Best Of 2020

Best New Non-Corporate Venue Name: Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center

It’s common for new sports/entertainment arenas to sell naming rights to companies and arts organizations will often tag the name of a big donor onto a new venue. So when MEMI teased the announcement of the new name for its forthcoming music venue on the riverfront, some braced for the possibility that it might be called the Carl Lindner III Music Pavilion or the LaRosa’s Pizzatorium (don’t laugh — you’ve heard of Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center, right?). But the venue’s new name turned out to be quite touching and sincere — with seemingly no strings attached. Christened the Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center, the 4,500-person capacity venue is named for a longtime Cincinnati music educator and musician. A 1938 University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music graduate, Brady was the music director at Western Hills High School and a Jazz musician who worked with various youth programs over the years. The ICON (as it will inevitably be known colloquially) is set to open before the end of 2020. Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center, 25 Race St., Downtown, iconmusiccenter.com.