Arab Today, arab today chicago architect win ‘genius’ grants
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Arab Today, arab today
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Chicago architect win ‘Genius’ grants

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Chicago architect win ‘Genius’ grants

Washington - Arabstoday

Jeanne Gang, a Chicago architect; Cuba-born percussionist Dafnis Prieto and cellist Alisa Weilerstein are among the artists in this year’s crop of 22 MacArthur Foundation “geniuses.”They will each receive $500,000, paid out quarterly over five years by the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. John D. MacArthur owned Bankers Life & Casualty Co., now a unit of Carmel, Indiana-based Conseco Financial Group, Inc. Catherine was his second wife.“The MacArthur Fellows exemplify how individual creativity and talent can spark new insights and ideas in every imaginable field of human endeavor,” Robert Gallucci, the foundation’s president, said in a statement. Candidates are nominated anonymously by leaders in their field.Gang, 47, designed Aqua, an 82-story mixed-use tower in Chicago that won the 2009 Emporis Skyscraper Award. Last Friday she got a message to call the MacArthur Foundation, she said in a phone interview yesterday.“I was completely excited and surprised,” Gang said. “It has energized me about what I have done to date.”Weilerstein, 29, has worked with contemporary composers including Osvaldo Golijov. She was selected because of her “emotionally resonant performances” with such orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic.Poet and translator A.E. Stallings, 43, won a grant for a body of work that evokes “startling insights about contemporary life.” The foundation cited her poetry collection “Hapax” (2000), in which she depicts figures and events from classical drama with “a modern sensibility.”The grantees represent fields ranging from the sciences to law. Jad Abumrad, 38, a producer for radio station WNYC in New York, was cited for “audio explorations of scientific and philosophical questions that evoke a sense of adventure and recreate the thrill of discovery.”Harvard University psychology professor Matthew Nock, 38, was selected for his research on suicide trends among adolescents and adults. Marie-Therese Connolly, 54, a lawyer and elder abuse prevention advocate was cited for lobbying for the federal Elder Justice Act that was signed into law last year.Kevin Guskiewicz, 45, a professor of exercise and sport science at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, caught the eye of the MacArthur selection committee for his brain injury research. He was among the first to document brain injuries and the consequences of contact sports played by youths and professionals.Prieto, a 37-year-old Grammy Award nominee and composer was chosen partly because he’s “infusing Latin jazz with a bold new energy and sound” by marrying jazz harmonies, Cuban rhythms and other Latin and African music styles. He said he will use the money to self-publish a book on drumming and record a trio album in January for which he has been writing music.“It’s hard to make a living as a jazz musician,” Prieto, a native of Santa Clara, Cuba, said by phone. “I have wanted to record this trio project for a while, but I didn’t have the budget to do it. So the grant makes this possible.”

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