Although the Goldies have been around for 23 years, the question arises with annual predictability: Goldies? What are the Goldies? The name is shorthand for the Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery awards — and it represents the Guardian’s annual celebration of local musicians, filmmakers, dancers, choreographers, and theater and visual artists (plus, this year, a film programmer and a poet) who have affixed their unique stamps on the Bay Area’s diverse, ever-changing arts scene.
Goldies winners produce work that stands out for being exciting, provocative, influential, inspiring, and even awe-inspiring. In 2011, with depressing financial news crowding the headlines and mind-numbing product churning from the mainstream entertainment maw, it is particularly crucial to honor and encourage those who’ve stayed true to their creative pursuits — be they makers of crush-worthy bubblegum punk rock, outrageously hilarious performance art, nimble and athletic dance routines, or symbolically-charged high heels carved from ice.
The 2011 Goldie winners were selected by a group of Guardian editors and contributors, including Emily Savage, Robert Avila, Garrett Caples, Rita Felciano, Nicole Gluckstern, Max Goldberg, and Matt Sussman. Thanks to all who participated, and thanks to you for reading the Guardian and supporting Bay Area arts. Most importantly, thanks to all Goldies winners past and present. They are people who, as writer Caples remarks of 2011 Lifetime Achievement winner David Meltzer, “make San Francisco great.” (Cheryl Eddy)