Every year since 2003, The Stranger has selected a handful of exceptional local artists and given them all a wad of money, just for being excellent. We call it the Stranger Genius Awards (get it, like the MacArthur “genius grant”?), and this year’s nominees are as good as they get: Literature: Ann Pancake, Yussef El Guindi, Maria Semple; Visual Art: Dawn Cerny, Klara Glosova, Mary Ann Peters; Performance: Matthew Smucker, Cherdonna, Charles Leggett; Music: OCnotes, Chastity Belt, Steve Fisk; Film: Mel Eslyn, the Scarecrow Project, Clyde Petersen.

One artist from each category gets $5,000, and the others get the thanks of a grateful nation. YOU get a great show, live music by OCnotes, Chastity Belt, Steve Fisk, and the Seattle Rock Orchestra, plus special guests, a dance party, a chance to dress fancy, and a (very) full bar.

Not to brag, but the Genius Awards is the arts event of the season. And oh, yeah, one other thing: IT’S FREE!

See you there, genius.

Saturday, September 12, 8:30 p.m., Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Avenue,18+

Tickets available at

More information, including a dossier with work by all the nominees: