2016 Best People and Culture


Reader Pick: Main St. Arts Festival

Staff Pick: Gallery Night


Reader Pick: Artspace 111
Artspace111, another of the few galleries in the area that represents the work of multiple artists, features contemporary art from emerging, mid-career, and established artists who live in the DFW area.
111 Hampton St., Fort Worth, 76102, 817.692.76102, artspace111.com

Staff Pick: William Campbell Contemporary Art
4935 Byers Ave., Fort Worth, 76107, 817.737.9566, williamcampbellcontemporaryart.com


Reader Pick: Melissa Kohout
This native West Texan animal portrait artist left for California after earning her BFA at the University of Texas in the 1970s, built a base of well-heeled celebrity horse owners, and returned to Texas and Fort Worth in the ‘90s. She has done custom portraits for the likes of John Cleese, Leslie Nielsen and Tom Selleck. In recent years, Kohout produced a series of TCU-inspired prints featuring horned lizards. The first, after the Frogs won the Rose Bowl, features a frog with a red rose hanging from its mouth. Most recently, Kohout’s created a print depicting the TCU victory at the Alamo Bowl - a frog conquering the Alamo. Custom portraits remain her focus.
817.924.7063, etsy.com/shop/MelissaKohout

Staff Pick: Nancy Lamb
Lamb has made a regular home of our Best Of contest. Her paintings of people catch them in social moments, much as you would expect in photographic snapshots. “I paint people un-posed and off-guard,” she says. “I am trying to catch the true spirit of the moment.”


Reader Pick: Elizabeth Eder Northern
The reader’s choice for Best Athlete turned into a runaway. Elizabeth Eder Northern won the women’s 31-mile Ultra at the Cowtown Marathon in her first try earlier this year, becoming the first to win all five of the Cowtown’s women’s events. That was after she’d competed in the Olympic trials marathon in California. Northern, a graduate of Nolan Catholic High School and data analyst at Buxton, was the DFW representative last year to the Sendai International Half Marathon in Japan.

Staff Pick: (tie) Reilly Fox
Fox, a Paschal High School junior who plays defense on the girl’s varsity soccer team, made the Panthers varsity football team as kicker, becoming the first girl to play varsity football for Paschal.

Staff Pick: (tie) Bram Kohlhausen
TCU 47-Oregon 41. What else do we need to say?


Reader Pick: Rodney Butler, Southwest Christian High School b oys basketball
Coach Rodney Butler’s Southwest Christian boys basketball team was TAPPS 4A State Runner-Up this year.

Staff Pick: Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie
TCU Football’s co-offensive coordinators had their work cut out for them last season, having to stage multiple comebacks during the regular season and coach backup Bram Kohlhausen through the Alamo Bowl. During the offseason, Meacham and Cumbie both stayed put at TCU, rather than go elsewhere.


Reader Pick: Chronicles of Frivolity
Chronicles of Frivolity is a fashion blog. Or as author Katey McFarlan says, it’s a “platform to help people feel a little more put together, so that they can devote a lot more time to other areas of their life.”

Staff Pick: Tanglewood Moms


Reader Pick: Deb Cantrell

Staff Pick: Jon Bonnell
Bonnell, owner of Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine, Waters Bonnell’s Coastal Cuisine, and Buffalo Brothers Wings, Pizza and Subs, routinely shares recipes upon request (his hit Oysters Texasfeller is on the Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine site) and maintains a high community profile, snagging some votes for Best Philanthropist in this year’s contest.


Reader Pick: Colonial Country Club
3735 Country Club Circle, Fort Worth, 76109, 817.927.4200, colonialfw.com

Staff Pick: River Crest Country Club
1501 Western Ave., Fort Worth, 76107, 817.738.9221, rivercrestcc.memfirstweb.net

Reader Pick: Cendera Center
3600 Benbrook Highway, Fort Worth, 76116, 817.984.6800, sedona.productions

Staff Pick: Mopac Event Center
This new, unassuming event venue on Rogers Road near Colonial Country Club can hold anything from a small business meeting, to a wedding reception to a concert. It’s also plays host to this year’s Best Of Party.
1615 Rogers Road, Fort Worth, 76107, 817.984.7955, mopacevents.com


Reader Pick: Mayfest
Mayfest-goers are eternal optimists. Despite the annual threat of bad weather, and one of the worst storm’s in Texas history having struck the festival once, nobody walks around wearing hardhats. They just keep coming.

