2nd Place: Riff House | 3rd Place: K23 Gallery
Independent bookstores are often places that foster growth in local art communities. Since its opening in October 2011, SA's Imagine Books and Records has — through countless readings, exhibitions and book release parties — played this role exceedingly well. But that's not all they do.
Over the past few years, especially, the book and record shop has increasingly played host to some of our finest musical acts, becoming a venue with a reputation for staggering eclecticism, thoughtful booking and a laid-back, communal atmosphere. The venue is a particularly important place for young acts to test their mettle in front of relatively small, supportive audiences.
Owner Don Hurd, a poet and former educator who runs the place with the help of his two sons, has grown Imagine into a hub for creative culture of all kinds. And our readers have taken note.
Local poet, educator and Texas Taco Council representative Eddie Vega, who has frequented the spot for years, told the San Antonio Current that his favorite thing about Imagine is that "performing there is like playing with Mary Poppins: you never know what's going to happen. I've been in shows with poets, electronica, acoustic singer/songwriter stuff and classical violin, and it all works together. The crowd always has a great vibe that embraces the variety."
8373 Culebra, (210) 236-7668,imaginebookstore.com
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