists to come to Kansas City.

Best Local Author


Candice Millard 

She’s the author of three historical, non-fiction books that each have been New York Times Bestsellers. Millard is a genius researcher and story teller. She has a gift for taking history we thought we knew (or should know) and weaving it into a riveting read that stays with you long after you finish the book. Her latest book, “Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill” was named Amazon’s number one history book of 2016.


Hero of the Empire

"Hero of the empire" by candice millard

Best Place to See a Band That’s Too Cool for Top 40 Radio


RecordBar If you like your music fresh, the recordBar should be your hang. It’s a pit stop for some of the hottest names in alternative rock. Making the musical experience even better is a full bar and restaurant. We recommend the Torta loaded with carnitas, black beans and jalapeño slaw. It’s as hot as the music.