Not to brag, but the Genius Awards is obviously the most important, most enjoyable, and most sensual arts event of the season. The Moore Theatre is gorgeous, the Seattle Rock Orchestra sounded amazing, and the live performances by OCnotes, Chastity Belt, Roberto Ascalon, and Cherdonna were transcendent. Hey, look, we can have nice things!

Everyone knows what artists want, but it simply isn't feasible for everyone to get sexual favors all day long every day. So we give them attention and money instead. Artists need recognition, artists need an audience, and artists need money to keep making art.

The following five artists each won $5,000 at the Stranger Genius Awards on September 12. As was the case with Pinocchio before he started seriously fucking up, this money has no strings to hold it down. The winners can use it to make new work, to pay off old parking tickets, to throw a party, to put their kids through (approximately 1.3 weeks of) college, to rent an apartment on Capitol Hill (for a few hours), or to buy plane tickets to places the government doesn't want them to go—which is what Mary Ann Peters says she's going to do.

Congratulations to the 2015 Stranger Genius Award winners!

Art: Mary Ann Peters

Literature: Yussef El Guindi

Film: Scarecrow Project

Performance: Cherdonna

Music: Steve Fisk

Support The Stranger

Thank you to our sponsors, including Billy O'Neill, whose Genius Juice program literally turns wine into art. Thanks also to award sponsors Microsoft Research Group, the Space Needle, Amazon Literary Partnerships, Alaska Airlines VISA Signature Card, CTI BioPharma, and Clutch Cannabis.

By the way, the Frye Art Museum (itself a Genius Award winner) is presenting a retrospective of more than 60 artists who've won Stranger Genius Awards since 2003. It's called Genius / 21 Century / Seattle, it runs September 26 to January 10, and the five 2015 winners have just been added to the show. Admission to the Frye is always free. recommended