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BEST ALL-AGES VENUE 

Art Closet Studios

Critics' Choice

Launched last summer in a back room of Open Fire Pizza in midtown, Art Closet Studios was designed to be a free art-workshop space for underprivileged kids. But its founders, artists Dakota Walz and Mike Moreno, soon found that booking all-ages rock shows and charging a few bucks at the door could help pay for those workshops. So now, in addition to its nonprofit endeavors, Art Closet has become a great place for teenagers to play their first gigs and get exposure to local or, in the case of July's Emo Fest, national acts. Grander plans are in the works, including a community garden. Those pizzas out front need fresh toppings, after all.

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