Copper Black FAQ

What is considered to be a “creative achievement”?

A novel idea that has proven to be of practical value to others, such as a solution to a particular problem.

Are artistic works such as paintings, music, choreography, or fiction eligible?


How recently must the creative idea have occurred?

The significant question should be, “How recently must the creative idea have been implemented?” Only innovations that have actually been implemented, in whole or in part, will be considered. The first award was given at the 2000 Annual Gathering. For that award, the committee considered novel ideas that had been implemented since July 1995.

How significant must the achievement be?

The Copper Black Award Committee will have to decide that by comparing the achievements submitted each year. In some years, all achievements nominated may be of only local importance. In other years, the committee may have to decide among innovations of national or global significance.

How much is the award?

The award includes $500 and a plaque and medal. These will usually be awarded at the Annual Gathering.

Who decides who gets the award?

The Award Committee will rank all of the applications received by the deadline each year and select the most outstanding.

How does one apply for this award?

The applicant must be a member in good standing of American Mensa, in the year the award is given. Self-nominations are encouraged, but any member of American Mensa, or a Local Group speaking through its LocSec, may nominate someone. Apply online, or you can write to:

Copper Black Award Committee
Mensa Foundation
1315 Brookside Dr
Hurst, TX 76053

The request for an application need not describe the achievement; a postcard will suffice.

Is there a special time to apply?

Requests for application forms may be submitted at any time, and completed forms may be submitted at any time. However, the cutoff date for any award to be given that year is March 1.

Is any member of American Mensa eligible?

Not everyone. The award cannot be given to current members of the American Mensa Committee, Trustees of the Foundation or members of the Copper Black Award Committee. However, any of these may nominate another Mensan for the award.

Where does the award money come from?

Copper Black was a Mensan who valued creativity. In her will she left a legacy of a special award for creative achievement, in the amount of $500, for an outstanding achievement by a member of American Mensa.

If an achievement doesn’t win one year, may it be submitted again?

Yes, but only if important new information about its implementation is submitted.