If youre in this taco line somewhere, youre probably a really good artist.
If you weren't in this taco line, you probably weren't nominated for a Stranger Genius Award this year.

It was raining last Wednesday, but the rooftop of Mezcaleria Oaxaca has shelter and heaters, and the Sparkle Donkey tequila and Hilliard's tallboys were flowing. The 15 nominees for a Stranger Genius Award were all told a few weeks ago that they'd been nominated by Stranger critics for $5,000 prizes, but none of them knew who else was nominated. Until this party.

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Genius Award nominees are notified via cake. By tradition, it's a shitty QFC sheet cake that says "You're a fucking genius!" This year, we gave the nominees their cakes over tacos. In the rain. That's a first. Good thing those rooftop heaters work.

Cake and tacos: two great tastes that have never been tasted together. This is Maria Semples cake. She immediately opened it and started sharing it around.
Cake and tacos, two great tastes that had never been tasted together. This is Maria Semple's cake. She immediately opened the bakery box and shared it around. Kelly O

The arts staff at The Stranger is busily photographing and writing about each of these artists for our summer issue of Seattle Art and Performance, but that doesn't come out until June 10. I got permission to spill the beans sooner than that.

You heard it here first: Here are all the nominees for 2015 Stranger Genius Awards!!

In Music: OC Notes
OC Notes, a nominee in music.

Music: Chastity Belt
The rock band Chastity Belt, also nominated in music.

Music: Steve Fisk
Steve Fisk, center, nominated in music, with 2012 Stranger Genius Award winner Lori Goldston, right.

Dawn Cerny, 2015 nominee in art, talking with Victoria Haven, 2004 Genius Award winner, and Sarah Bergmann, 2012 Genius Award winner.
Dawn Cerny, 2015 nominee in art, on the left, talking with Victoria Haven, 2004 Genius Award winner, and Sarah Bergmann, 2012 Genius Award winner.

In Visual Art: Klara Glosova
Klara Glosova, nominee in art.

Visual Art: Mary Ann Peters
Mary Ann Peters, nominee in art.

Performance: Cherdonna
Cherdonna, aka dancer Jody Kuehner, a nominee in performance.

Performance: Charles Leggett
Charles Leggett, an actor nominated in performance.

In Performance: Matthew Smucker
Matthew Smucker, a scenic designer nominated in performance.

Literature nominee (and generous cake sharer) Maria Semple with fellow literature nominee Ann Pancake.
Maria Semple, nominated in literature, standing with Ann Pancake, also nominated in literature.

Yussef El Guindi (who was in Los Angeles during the announcement party)
Yussef El Guindi, a playwright nominated in literature (who was in LA during the party).

In Film: Clyde Peterson (better photo here!)
Clyde Petersen, a nominee in film (better photo here!).

Film: Scarecrow Video
Scarecrow Video/Scarecrow Project, a film nominee.

Film: Mel Eslyn
Mel Eslyn, the first film producer ever nominated for a Stranger Genius Award.

These two arent nominees, theyre past winners just chilling. Thats C. Davida Ingram on the left and Jen Zeyl on the right.
Past Genius Award winners just chilling. That's artist C. Davida Ingram on the left and scenic designer Jen Zeyl on the right.

Thank you, rainy day rooftop party sponsors Mezcaleria Oaxaca, Sparkle Donkey, and Hilliards. Thanks also to sponsors Clutch Cannabis, Frye Art Museum, and the Cloud Room.
Thank you to rooftop party sponsors Mezcaleria Oaxaca, Sparkle Donkey, and Hilliard's. Thanks also to sponsors Clutch Cannabis, Frye Art Museum, and the Cloud Room.

Support The Stranger

The Genius Awards are September 12 at the Moore Theatre, and with live symphonic accompaniment by the Seattle Rock Orchestra.
The Genius Awards party is September 12 at the Moore Theatre, with live symphonic accompaniment by the Seattle Rock Orchestra.

Hey look, its Cherdonna at a taco party squeezing a Tacocat!
Hey look, it's Cherdonna at a taco party squeezing a Tacocat!

All photos by Kelly O, more here on Flickr.