illustrations by kathryn rathke

Hello, again. This is the eighth year The Stranger has pointed a confetti cannon filled with cash—$25,000—at artists who never asked for it. When you win a Genius Award (which consists of a sheet cake from QFC, a check for $5,000, a profile in this here issue, and a party in your honor), it's because the critics who've been writing about art and literature and film and music and theater all year long in these pages have been knocked out of their shoes by the work you're making. There is no application process—who has time for paperwork?—and there are no strings attached to the money. This year's winners are profiled on the pages that follow, this year's shortlists (artists we have our eye on and you should have your eye on) are on the pages after that, and there's a big fat party for everyone—including you!—on Friday, September 17, at the Moore Theatre. Doors open to the public at 9:00 p.m. and Shabazz Palaces go on at 10:00 p.m. You don't want to miss that.

To buy tickets to the show ($8), to read about past Genius Award winners, or to make a tax-deductible donation to the Genius Awards that will allow us to keep doing this and make us want to make out with you, visit