The Independent Weekly began bestowing Arts Indies in 1990, and this year is our 20th go-round. As we discovered when we met to discuss this year’s honorees, we are in no danger of running out of fine artists and arts organization in the Triangle.

This year, we’re recognizing a particularly diverse group that has excelled in strikingly different ways. We have artists who have made a mark in a short period of being residents of the area, and we also recognize arts groups that have been around for a while but are hitting their stride in a difficult economy. We recognize at least one artist who has achieved commercial success, and we also recognize the visionaries behind a project that was only briefly on public display.

And speaking of being briefly on public display, this year we are issuing an Arts Indies special citation for the Triangle’s biggest (and we mean biggest) arts celebrity of the year.

2009 Honorees

9th Wonder
After the end of Little Brother, Durham music producer builds a hip-hop educational initiative

Common Ground Theatre
Providing a sanctuary for small independent companies—and artists ready to take a risk

Rural arts council promotes and supports local artists on a shoestring

Nic Beery, Ajit Anthony Prem, Todd Tinkham
Three men make up for lost time as they build community of DIY filmmakers

Miles Holst
Artist and impresario Miles Holst helps energize downtown Raleigh cultural life

The Bain Project
For two weekends, a disused piece of Raleigh’s architectural history came back to life

The Barrel Monster
An interview with Raleigh’s biggest celebrity since Clay Aiken