Tag: MacArthur Foundation

Claudia Rankine, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Kellie Jones and Joyce J. Scott Among 2016 MacArthur “Genius” Grant Recipients

2016 MacArthur Grant Fellows Claudia Rankine (top l); Kellie Jones (top r); Brandon Jeknins (bottom l); Sharon Scott (bottom r) [Photos courtesy macfound.org)
2016 MacArthur Grant Fellows Claudia Rankine (top l); Kellie Jones (top r); Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (bottom l); Joyce J. Scott (bottom r) [Photos courtesy macfound.org)

article by Jennifer Schuessler via nytimes.com

Getting a phone call from an unidentified number in Chicago in late summer is a fantasy many artists, scientists and other creative people have entertained. But that doesn’t mean it seems real when it actually happens.

“I thought I was having a psychotic breakdown,” the playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins said of his reaction to learning several weeks ago that he was among the 23 people selected as 2016 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“I went out on the street, and ran into a friend,” Mr. Jacobs-Jenkins continued. “I had him look at my cellphone, just to confirm that the call had been real.”

This year’s winners of the MacArthur fellowships, awarded for exceptional “originality, insight and potential,” and publicly announced on Thursday, include writers, visual artists, scientists, nonprofit organization leaders and others, who are chosen at a moment when the recognition and money — a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000 distributed over five years — will make a difference.

“We want to give people new wind against their sails,” said Cecilia A. Conrad, a managing director of the foundation and the leader of the fellows program.

The honorees include relatively well-known figures in the arts like the poet Claudia Rankine, 53, whose book “Citizen,” (2014) which explored racism in everyday life, won numerous awards and made the New York Times best-seller list; the essayist Maggie Nelson, 43, who won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism for “The Argonauts,” a hard-to-classify exploration of gender, motherhood and identity; and Gene Luen Yang, 43, who in January became the first graphic novelist named national ambassador for children’s literature by the Library of Congress.

The youngest fellow is Mr. Jacobs-Jenkins, 31, known for plays, like “An Octoroon” and “Neighbors,” that address race, class and history, sometimes through the remixing of charged stereotypes. The oldest is Joyce J. Scott, 67, a Baltimore-based artist whose work includes performance art and large-scale sculptural pieces that incorporate traditional beadwork into pointed commentaries on American culture, the black female body and other subjects.

To read full article, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/22/arts/macarthur-foundation-announces-2016-genius-grant-winners.html

Acclaimed Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to be Awarded Honorary Doctorate by John Hopkins University

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Negozi Adichie (photo via venturesafrica.com)

article by Hadassah Egbedi via venturesafrica.com

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of widely-acclaimed novels “Americanah” and “Half of a Yellow Sun”, , has recently been named as one the distinguished achievers to be awarded honorary degrees, this year, by the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, United States. The honorary degrees will be conferred at the university’s commencement ceremony on the 18th of May, 2016.

Adichie will be awarded alongside seven other recognized individuals, visionaries who have made a mark in various fields. They include groundbreaking filmmaker Spike Lee, the founding director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, Laurie Zabin, Nobel Prize winner, Richard Axel, amongst others.

Ronald J. Daniels, President of the Johns Hopkins University, describes the group as people who have challenged the status quo and changed the world for the better. They have made a lasting impact on the arts, public health, the law, neuroscience and the resilience of communities here in Baltimore and across the globe.”

This is a very well deserved honor for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. As one of the world’s leading feminists and an insightful cultural critic, she has become quite influential on the global stage over the years, continually gaining recognition. The author who earned a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins’ Writing Seminars in 2003, is no stranger to awards and has amassed quite a number already. Her novel, Americanah, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 2013. In 2008, she won a MacArthur Foundation genius grant.

To read more, go to: http://venturesafrica.com/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-will-be-awarded-an-honorary-doctorate-by-johns-hopkins-university/

Suzan-Lori Parks Wins 2015 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History

Award Winning Playwright and Professor Suzan-Lori Parks
Award Winning Playwright and Professor Suzan-Lori Parks

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, who teaches creative writing at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, has been selected as the winner of the 2015 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. The prize was established by Jean Kennedy Smith, the sister of Senator Edward Kennedy, and is administered by the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning at Columbia University in New York City.

Parks was honored for her play “Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3,” which was first staged at The Public Theater in New York last October. The Kennedy Prize comes with a $100,000 cash award.

