2023 Finalist

Best High School Band:
Ricky Wells: KY
James Madison High School: VA
Dobyns Bennett High School: TN

Best High School Choir:
Christian County High School: KY
Franklin County High School: KY
Juliet High School: TN

Best Music Educator:
Route 60: West Virginia
Amy Conley: KY
Clyde and Steve Porter: KY

Best Acting/Drama/Speech Educator:
The school for creative and performing arts: Ohio
Youth Performing Arts Center, KY
The Barter Theatre, VA

Best Dance Educator:
Jody Shepherd, KY
Carla Gover, KY
Morristown School of Dance Arts: TN

Best Art Educator:
Joshua Spencer: KY
The school for creative and performing arts: Ohio
Queen City Clay: Ohio

Written Works
Best Author/Writer:
Amanda Turner, Kentucky
Robyn Chapman, Ohio
Treyton Blackburn, Kentucky
Best Poet:
Crystal Wilkinson: KY
George Ecklund: KY
William S. Tribell, Tennessee

Best Digital/Mixed Media Artist:
Payton Martin: KY
Cheyenne Smith: KY
Chris Burkhardt: KY

Best Graphic Designer:
Jimbo Valentine: WV
Jessalynn Bowman: KY
Frida Gonzalez: KY

Best Painting:
Curtis Eades: KY
Gabe Lewis: NY
Tiffini Scherbing: KY

Best Sculpture/Pottery:
Bob Barinski, SC
Payton Martin, KY
Link Henderson, KY

Best Tattoo Artist:
Michael Wilcox: WV
Carmelo: OH
Laura Saadati Kepper: TN

Best Photography:
Lisa Morrow: Mississippi
Larry Epling: KY
Sarah Cahill: KY

Best Cartoonist/Illustrator:
Chris Burkhardt: KY
Frida Gonzalez: KY
Kayla Freeman: KY

Best Textile:
Eugene Swafford: KY
Tiffany Miller: KY
New Frontier: KY

Best Jewelry Design:
Kathy Stout: WV
Anne Vaughan: VA
Cummings Jewelry Design: AL

Best Social Media Influencer:
Taylor Hughes: Tennessee
Kentucky Music Mafia: Kentucky
Appalachian Forger (Whitney Johnson): KY

Best Original Movie/Short Film/ Documentary:
Greg Austin: The Austin City Saloon Years: Kentucky
Shaped by Fire:  Kentucky
Returns: BY William S Tribell: TN

EP of the Year:
Burn BY No Deceit: KY
Nothing to Lose BY Luke Trimble: KY
The Opening Act BY Jayce Turley: KY

Album of the Year:
Appalachian Dream BY Cody Howard: KY
Let Me Know, BY Corduroy Brown, West Virginia
Branden Martin, Kentucky

Best Radio Personality:
Beer Man with 92.1 WBVX Classic Rock FM: KY
Brittany Rowe with Mountain Top Media: KY
Dennis DillonWith WBVX Classic Rock 92.1 FM: KY

Best Podcast:
Austin Shuck: KY
Bryan Combs: KY
Steel Magnolias Podcast: TN

Best Small Live Music Venue (500 seats or fewer):
Twisted Cork: KY
Bluegrass Barrel House: KY
The Alley on Main: KY

Best Large Live Music Venue (501 seats or greater):
Paramount Arts Center: KY
Appalachian Wireless Arena : KY
Riverbend Ohio

Best Luthier:
John Ryster: KY
Panzer Guitars, OH
Eric Schaefer Guitars: PA

Best Recording Studio/Engineer/Producer:
Kyle Manner: TN
6oh6 entertainment, KY
Jonathan Goodwin, KY

Best Music Festival:
Manchester Music Festival, KY
Blue Ridge Rock Festival, VA
Carolina Country Music Fest, SC
Festival of The Red: KY

Best Television Host/Personality:
Chad Hedrick with WKYT: Lexington, KY
Julie Newman with PBS Appalachia: Abbington, VA
Lynda Fontaine with Holsten Valley Broadcasting: Kingsport ,TN

Best Americana:
Mama Said String Band, KY
Nolan Taylor, KY
Trippin Roots, KY

Best Bluegrass:
Coaltown Dixie: Kentucky
The Goodwin Brothers: Kentucky
Bobby Maynard and Family: West Virginia

Best Blues:
TeeDee Young, Kentucky
David Brown Wayward Blues, NC

Best Country:
Cody Lee Meece & The Poor Excuses:  Kentucky
Kentucky Music Mafia: Kentucky
Twitty and Lynn: Tennessee
Eight Daze Sober: KY

Best Funk/R&B/Reggae:
Big Black Cadillac: KY
Joslyn & The Sweet Compression: Kentucky
Jessie Laine Powell: Kentucky

Best Religious/Worship/Spiritual:
Mel Lynn, Kentucky
My Brother’s Keeper: Ohio

Best Hip Hop/Rap:
Lil Jesse: Kentucky
Charlie Brown Superstar: WV
Bryson Tiller: Kentucky

Best Indie/Indie Folk:
Brett And Donnie, Kentucky
Corduroy Brown, West Virginia
Townsel Turner, Kentucky

Best Jazz/Latin/Big Band /World:
Big Sugg and the Jazz FUNckers: Kentucky
Jessie Laine Powell:  Kentucky
Gwen Hughes and the Retro Kats: GA
One Leg Up: NC

Best Metal/Punk:
What Drives the Weak, Kentucky
Mirrored Image, Kentucky

Best Original Song:
My Brother’s Keeper: Ohio
Cody Lee Meece: Kentucky
Brando Vanschoyck: Kentucky

Best Pop:
Wicked Peace, Kentucky
Hailey Newman, Kentucky

Best Rock:
The Moon Dogs: Kentucky
Mel Lynn: Kentucky
Blacktop Rodeo: KY

Best Singer Song-Writer:
Zoe Howard & Yellow Line, Kentucky
Nolan Taylor, Ohio
Brando Vanschoyck, Kentucky

Best Bassist:
Trevor Litteral, KY
Mike Anglin, KY
Oliver Sayani, TN

Best Cover Band/ Variety Act:
Eight Daze Sober: KY
The Allman Butter Band, KY
Nathan and Chesi Arnett: KY

Best Drummer/ Percussionist:
Jeremy “Wood” Roberts: WV
Honey: KY
Jeremy Toler: KY

Best Guitarist:
David Prince: KY
Oliver Sayani: TN
Jonathan Goodwin: KY

Best Strings (Non-guitar/bass):
Titus Luckhaupt: Ohio
Jr. Williams: KY
Corbin Bentley: KY

Best Female Vocalist (Any style):
Bek Smallwood:KY
Taylor Hughes: TN
Hailey Newman: KY

Best Male Vocalist (Any style):
Brando Vanschoych: KY
Nolan Taylor: KY
Cody Lee Meece: KY
Landau Eugene Murphy Jr: WV

Best Wind and Brass
Trent Litteral: KY
Matthew Polashek: KY
Philip Summers: WV