MacArthur Foundation Awards "Genius Grants"

macarthur foundation awards "genius grants"Have you ever dreamt of receiving a large sum of cash to pursue your creative dreams? You may have heard that the MacArthur Foundation just named twenty-three very surprised fellows as the recipients of this year’s “genius grant,” an unrestricted award of $500,000 to spend on projects of their choice. There is no application process for the award. Rather, recipients are chosen on the merit of their current work and its potential to further blossom with the time and resources that the grant money will afford them.

The winners range from an Installation Artist (Jorge Pardo) to a Computer Security Specialist (Dawn Song). Interestingly, eight (yes, eight!) of the twenty-three winners hail from California!

And I have some questions for you…

What project are you currently working on that you’d like to expand upon if you had more resources? How would you expand up on them? If you were given half a million dollars to develop your next big idea, how would you spend it?


  1. thanks for posting these! i may be wrong, but they seem much more academic than usual… sign of the times on some level?

    • hmmm…i haven’t paid too much attention to that in the past, but they might be. good news for you as you finish your dissertation!

  2. i think it’d be my DVD, DVD player, Wii drive for Steve’s hospital floor. I’d want to expand it to other chemo centers and hospital floors. We know first hand how depressing it can be to sit in a hospital room for days and weeks with only cable TV. I’d like hospitals to have more activities in hospital rooms and possible a patient community room with art, books, music, etc.
    We raised almost $7000 and about 500 DVD’s 6 Wiis, 8 DVD players so far.
    I blogged about it here: http://jenberry.com/blog/2010/08/beeping-a-mental-journey/

    • Congrats on raising $7000! I hope this is just the small beginning. I’m printing up your blog post for the lemonade stand we’re setting up today to raise money for the UCLA Foundation. xoxo to you and Steve.

      • thanks rachelle. you rock. it’s already helping patients. We’ve received such awesome feedback.

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