Barbara Earl Thomas
Rob Rhee
Mario Lemafa


Noelani Pantastico
Emily Chisholm


Lindy West
Robert Lashley
Wave Books


Mel Eslyn
Tracy Rector
Sandy Cioffi


Erik Blood
Silas Blak
Hardly Art Records

What Are the Genius Awards?

The Stranger believes the mainstream media does a terrible job of talking about good art and what makes it good. The Genius Awards are our way of doing something about that—shining the light of media attention on the artists who are doing revolutionary things in their studios, and giving them the money they need to keep doing it.

The Genius Awards, The Stranger's non-profit granting program, delivers $25,000 of cash support each year to local talented artists in the disciplines of music, art, performance, literature, and film. There is no application process for this honor. Critics at The Stranger choose nominees; past Stranger Genius Award winners, along with Stranger critics, vote in a blind ballot to select receipients. Five recipients leave the Genius Awards party with $5,000 each, no strings attached. The night also includes a dance party hosted by Seattle Rock Orchestra, in honor of all the nominees. Donations to the Genius Foundation are paid out in the form of grants to artists and free public access to the awards show. Proceeds from the sale of a special vintage of Sparkman Cellars wine, called Genius Juice, fund future awards.

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