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Lil Nas X
By The Skanner News
Published: 19 November 2019

obamas portraitsFormer President Barack Obama, left, speaks at the unveiling ceremony for the Obama's official portraits at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Washington. Obama's portrait was painted by Artist Kehinde Wiley, and Michelle Obama's portrait was painted by 2019 American Ingenuity Award recipient Amy Sherald. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)Washington, D.C. – Nov. 19, 2019 – Smithsonian magazine, the flagship publication of the Smithsonian Institution, today announced the honorees of the eighth annual American Ingenuity Awards. The awards honor individuals who are transforming American culture. This year’s awards honor individuals across seven wide-ranging categories: Youth, Visual Arts, Social Progress, Technology, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Performing Arts. 

The winners will be featured in Smithsonian magazine’s special December American Ingenuity Awards issue, available now at Smithsonianmag.com/ingenuity and on newsstands Nov. 26. 

The full list of 2019 American Ingenuity Awards honorees includes: 

  • Lil Nas X, rapper-singer-songwriter who rose to stardom with his genre-bending, record-breaking single “Old Town Road,” honored for Youth.
  • Amy Sherald, painter known for her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama, whose work seeks to fit African Americans into the canon of American portraiture, honored for Visual Arts.
  • José Andrés, restaurateur and founder of World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit that is revolutionizing the way emergency food aid is delivered, honored for Social Progress.
  • Alex Kipman, Brazilian-born inventor and visionary behind many of Microsoft’s most pioneering products, including the “mixed-reality” headset known as HoloLens, honored for Technology.
  • Ewelina Mamcarz, Stephen Gottschalk and Brian Sorrentino (posthumously), the team of doctors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who developed a cure for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency—a genetic disorder colloquially known as “bubble boy” disease, honored for Life Sciences.
  • Sheperd Doeleman and the Event Horizon Telescope Team, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Harvard University, who led a team of more than 200 researchers in the international effort to create the first-ever image of a black hole, honored for Physical Sciences.
  • Heidi Schreck, writer and star of What the Constitution Means to Me, a play that opens an honest debate over the meaning, value and limitations of America’s founding document, honored for Performing Arts.

Past winners have included SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk; Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos; singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe; Grammy-winning musician John Legend; writer and actor John Krasinski; former United States Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith; novelist Dave Eggers; Apple designer Jony Ive; Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda; the Parkland survivors who created the March for Our Lives and many more.

“Our American Ingenuity Awards honor those individuals who are spearheading revolutionary change in society," said Maria Keehan, creative director of Smithsonian magazine. “We are celebrating visionaries across a multitude of platforms, from those aiding disaster victims worldwide to those developing a life-saving gene therapy or redefining what it means to mix genres in music.

"We are proud to honor this year's class, all of whom are at the top of their respective fields.”

Smithsonian Media is composed of its flagship publication, Smithsonian magazine, Air & Space magazine and Smithsonianmag.com. In addition, Smithsonian Media oversees the licensing relationship with CBS/Showtime for the Smithsonian Channel. Smithsonian Media is a division of Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-generating business unit of the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. Approximately 29 million people from around the world visit the museums annually. Visit smithsonian.com and si.edu.

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