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Singer-actress Janelle Monae performs a three-song set at the National Portrait Gallery. (Photo: Daniel Swartz)
Smithsonian Magazine
Published: 10 December 2018

Smithsonian magazine’s 2018 American Ingenuity Awards, which took place Dec. 5 at the National Portrait Gallery, celebrated a roster of innovators whose groundbreaking contributions have changed American lives for the better.

The evening ceremony honored nine trailblazers — from singers to scholars to scientists — for their pioneering contributions to American culture.

Recipients included performer Janelle Monáe; actor and director John Krasinski; comedian John Leguizamo; U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith; Parkland, Fla., shooting survivors and March for Our Lives founders; Mónica Ramírez and Mily Treviño-Sauceda, co-founders of the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance and #MeToo activists; Scott Bolton, associate vice president of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio and a principal researcher on the Juno mission to Jupiter; Jean Bennett and Albert Maguire, medical researchers who developed a pioneering gene therapy; and John Krafcik and Dmitri Dolgov, executives at the self-driving technology company Waymo.

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