Staff Pick: Open Streets
The Near Southside’s little occasional Sunday shutdown of West Magnolia Avenue for a pedestrian-friendly festival has gone from small to clogging traffic in just a few years. Awesome.


Reader Pick: Southwest Christian boys basketball
Our readers celebrated Coach Rodney Butler and the Southwest Christian boys basketball team’s TAPPS 4A State Runner-Up finish this year.

Staff Pick: Dunbar High School boys basketball
The Dunbar boys basketball team, in its first trip to the state 5A basketball tournament in years, willed its way there before falling to Elkins High School.


Reader Pick: Fort Worth Stockyards

Staff Pick: Trinity Trails
Quick stats: there are more than 40 miles of trails along the Trinity River through Fort Worth, and the city has more than 250 parks encompassing 11,000 acres, most of them on the Trinity River and its tributaries.


Reader Pick: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth, 76107, 817.738.9215, themodern.org

Staff Pick: Amon Carter Museum
3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 76107, 817.738.1933, cartermuseum.org


Reader Pick: Leon Bridges
The 26-year-old Fort Worth native and soul artist released his debut album “Coming Home” in June 2015 under the Columbia Records label. "I'm not saying I can hold a candle to any soul musician from the '50s and '60s," Bridges says on his website, "but I want to carry the torch."

Staff Pick: Oil Boom
Oil Boom, a North Texas alt-reggae band, mixes funk, hip-hop and rock to create what it calls “unique pastiche of groundbreaking 21st century sounds.”


Reader Pick: Fairmount Neighborhood Association
It hasn’t been too many years since cars on blocks were a familiar sight in the Near Southside’s Fairmount neighborhood. But the neighborhood battled back, with a years-long focus on establishing and maintaining design standards and guidelines for the historic neighborhood, admonishing code violators, and building front-porch community through events like the recently completed annual Fairmount Home Tour and the construction of the Fairmount Community Garden. The neighborhood, which borders the popular West Magnolia Avenue strip to the north and is an easy walk or bike ride to major healthcare employers in the district, is now one of the hottest in Fort Worth. In recent years, it was named one of the “South’s Best Comeback Neighborhoods” by Southern Living. One growing concern it’s facing: the potential for rapidly rising housing values, rents and property taxes to price out the Bohemians who call the neighborhood home.

Staff Pick: Ridglea Hills Neighborhood Association
This hilly, leafy West Side neighborhood is built around the Ridglea Country Club and a strong elementary school, Ridglea Hills.


Reader Pick: Tillery Park
Tillery was once a haven for gangs. But Southside neighborhoods came together several years ago to build a playground in this park off of Forest Park Boulevard, guided by a firm that specializes in community-built playgrounds.
2200 Rockridge Terrace, Fort Worth, 76110, tillerypark.org

Staff Pick: Foster Park
Foster Park, the Westcliff area’s key conduit to the Trinity Trails, is a great spot in its own right for a leisurely picnic and stroll.
3800 South Drive, Fort Worth, 76109


Reader Pick: Don’t Forget to Feed Me Pet Food Bank
Don’t Forget to Feed Me, which provides pet food to local nonprofits in support of needy pet owners and is devoted to ensuring humans don’t have to give up their furry friends, estimates it’s served up three million pet meals since its inception in 2009. The agency’s beginnings were in the 2008 recession, when many families had to give up their pets. A Valentine’s pet food drive through the Tarrant Area Food Bank launched Don’t Forget to Feed Me.
3000 Galvez Ave., Fort Worth, 76101, 817.334.0727, dontforgettofeedme.org

Staff Pick: The Gladney Center for Adoption
Nearly 130 years after its launch, Fort Worth’s Gladney Center continues to create new families through its support of unwed mothers, and other domestic and international programs.
6300 John Ryan Drive, Fort Worth, 76132, 817.922.6000, adoptionsbygladney.com


