Best of Arlington 2022: Best of the Rest

Collective Donnaparry

Collective onstage at The Hamilton in D.C. Photo by Donna Parry.

Reader Pick
Local Band


Covid was a game-changer for this seven-member cover band—but not in the way you might think. Together since 2017 and rocking out to radio favorites from the ’80s to today, Collective (previously known as Collective A’Chord until January 2021) had several shows lined up when the shutdown brought live music to a screeching halt. Fighting cabin fever and itching to play after a few months, they started rehearsing in lead vocalist Sasha Benning’s driveway in Arlington’s Dover Crystal neighborhood. Soon, neighbors were planning outdoor happy hours around it. “It turned out to be a serious turning point for us in terms of exposure and name recognition and just super gratifying on every level,” Benning says. Crowd favorites in their repertoire include “Uptown Funk,” U2’s “Vertigo” and Hall & Oates’ “Maneater” (which they totally pull off with Jeff Owens on sax). “You can see the eyes light up when that song gets played,” Benning says—especially now that they’re back to playing gigs at local spots like The State Theatre, The Celtic House and The Renegade. “People really dig it.” –Rina Rapuano

Other top vote-getters:

Curtis Knocking, First Road North, Ladywood, Manther, No One You Know


Davidamoroso Josephtran

Painter and printmaker David Amoroso in his Arlington studio. (Photo by Joseph D. Tran.)

Editor Pick
Pop Artist

David Amoroso

They were the icons of David Amoroso’s youth, growing up in Falls Church on a steady diet of ’70s sitcoms and Billboard hits—Elvis, Dolly Parton, Blondie, Pam Grier, Mister Rogers, The Jeffersons. A commercial photographer early on, Amoroso took up painting in the late ’90s after a trip to Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador left him enamored with Latin culture, its floral motifs and saturated colors. Today, he works out of an Arlington studio off Columbia Pike, where his life-affirming portfolio pays tribute to retro TV and movie stars, luchadors, immigrants, day laborers, Frida Kahlo, John Waters, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Mexican cultural iconography. It’s a feast for the eyes, and a nostalgia trip for anyone who came of age before smartphones.
–Jenny Sullivan


Thestatetheatre Joshbrickgraphics

The State Theatre in Falls Church. (Photo by Josh Brick Graphics.)

Reader Pick
Live Music

The State Theatre

The live music scene was looking pretty bleak in the summer of 2020, but this Falls Church concert venue housed in a circa-1935 Art Deco movie theater found a way to make the proverbial lemonade. Realizing they had a huge, empty parking lot at their disposal, the staff called a few bands, put out some tables and chairs, and an outdoor concert program was born. “All of our shows were free, so we were picking up people who were walking by or just trying to get out of the house,” says Meredith Johnstone, State’s COO and primary talent buyer. “Everybody was just getting so into it. We went straight through the winter, through the bitter cold, and all the way through until now.” Known for regularly hosting the popular ’80s tribute band The Legwarmers and iconic blues acts like Buddy Guy (plus a host of other artists and genres), State is now planning to continue staging outdoor gigs indefinitely, weather permitting. “The feedback in the past year has been so invigorating and heartwarming,” Johnstone says. “We plan to…make it a regular part of State.” –Rina Rapuano

Other top vote-getters:

The Birchmere, Clare & Don’s Beach Shack, The Renegade


Rent At Sig Theatre

RENT at Signature Theatre. (Courtesy photo)

Reader Pick
Live Theater

Signature Theatre

Other top vote-getters:

Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse, Creative Cauldron, Synetic Theater


Donbeyer Official

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer. (Website photo)

Reader Pick
Elected Official

Don Beyer

Other top vote-getters:

Katie Cristol, Paul Ferguson, Patrick Hope, Rip Sullivan

Sara Franklin

Wedding planner Sara Franklin, Social Scene Events. (Courtesy photo)

Reader Pick
Wedding/Event Planner

Social Scene Events

Other top vote-getter:

Rescue Event Planning


Giorgio Trovato Brl69unxr7g Unsplash

(Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash)

Reader Pick
Community Bank

Arlington Community Federal Credit Union 

Other top vote-getters:

Burke & Herbert Bank, Chain Bridge Bank, EagleBank, John Marshall Bank, National Capital Bank, United Bank



(Adobe Stock photo)

Reader Pick
Family Law Practice

Arlington Collaborative Law 

Other top vote-getters:

Bean, Kinney & Korman, Geller Law Group, Kelly Byrnes & Danker, Mullett Dove & Bradley Family Law, Reese Law, Schmergel & Mersberger


Cyton Photography Unsplash

(Photo by @Cytonn Photography on Unsplash)

Reader Pick

Little Falls Mediation

Other top vote-getter:

Arlington Collaborative Law


Carwash Andre Tan Crop

Photo by Andre Tan.

Reader Pick
Car Wash

Mr Wash Car Wash

Other top vote-getters:

David’s Car Wash
Embassy Autowash