The Genius Awards celebrate and highlight local artists in 5 different disciplines: visual art, performance, film, music and literature. The Genius Awards function to support local art in a meaningful way. Grants of $5,000 are awarded to these artists to support their livelihoods and allow them to create and nurture their work. Artists are free to use these funds to buy materials, fund a specific project or to help obtain basic necessities that many working artists often go without, like health insurance. The Stranger builds a special issue around the grant recipients, and produces a showcase event for grant recipients' works that is open to the public. This issue and event are met with great enthusiasm and appreciation from the local arts community. Award recipients garner increased attention and esteem as leaders in the arts community.