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Published on November 19th, 2019 | by Jerry Doby

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Lil Nas X Honored With 2019 Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Award

Smithsonian magazine announced that Lil Nas X, the rapper-singer-songwriter who rose to stardom with his genre-bending, record-breaking single “Old Town Road,” is the winner of the American Ingenuity Award for Youth.

The awards, which celebrate those individuals who are spearheading revolutionary change in society, honor individuals across seven wide-ranging categories: Youth, Visual Arts, Social Progress, Technology, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Performing Arts.

Additional honorees include the painter known for her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama, Amy Sherald; restaurateur and founder of World Central Kitchen, José Andrés; inventor and visionary behind many of Microsoft’s most pioneering products, Alex Kipman; the team of doctors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who developed a cure for “bubble boy” disease, Ewelina Mamcarz, Stephen Gottschalk and Brian Sorrentino (posthumously); Sheperd Doeleman and the Event Horizon Telescope Team, who led more than 200 researchers in the international effort to create the first-ever image of a black hole; and writer and star of the play What the Constitution Means to Me, Heidi Schreck.

Here’s the official line on the awards and list of honorees

Smithsonian magazine, the flagship publication of the Smithsonian Institution, today announced the honorees of the eighth annual American Ingenuity Awards. 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 is 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.”

 

About Smithsonian Media

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.



About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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