2019 Ingenuity Award Nominations

Group photo of winners of 2018 Ingenuity awards

The 2018 American Ingenuity Award winners included actor, comedian, playwright and producer John Leguizamo, musician and actor Janelle Monae, director, writer and actor John Krasinski and the Parkland survivors who created March for Our Lives. (Photo by Daniel Swartz)

This year, we will once again honor some of our nation’s best and brightest at the eighth annual Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards.

Last year, with your help, we celebrated individuals in nine categories who embodied creativity and innovation. The winners received their awards at a December ceremony at the Kogod Courtyard, and their profiles appeared in the December issue of Smithsonian magazine.

It was truly an inspiring night: NASA’s Scott Bolton described the Juno mission to Jupiter; a local choir performed a song composed by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students for their classmates; John Leguizamo did an excerpt of his show Latin History for Morons; and for a stunning finale to the evening, Stevie Wonder presented the Performing Arts award to Janelle Monae, after which she invited him to join her onstage for a wild performance.

You can find a good account of last year’s event here:


Now, we need your help to find this year’s winners. I encourage each of you to take a few minutes to nominate someone you feel is doing inspiring, cutting-edge work. This is a great opportunity to illustrate some of the most exciting developments in your field of expertise and beyond. (Please note: even though the Smithsonian is full of creative and innovative people who are deserving of any one of these awards, employees and others associated with the Institution are not eligible.)

Nominees should be:

  • Innovative—Their achievement should be something dramatic, different, and paradigm-shifting;
  • Influential—Their work should have a significant impact; and
  • Recent—Their major accomplishment should have been finished or reached a major milestone in the past six months to a year.

You can nominate candidates in one or more of the following categories:

  • Technology
  • Physical Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Visual Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • History
  • Education
  • Social Progress
  • Youth Achievement

Please send your nominations to AmericanIngenuity@si.edu and include “2019 Nomination,” along with the appropriate category, in the subject line of the email. Please include a few sentences on why you think this individual’s recent work is groundbreaking or significant.

All nominations should be received by March 8.

If you’d like to see past winners and presenters, go to: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/ingenuity/ceremonies/

Thank you for your participation! Your nominations help ensure that we will honor another group of amazing people at the 2019 American Ingenuity Awards.

Posted: 21 February 2019
About the Author:

David J. Skorton is the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian. A board-certified cardiologist whose specialty is congenital heart disease and cardiac imaging, Skorton is also an avid jazz musician and a passionate supporter of the arts and humanities.

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