Finalists for the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s 2012 AltWeekly Awards were released today, and Washington City Paper scored four nominations. Highlights:

Theater critic Chris Klimek won Arts Criticism nominations for a trio of reviews: A Kennedy Center performance of Anton Chekhov‘s Uncle Vanya, Arena Stage’s performance of Amy Freed‘s You, Nero, and a double-barreled July review of Studio Theatre’s Venus in Fur and American Ensemble Theatre’s Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them.

Staff writer Lydia DePillis was nominated in the Best Individual Blog category for her Housing Complex blog, which covers D.C. real estate, architecture, and retail and development.

Former staff writer Jason Cherkis was nominated in the Investigative Reporting category for a pair of lengthy examinations of kids in the District’s dysfunctional child-welfare system: Outsourcing Troubled Kids, which looked at the city government’s tendency to farm out troubled kids to distant residential treatment facilities instead of offering them services closer to home, and Is D.C. Neglecting Neglect?, which examined one particular facility that kept getting taxpayer-funded business despite some troubling allegations. Cherkis’ nomination also features a lengthy list of related smaller reports, including a truly horrific video he dug up that shows a D.C. ward’s arm being broken at the Minnesota facility that the city government had entrusted with his care.

City Paper‘s staff also scored a nomination for its year-end Annotated Guide to 2011 in the Innovation/Format Buster category. If the piece wins, it will mark the third consecutive year the paper has won in that category.