Best Of 2015

17360 Lahser Rd., Detroit; 313-537-2560; redfordtheatre.com

Props to Mayor Mike Duggan for choosing this 87-year-old institution to host his State of the City address earlier this year. While locations like Midtown and Gilbertville have become media shorthand in talking about Detroit's turnaround, Duggan wisely chose the ornate Redford Theatre, located in northern Detoit, as the backdrop to his assessment of his first year in office. As MT's Larry Gabriel noted at the time, the theater is the perfect metaphor for the city. Located on a block that Gabriel described as "one of the interesting little enclaves in town where community activism, entrepreneurialism, and hipness come together to push back against decay," some of the theater's neighbors include the Motor City Java and Tea House, Sweet Potato Sensations, community center the Artist Village, Motor City Blight Busters, and clothing store Profit Vogue Studios. It's also a great place to catch an old-school flick — they still have their original pipe organ, and they're known to bring in celebrities like Pam Grier for special classic film screenings.

Arts + Entertainment

Arts + Entertainment

Several locations in metro Detroit; guitarcenter.com

For any musician in metro Detroit, Guitar Center is like a gas station — it's always going to be there for your needs. With multiple locations, one of the shops is likely within a short drive from your home. Guitar strings, drums, DJ equipment, whatever you need, it's almost certainly here.

Hart Plaza, Detroit; movement.us

Things sure got confusing last year, so let's set it straight: This is the festival formerly known as DEMF, and it is big and bold and filled with loud and often beautiful music. There is talk of DEMF itself perhaps returning, but unfortunately at this point it is still just talk. This is a Detroit institution, and readers voted last year's event the best festival in the area (and the year before that). The festival will run from May 23-25, and this year's lineup includes Carl Craig, !!!, Method Man, Danny Brown, and Derrick May.

facebook.com/detroitdizzydames

Once again, we must hand it to the Dizzy Dames, who continue to mesmerize Detroit with their puckish brand of burlesque. Led by Lushes LaMoan, these lovely ladies keep the art form alive.

18 S. Perry St., Pontiac; hauntedpontiac.com

Brothers Ed and Jim Terebus practically built this massive, 15-year-old, four-story haunted attraction from the ground up. Sure, the building was already there, but the two designed every part of the hellish world that now lives inside, including the sets, the costumes, and the props. Don't expect a single stretch of black hallway, there's always something coming at you inside Erebus.

5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org

Would anyone argue if we called this cultural institution the crown jewel of Detroit? Lovingly known as the DIA, this monument to all things art is a piece of, well, art. Enjoy the Kresge Court, Diego Rivera's iconic murals, or stroll through the maze of artwork that occupies every room.

1410 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-744-6505; innerstategallery.com

This Eastern Market gallery continues to pull in hip, contemporary exhibitions. In the past year, the gallery has hosted celebrated local artists like Jeremy Deputat and Tyree Guyton, as well as a good share of internationally renowned artists like Bask and Meggs.

glbarr.com

Barr's paintings are a window into a pop noir world, whether he's painting seedy nighthawks in a strip club or riffing on '60s cartoon characters. Either way, Barr has a knack for creating hip, playful paintings that has earned global praise from fans of all things lowbrow.

joegallphotography.com

Gall didn't just earn the "Camera Jesus" moniker for his flowing locks and beard combo — this guy works miracles with a camera. With an eye on Detroit, Gall's photos have appeared in the pages of Rolling Stone and Penthouse. Even Rihanna appears to be a fan, having snagged a drone photo Gall took of her Comerica Park double-bill with Eminem for her Twitter profile wallpaper shortly after the gig.

collectivedetroit.com

Schultz always brings a high-quality polish to every project, recently creating videos for acts like Critical Bill, Nadir, Epoch Failure, and more. As part of Collective Detroit, Schultz has shot for all manner of clients, from TV spots to short films to PSAs.