The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the names of twenty-four new MacArthur Fellows for 2009.
Selected for their creativity, originality, and potential, the recipients of what are often called the "genius awards" will each receive $500,000 over five years with no strings attached. The fellowships are awarded to women and men of all ages and at all career stages and are designed to make it easier for fellows to accelerate their current activities or take their work in new directions.
This year's recipients include Lynsey Addario, a photojournalist creating a visual record of twenty-first-century conflicts and crises; Camille Utterback, a digital artist redefining how viewers experience and interact with art; Rebecca Onie, a health services innovator building a low-cost, replicable program to address the link between poverty and poor health; Richard Prum, an ornithologist drawing from molecular biology, ecology, and paleontology to explore the development and evolution of birds; Jerry Mitchell, an investigative reporter uncovering decades-old stories of injustice to ensure that unsolved murders from the Civil Rights era are finally prosecuted; and Edwidge Danticat, a novelist capturing the essence of human endurance and renewal through characters inspired by experiences from her native Haiti.
"For nearly three decades, the MacArthur Fellows Program has highlighted the importance of creativity and risk-taking in addressing pressing needs and challenges around the globe," said MacArthur Foundation president Robert Gallucci. "Through these fellowships, we celebrate and support exceptional men and women of all ages and in all fields who dream, explore, take risks, invent, and build in new and unexpected ways in the interest of shaping a better future for us all."
For the complete list of 2009 MacArthur Fellows, visit the MacArthur Foundation Web site.