#MacArthur Foundation 21 Newest Fellows 2020: #Scientists, #Artists, #Dancers, #Musicians, #Writers, #Activists, More
“The MacArthur Fellowship is a $625,000, no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential….Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers.”
There are three criteria for selection of Fellows:
- Exceptional creativity
- Promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments
- Potential for the Fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.
Meet the newest crop of very fortunate creative sorts, this year’s MacArthur Fellows, who will each receive $125,000/year for 5 years to do WHATEVER THEY WANT!
For bios, specific info on each Fellow, and more about the Program and the Foundation, check out their website: https://www.macfound.org/programs/fellows/
Imagine: There are no outside or public applications or nominations. The process for selection is so secretive and unknown that very few people (no one outside the Foundation, supposedly) even knows who the nominating and selection committees’ members ARE each year!
“Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a lifetime achievement award, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.
“The Foundation does not require or expect specific products or reports from MacArthur Fellows and does not evaluate recipients’ creativity during the term of the fellowship. The MacArthur Fellowship is a “no strings attached” award in support of people, not projects. Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $625,000 to the recipient, paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years.”
In the Foundation’s favor, this year—for the third time since I’ve been tracking it, which is many years—the female-appearing Fellows outnumber the male-appearing Fellows: 9 seeming males, 12 seeming females. The Fellows process has been great on “diversity” and varying geographic locations (but still too many are from the coasts) for quite a while. You can check out the stats on their site any time.
Again, LOVE this!
My fave recipient this year: speculative fiction author/social activist, N.K. Jemisin, who “received a BS (1994) from Tulane University and a MEd (1997) from the University of Maryland….The City We Became (2020) is the first in what will become her Great Cities series….Her additional books include The Inheritance Trilogy (2010–2011) and The Dreamblood Duology (2012), the story collection, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month (2018), and the comic book series Far Sector (2019–2021) for DC Comics. Pushing against the conventions of epic fantasy and science fiction genres while exploring deeply human questions about structural racism, environmental crises, and familial relationships.” Love her work!
Also glad to see author and changemaker, Jacqueline Woodson, as a recipient this year. “She is a frequent lecturer at universities across the country and was a member of the founding faculty of Vermont College’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She served as the Library of Congress’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature from 2018 to 2019…..Redefining children’s and young adult literature to encompass more complex issues and reflect the lives of Black children, teenagers, and families….[She is] a writer redefining children’s and young adult literature in works that reflect the complexity and diversity of the world we live in while stretching young readers’ intellectual abilities and capacity for empathy. In nearly thirty publications that span picture books, young adult novels, and poetry, Woodson crafts stories about Black children, teenagers, and families that evoke the hopefulness and power of human connection even as they tackle difficult issues such as the history of slavery and segregation, incarceration, interracial relationships, social class, gender, and sexual identity.” Very cool!
You can view ALL recipients of this Genius Grant (all Fellows): https://www.macfound.org/fellows/search/all