For the 10th anniversary of the Genius Awards, we're doing something new, something different, something we've always wanted to try: 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!

Here's how it will go down. Stranger critics will choose three finalists in each category: art, theater, literature, film, and music. In the June 13 issue of A&P, our art and performance quarterly, we will reveal the 2012 Genius shortlist—the 15 most fascinating artists at work in Seattle right now, each of them deserving of a Genius Award. We will profile them, show you their work, and explain what makes each of them so damn fascinating.

After the city has spent the summer thinking about, talking about, looking at, and listening to the work of the 15 finalists, the League of Geniuses—every Genius Award winner so far—will cast their votes by secret ballot in early September.* 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 this year's five Geniuses will each get a check for $5,000. The no-strings-attached grants are made possible by support from the Snoqualmie Tobacco Company and Liquor Store, Chihuly Garden & Glass, and (and—why not?—you, too!).

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Geniuses choosing geniuses—it's more Genius than ever!™

*Arts organizations with Genius Awards will get only one vote in each category.