American Ingenuity Awards

Portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively

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The National Portrait Gallery's Obama Portraits Will Embark on a Five-City Tour

Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald's paintings of Barack and Michelle Obama are set to visit Chicago, Brooklyn, L.A., Atlanta and Houston

"It was hot, sweaty, exhausting work. But it was also life-changing and inspiring, channeling our love to do something as simple as this: to feed the people," chef José Andrés writes in We Fed an Island, recounting his nonprofit's effort to feed Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria.

American Ingenuity Awards

José Andrés' Generous Helping of Humanity

Braving storms, floods and earthquakes, the renowned chef is forging a new way to feed the needy

Left to right, top to bottom: Sheperd Doeleman, Michael Johnson, Sandra Bustamante, Jonathan Weintroub, James Moran, Aleks Popstefanija, Daniel Palumbo; Feryal Ozel, Joseph Farah, Neil Erickson, Peter Galison, Katie Bouman, Dominic Pesce, Garrett K. Keating; Nimesh Patel, Alexander Raymond, Kazinori Akiyama, Vernon Fath, Mark Gurwell, Gopal Narayanan, Peter Schloerb

American Ingenuity Awards

Meet the Global Team That Captured the First Image of a Black Hole

Never before had scientists seen the phenomenon until they rallied colleagues around the world to view a galaxy far, far away

Artist Amy Sherald, photographed at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in New York City.

American Ingenuity Awards

How Amy Sherald's Revelatory Portraits Challenge Expectations

The artist who garnered fame at the Smithsonian and then painted the official portrait of Michelle Obama brings her unique style to ordinary people

American Ingenuity Awards

Inventor Alex Kipman's Grand Vision for How Holograms Will Change Our Lives

The designer behind Microsoft's HoloLens 2 predicts a future driven by augmented reality

American Ingenuity Awards

How Lil Nas X and 'Old Town Road' Defy Categorization

The self-taught 20-year-old musician galloped to global fame with his chart-topping song that fuses country and hip-hop together

Heidi Schreck encourages a wider view of American justice in her surprising drama What the Constitution Means to Me.

American Ingenuity Awards

Heidi Schreck's Riveting Play Deconstructs the U.S. Constitution

Her surprising drama about the founding document encourages a wider view of American justice

Ewelina Mamcarz and Stephen Gottschalk developed a treatment for babies born without an immune system.

American Ingenuity Awards

These Scientists May Have Found a Cure for 'Bubble Boy' Disease

A newly developed gene therapy is saving young people afflicted by the rare but deadly diagnosis

To Krasinski’s relief, the audience at his film’s premiere “stood up and made the craziest noise” when the screening was over.

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

How John Krasinski Created 'A Quiet Place'

The actor turned director creates a genre-busting horror movie with a terrifying twist—silence

March for Our Lives student activists. Top row: David Hogg, Jammal Lemy, Samantha Deitsch, Bradley Thornton, Daniel Williams, Jaclyn Corin; Middle row: Kyrah Simon, Sofie Whitney, Ryan Deitsch, Delaney Tarr, Diego Pfeiffer, Emma González, Brendan Duff; Bottom row: Matt Deitsch, Kirsten McConnell, Kaylyn Pipitone, Cameron Kasky, Chris Grady, Dylan Baierlein

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

The March for Our Lives Activists Showed Us How to Find Meaning in Tragedy

After the massacre at a Florida high school, these brave students provided a way forward

Scott Bolton says he first dreamed of traveling through the galaxy when  he was a boy camping out under the stars.

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

Meet Scott Bolton, the Visionary Behind the NASA Mission to Jupiter

The Juno project will take on the mysteries of the gas giant that may in turn help us understand our own planet’s origins

John Krafcik (left) and Dmitri Dolgov

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

Why Waymo's Fleet of Self-Driving Cars Is Finally Ready for Prime Time

Your driverless car is already here, thanks to the visionary engineers behind a bold experiment

“I didn’t sleep at all,” says Albert Maguire, recalling the night after he and Jean Bennett treated their first gene therapy patient. The operation was a success.

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

A New Treatment for Blindness Comes From Gene Therapy

A wife-and-husband research team cracks the code to allow certain patients to see again

The co-founders of the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Mily Treviño-Sauceda and Mónica Ramírez (foreground), stand with members of Líderes Campesinas on a farm in Oxnard, California.

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

The Time's Up Initiative Built Upon the Work Done by These Labor Activists

How the leaders of a farmworkers' alliance reached across cultural divides to fight sexual harassment

Janelle Monáe at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on her summer Dirty Computer tour

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

What Makes Janelle Monáe America's Most Revolutionary Artist

The musical virtuoso leaves her old persona behind with her third album, <em>Dirty Computer</em>

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

Tracy K. Smith, America's Poet Laureate, Travels the Country to Ignite Our Imaginations

Like Johnny Appleseed, Smith has been planting the seeds of verse across the U.S.

In his 90-minute performance, Leguizamo hurtles through 50 characters—from an Incan emperor to a female Confederate soldier.

2018 Smithsonian Ingenuity Awards

Why John Leguizamo Is So Invested in Telling the Country About Latino History

His uproariously inventive one-man show, soon to be shown on Netflix, puts the story of a neglected culture center stage

Discussion of our December Issue

Feedback from our readers

Aziz Ansari

American Ingenuity Awards

An Update on Past Ingenuity Award Winners

Where are they now?

Marley Dias

American Ingenuity Awards

Marley Dias' Inspirational Goal to Collect Books About Girls of Color

What can we learn from a 12-year-old who’s turning the literary world upside down? Everything

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