For the 10th anniversary of the Genius Awards, we're doing something new: Everyone who's already won a Genius Award will vote to select this year's winners. You won't just have to take our word for it anymore!

On the following pages, you will find the three finalists in each category: art, theater, literature, film, and music. These finalists have been selected by the critics at A&P and The Stranger, who spend the whole year looking at, listening to, and writing about the city's cultural output. There is no application process, no paperwork—nothing except a bunch of people with strong opinions sitting around arguing about who's making the most fascinating stuff right now. In our collective opinion, all of the artists on the shortlist this year deserve a Genius Award. Here, we explain why.

At the end of the summer, the League of Geniuses—every Genius Award winner so far—will cast their votes for this year's fresh Geniuses by secret ballot. A&P and Stranger critics will vote as well. The winners will be revealed live at the Genius Awards party on September 22 at the Moore Theatre. Runners-up will leave with ridiculously lavish gift packages, and five newly crowned Geniuses will each get a check for $5,000, as well as a giant, disgusting cake. The no-strings-attached grants are made possible this year by support from the Snoqualmie Tobacco Company and Liquor Store, the Space Needle, Sparkman Cellars, STG, and (And—why not?—you, too! To donate, go to recommended