Nigerian painter awarded $625,000 MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant”

Njideka Akunyili-Crosby
Njideka Akunyili-Crosby

Njideka Akunyili-Crosby, a painter and daughter of the late Nigerian minister, Dora Akunyili, has been awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.

Ms. Akunyili-Crosby was described by the foundation as “a figurative painter whose large-scale works express the hybridity characteristic of transnational experience through choices of subject matter, materials, and techniques.”

The fellowship, which is also referred to as the Genius Grant, awards $625,000 to artists, writers, teachers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and people from all works of life, that have shown exceptional creativity.

The grant is doled out in quarterly installments, made over a period of five years. Amongst past recipients is writer Chimamanda Adichie who received the grant in 2008.

The 24 recipients of the 2017 MacArthur Fellowship are:

• Njideka Akunyili Crowsby – Painter

• Sunil Amrith – Historian

• Greg Asbed – Human Rights Strategist

• Annie Baker – Playwright

• Regina Barzilay – Computer Scientist

• Dawoud Bey – Photographer and Educator

• Emmanuel Candes – Mathematician and Statistician

• Jason De Leon -Anthropologist

• Rhiannon Giddens – Singer, Instrumentalist & Songwriter

• Nikole Hannah-Jones – Journalist

• Cristina Jimenez Moreta – Social Justice Organizer

• Taylor Mac – Theater Artist

• Ramir Nashashibi – Community Leader

• Viet Thanh Nguyen – Fiction Writer & Culture Critic

• Kate Orff – Landscape Architect

• Trevor Paglen – Artist and Geographer

• Betsy Levy Paluck – Psychologist

• Derek Paterson – Historian

• Damon Rich – Designer & Urban Planner

• Stefan Savage – Computer Scientist

• Yuval Sharon – Opera Director & Producer

• Tyshawn Sorey – Composer & Musician

• Gabriel Victora – Immunologist

• Jesmyn Ward – Fiction Writer


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