Nominees are notified via cake. This year, the artists got four Cupcake Royale cupcakes this year that spell out you are a genius. Fourteen nominees have gotten their cakes, the fifteenth gets her cake tonight, and well announce the list in the morning.
Nominees are notified via cake. This year, nominees each got four Cupcake Royale cupcakes. Courtesy Cupcake Royale

For the last two weeks, we've been delivering cakes to people—twelve individual artists and three groups we are nominating for 2016 Stranger Genius Awards.

Nominees are selected by the arts critics at The Stranger, who spend the year looking at, writing about, and arguing about local art. We select three nominees in each of these five categories: visual art, literature, performance, film, and music. The 2016 nominees will be announced here on Slog at 10 am tomorrow.

All the nominees will be celebrated at the Stranger Genius Awards show at the Moore Theatre on September 24, where Seattle Rock Orchestra will perform and the final winners will be announced. The party is a city-wide celebration of all the artists nominated—and a celebration of the arts generally, the only party I know of where art fans across genres get dressed up to drink and dance together. A Genius nomination in itself is an accomplishment, recognizing the most influential artists in Seattle's thriving arts scene.

Winners in each category are selected by secret ballot, voted on by past Genius Award winners and Stranger critics shortly before the ceremony, and announced live from the stage of the Moore. Recipients get $5,000 cash, no strings attached, thanks to our generous sponsors. To see everyone who's ever won a Stranger Genius Award, click here.

Support The Stranger

Most media companies do a bad job of explaining why artists are important and why good art matters. The Genius Awards are The Stranger's way of doing something about that. This is The Stranger's 14th year of giving out money and attention to the artists who make Seattle an extraordinary city to live in.

We could not do this without our awesome sponsors. Thank you to Clutch Cannabis, Cupcake Royale, Case Van Rij, Amazon Literary Partnership, Billy O’Neill, and the Goodship Company among others, for making the 2016 Stranger Genius Awards possible.

And come back here tomorrow morning for photos of all 15 nominees getting their cakes!