Best All-Ages Venue

Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center

Be forewarned: Pretension is part of the deal with the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center. The pretense here is "no booze, no drugs, no jerks." Its nonprofit status allows for a focus on subversive sounds. While some venues may aim to flip bands for dough, the LNAC reaches out, specifically, to a narrow niche. Owner Mark Sarich meets with staff often to carefully curate gigs that cover punk, folk and avant-garde in a genre crosshatch. Sarich offers incentives to foreign traveling artists with the promise of home-cooked meals and free lodging. New local acts join in as well and cram each show with inventive takes on old genres. Community-based collaborations with local institutions and students show that with LNAC, diversity is key.

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