This year's Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards will be held on Wednesday November 29, 2017.

The Smithsonian has been celebrating innovation in American culture for more than 150 years, and following in this tradition, Smithsonian magazine presents the American Ingenuity Awards, honoring revolutionary breakthroughs in the arts and sciences, education and social progress. Winners and presenters have included rock stars, civil rights icons and Nobel laureates—from physicists Stephen Hawking and NASA’s John Mather to Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, from musicians David Byrne and OK Go to Rosanne Cash and Herbie Hancock, from civil rights activists John Lewis and Bryan Stevenson to Erin Brockovich, from movie directors David Lynch and M. Night Shyamalan to comedians Stephen Colbert, Fred Armisen and Aziz Ansari.


The American Ingenuity Award itself was created by the artist Jeff Koons.


Learn about the 2016 winners, including Aziz Ansari, OK Go, David Lynch and Jeff Bezos

Learn about 2015 winners, including Lin Manuel Miranda, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader

Learn about 2014 winners, including Rosanne Cash, Kimberly Bryant and Janet Echelman

Learn about 2013 winners, including Dave Eggers, St. Vincent and Adam Steltzner


Read more stories about innovation and ingenuity at