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Celebrating the long list of 2018 MacArthur Fellows

The MacArthur Foundation announced its annual “genius” grants Tuesday. Each year, the foundation honors promising individuals and groups whose contributions to the arts, literature, music, science, and technological innovation are not widely appreciated or recognized by mainstream society, and whose discoveries, inventions, skills, and acts of genius have the potential to transform the world.

The 2018 MacArthur Fellows include Pulitzer Prize winner David O. Russell, MacArthur Foundation fellow (and author of the novel Blame it on Harper Lee) Louise Erdrich, and internationally known voice of indie-rock Courtney Barnett. Others include the innovators behind a new kind of condom, a father-daughter Filipino dance group, and architects who are developing safer cities for the future.

Some major awards go to technologists, like master designer of affordable housing Caroline Rogers. She is being honored for her work on social housing and family housing development in Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal, where her work has led to the creation of more than 14,000 houses and been used to tackle water and sanitation access issues.

Katherine Golding is a recipient of the 2018 George Eastman “gifted minds” award, which recognizes the pioneering role she has played in advancing the art form of photography. Her body of work ranges from her poignant autobiography, “Beautiful Child,” to films she made in Gaza when the 2008 Gaza war broke out. Golding began her work as a photojournalist with Palestine Associated Press during the invasion, when she documented Gaza’s daily lives.

Gallery: The 2018 MacArthur Fellows

She’s also been awarded the prestigious Harlem Arts Council Award, and has also won the Abitibi art prize, which recognizes artists from indigenous communities, from around the world.

Other MacArthur Foundation fellows this year include scientist and psychologist Paul J. Hyett, who designed and co-authored one of the world’s first genome-based app, DNA Prospecutions; John McCrea-Bednarz, an installation artist who creates abstract, colorful, and ephemeral media; and Erez Barthman-Brutsche, who began his career as a classical violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and has since focused on researching music, recording, and performance physics and dynamics.

The awards, which last year had more than 1,000 applicants, range from $625,000 to $625,000, plus another $625,000 for post-grant support for a stipend. The typical recipient lives in Southern California, but the nature of the awards means that local selections will also be distributed throughout the United States.

In its 103rd year, the MacArthur Foundation has awarded 13,485 “genius” grants valued at more than $650 million.