The Kick Ass Awards was begun in January of 2004, in Austin, TX, and was founded by writer Spike Gillespie. It was adapted for St. Louis that fall by Thomas Crone and Stefene Russell. Over the next few years, KAA winning alumnae Andrea Avery, Brandyn Jones and Ann Haubrich have joined the core group of organizers for the event, which is held in interesting St. Louis venues every fall/early winter. Between 2005-08, the effort was part of the late culture and literature magazine 52nd City.
While it’s not an official not-for-profit entity, it is a completely grassroots, self-funded effort. All winners are determined by an ad hoc series of discussions during the latter portion of each year, with winners determined as individuals, businesses, organizations and projects that contribute to the health and vitality of the St. Louis region, especially the City of St. Louis. We have also aimed to recognize those who’ve gone without public notice for their work; in some cases, we’ve identified those who’ve gone on to much-greater, continued acclaim in the area, at early stage in their existence or residence in St. Louis. Each year, at least one Mystery Award is given out to a member of the audience, selected that night, from the audience members present.
The Kick Ass Awards are handed out each fall at a free, open-to-the-public event. The winners of our previous events are listed on the site, with a brief note given for why they were principally chosen that year, realizing that many of them have gone on to all types of different projects since.