The issue you're reading right now is the end result of a 10 1/2-month-long process.
It all started last November, when we ran some ads challenging Tucson's talented artists to pitch a Best of Tucson™ theme. It was a contest: We'd award the artist who had the best idea/art with a $100 gift certificate; if we really liked it, we'd give the artist a $1,000 contract to do the art for BOT 19.
We were impressed by the quality of entries, and after a lot of deliberation, we picked Ruben Moreno as our winner. We worked with him to focus in his vintage-style theme, and we eventually agreed on one vintage era: the Roaring '20s. He got the contract. From there, Ruben was on his own, and by the time his deadline arrived, he had turned in some of the greatest BOT art we've ever had.
After the amazing Annie Holub counted the 1,000 ballots we received this year (and that's not counting the hundreds we had to disqualify because of stuffing, incomplete information or insufficient categories filled out), we had our list of winners. The issue was assembled with contributions from 31 wonderful writers, three fine designers (Arek, Josh and Duane, you're great!) two amazing photographers (Kelly and Tricia, you rock!), two fantastic editors (Irene and Jim, you... um, roll!) and a fantastic art director (Hugh, you... need to quit smoking! And you're spiffy!). And I'd be a moron if I didn't mention the work of our advertising and classified staff, headed by Jill A'Hearn and Joann Hardy Carranza, whose efforts assure that, well, we aren't doing all of this for free.
But the biggest props go to two groups: the fine readers of the Tucson Weekly, who to took the time to vote and tell us about the best that Tucson has to offer; and the businesses, groups, organizations and individuals who are among the Best of Tucson™ winners and runners-up. Without all of you, this issue--and hell, this town--would be utterly pointless. So, from all of us here at the Tucson Weekly: Thank you.
Now... grab a beverage, kick up your heels, and join us as we do the Charleston back to the Roaring '20s. Enjoy!