Parks is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She is a former MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” winner. Professor Parks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for her play “Topdog/Underdog.”

article via jbhe.com

Psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt, Artist Rick Lowe, Composer Steve Coleman and Poet Terrance Hayes Receive 2014 MacArthur “Genius” Grants

This morning the MacArthur Foundation named the recipients of the 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly referred to as the “genius grants.” The class includes four visionary members of the African-American community whose work, discoveries, and ideas are advancing their fields and our understanding of our world.  The MacArthur Fellowship is a “no strings attached” award that comes with a stipend of $625,000, paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years. This year’s fellows are:

2014 MacArthur Award Winner Jennifer Eberhardt, Stanford University.
Jennifer Eberhardt

Jennifer Eberhardt, a social psychologist investigating the subtle, unconscious ways people racially code and categorize others, with a particular focus on how race and visual perceptions of people affect policing and criminal sentencing.

lowe_2014_hi-res-download_1
Rick Lowe

Rick Lowe, a public artist using art to reimagine and revitalize struggling communities. His program has transformed derelict properties in Houston’s predominantly African American Third Ward into a visionary arts venue and community center. He has since begun similar work in other cities, including current projects in Dallas and Philadelphia.

Steve Coleman
Steve Coleman

Steve Coleman, a jazz composer and saxophonist infusing traditional jazz with an eclectic range of other musical styles, including music from West Africa, South India, Brazil, and Cuba.

Terrance Hayes
Terrance Hayes

Terrance Hayes, a poet crafting musical, almost improvisational verse that delves into issues of race, gender, current events, and family. He often uses humorous wordplay and references to pop culture, including poems that speak in the voices of David Bowie, Jorge Luis Borges, and Strom Thurmond.

To see the list of 2013 African American MacArthur Fellows, click here.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

 

 

Boston’s Housing Partnership Network Receives MacArthur Award To Create Affordable Housing

Collaboration and entrepreneurship to help house America

America’s housing problems are daunting. Millions of families pay more than half of their income for a place to live. Rampant foreclosures have destabilized neighborhoods across the country and left millions of households owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. At the same time, federal, state and local resources for housing and community development are shrinking. As a result, organizations committed to affordable housing must be more entrepreneurial than ever.

The Housing Partnership Network improves the lives of millions of individuals, families and communities by sparking innovation and collaboration among 100 of the nation’s affordable housing and community development nonprofits. By incubating innovative joint ventures and creating ongoing opportunities for peer learning and collaboration, the Network helps its members realize significant economies of scale, achieve greater collective impact, and exercise greater influence on public policy. Collectively, the Network and its member organizations employ more than 13,000 people in nearly 200 offices, operating in 75% of the nation’s major metro areas and in every state in the country.

The Housing Partnership Network has a history of spotlighting critical problems and marshaling the expertise and resources needed to launch innovative, scalable solutions. For example, after the 9/11 tragedy, insurance premiums rose dramatically. The Network created a property and casualty insurance company that controlled costs for its members and now provides more than $7 billion of insurance covering 57,000 units of affordable rental housing.

Continue reading “Boston’s Housing Partnership Network Receives MacArthur Award To Create Affordable Housing”

Family Care International Receives $1 Million MacArthur Grant to Improve Maternal Health Globally

Making pregnancy and childbirth safer

Every two minutes, somewhere in the world, a woman dies from preventable or treatable complications of pregnancy and childbirth. For every woman who dies, 20 more experience serious illness or disability. And every year, three million babies do not survive their first month of life.

When Family Care International was founded 25 years ago, the world was paying little attention to the hundreds of thousands of women who were dying each year. The first international organization dedicated to reducing maternal death, Family Care International helped put the issue of maternal health on the map. Now maternal mortality has been cut in half, but much work remains to be done.

Headquartered in New York City with locally-staffed offices in three countries in Africa and two in Latin America, Family Care International works in close partnership with governments, civil society organizations, donors, communities, grassroots advocates, and women’s groups. Pairing efforts to strengthen the capacity of local organizations, advocates, and governments with a powerful advocacy voice on the global stage, the organization works to ensure that all women have access to the maternal and reproductive health care they need. Doing so saves the lives and protects the health of women and improves the well-being and prosperity of their children, families, and communities.

Continue reading “Family Care International Receives $1 Million MacArthur Grant to Improve Maternal Health Globally”