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Julie Ault, Titus Kaphar, and Wu Tsang Among 2018 MacArthur Grant Winners

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the twenty-five recipients of its annual fellowship program. Known as the “Genius” Grants, the awards are given to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” Each fellow will receive an unrestricted grant of $625,000, which will be distributed over the course of five years.

Among this year’s cohort are composer and conductor Matthew Aucoin, artist and curator Julie Ault, painter Titus Kaphar, choreographer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili, and filmmaker and performance artist Wu Tsang. They have been recognized for pushing the boundaries of their art forms, challenging the Western art canon, making visible the interior lives of women, and bringing historically marginalized histories to light.

“Working in diverse fields, from the arts and sciences to public health and civil liberties, these twenty-five MacArthur Fellows are solving long-standing scientific and mathematical problems, pushing art forms into new and emerging territories, and addressing the urgent needs of under-resourced communities,” Cecilia Conrad, managing director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, said in a statement. “Their exceptional creativity inspires hope in us all.”

The full list of 2018 fellows is as follows:

Matthew Aucoin, composer and conductor, New York

Julie Ault, artist and curator, New York

William J. Barber II, pastor and social justice advocate, Goldsboro, North Carolina

Clifford Brangwynne, biophysical engineer, Princeton, New Jersey

Natalie Diaz, poet, Tempe, Arizona

Livia S. Eberlin, analytical chemist, Austin, Texas

Deborah Estrin, computer scientist, New York

Amy Finkelstein, health economist, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Gregg Gonsalves, epidemiologist and global health advocate, New Haven, Connecticut

Vijay Gupta, violinist and social justice advocate, Los Angeles

Becca Heller, human rights lawyer, New York

Raj Jayadev, community organizer, San Jose, California

Titus Kaphar, painter, New Haven, Connecticut

John Keene, writer, Newark, New Jersey

Kelly Link, fiction writer, Northampton, Massachusetts

Dominique Morisseau, playwright, New York

Okwui Okpokwasili, choreographer and performer, New York

Kristina Olson, psychologist, Seattle

Lisa Parks, media scholar, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Rebecca Sandefur, sociologist and legal scholar, Urbana, Illinois

Allan Sly, mathematician, Princeton, New Jersey

Sarah T. Stewart, planetary scientist, Davis, California

Wu Tsang, filmmaker and performance artist, New York

Doris Tsao, neuroscientist, Pasadena, California

Ken Ward Jr., investigative journalist, Charleston, West Virginia