Reader Pick: Chad Prather

Staff Pick: Bud Kennedy


Reader Pick: Ed Bass

Staff Pick: Michael Radler
You may remember Radler, a Fort Worth oilman, and his Radler Foundation from their chipping in to re-open Fort Worth’s Forest Park Pool a few years. The Radler Foundation had been quietly working since 2009 to support Christian ministries worldwide, focusing on East Africa. Today, the foundation operates three East African Ministries in South Sudan. Closer to Fort Worth, the foundation supports the Southern Methodist University unit of the Student Mobilization Christian ministry; Champions of Hope, a South Dallas ministry; the Fort Worth Pregnancy Center, whose mission is to encourage recognition of life from conception and to minister to women and men facing unplanned pregnancies; Fortress YDC, which provides after-school, mentoring, summer, and preschool programs to at-risk children in Fort Worth; summer Christian camps to youth; and the Presbyterian Night Shelter,  the largest provider of services to the homeless in North Texas.


Reader Pick: Hal Jay

Staff Pick: Krys Boyd
Boyd, a TCU grad, has been host and managing editor of KERA 90.1’s flagship midday program, Think, since 2006. Boyd began her career along the U.S.-Mexico border, spending nearly seven years working simultaneously at radio and television stations as a reporter, anchor and news director. Boyd returned to North Texas in 1999 as news director for Broadcast.com, and later senior producer of broadcast news at Yahoo. Boyd joined KERA in 2001. Boyd’s list of "favorite" interview subjects grows longer each week, but it includes Bishop Desmond Tutu, This American Life host Ira Glass, Sister Helen Prejean and Dr. Daniel Gilbert.


Reader Pick: Amanda Chaffins
214.909.0281, jphomesforsale.com/agents/Amanda+Chaffins

Staff Pick: Mary Carolyn Gatzke
817.291.2345, briggsfreeman.com


Reader Pick: Fairmount

Staff Pick: Ryan Place
Another of the Southside’s venerable historic neighborhoods got its start in 1911, when the developer John Ryan saw opportunity for a neighborhood that could compete with the mansions on Summit and Pennsylvania avenues and on the Trinity River. Ryan Place has built community through events like the annual Candlelight Christmas in Ryan Place: Home Tour and Trip Into the Past and July 4 parade.


Reader Pick: AMC Palace 9
The Palace 9 has become the theater of choice for many Fort Worth moviegoers, made all the easier by the continued free parking in Sundance Square garages.
220 E. 3rd St., Fort Worth, 76102, 817.336.0431, amctheaters.com

Staff Pick: Movie Tavern
2872 Crockett St., Fort Worth, 76107, 682.503.8101, movietavern.com


Reader Pick: Chester Cox, Kent & Co. Wines
Cox, an Oklahoman, has 20 years experience in restaurants and has quickly become the most visible of Kent & Co.’s sommeliers.
1101 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 76104, 817.632.6070, kcowines.com

Staff Pick: Chris Keel, Put a Cork In It
Park Hill’s wine guy just celebrated his 10th year in business earlier this year. We think that counts as staying power. Keel has a ready recommendation for any wine need. Stop into the store for weekly wine tastings, 3 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursdays and 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Keel pours four to six wines during the tastings.
2972 Park Hill Drive, Fort Worth, 76109, 817.924.2675, putacorkinitwine.com


Reader Pick: Christ Chapel Bible Church
When we added this category for the first time in this year’s competition, we sensed that Christ Chapel would show up well in readers’ voting. This non-denominational church has brought together families of all stripes beneath one roof, including a robust group with young children. Continued growth at its Fort Worth home, at Interstate 30 and Montgomery Street, has kept the surrounding Arlington Heights neighborhood on guard. Christ Chapel, which has a strong Parker County congregation and is holding Sunday services and conducting student ministry from temporary quarters there, is raising money to build a new Aledo campus.
3701 Birchman Ave., Fort Worth, 76107, 817.731.4329, ccbcfamily.org

Reader Pick 2: St. Paul Lutheran
1800 W. Freeway, Fort Worth, 76102, 817.332.2281, sharingnewlife.com


Reader Pick: Judy Alter

Staff Pick: Jeff Guinn
Fort Worth’s Jeff Guinn, New York Times-bestselling author of Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, is in the middle of a trilogy of novels spun off of the development of the American West. Buffalo Trail: A Novel of the American West was out last year, following the first in the series, Glorious. Guinn’s titles also include Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde, and The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral and How It Changed the American West.