One telephone call out of the blue. $500,000 in your pocket, no strings attached. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, huh? Just ask John Zorn (pictured) and Regina Carter, both of whom were among the 25 MacArthur Fellows named Tuesday.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation bestows its generous fellowships on a diverse array of recipients each year. Amongst Zorn and Carter, this year’s crop includes journalists, a deep-sea explorer, physicians, teachers, a cosmologist and a sculptor. The fellowships really do come with no strings attached, allowing recipients to continue their innovative and creative endeavors or take their work in a completely new direction. There are no restrictions on becoming a Fellow, except that nominees must be either residents or citizens of the United States.
There are three criteria for becoming a fellow: exceptional creativity, significant promise for the future based upon a history of accomplishment, and the potential for the recipients work to greatly benefit from the fellowship. Since 1981 the MacArthur Fellows Program has named 707 Fellows, ranging in age from 18 to 82.
“There is something palpable about this group of MacArthur Fellows,” says program director Daniel J. Socolow in a press release, “about their character as explorers and pioneers at the absolute cutting edge. These are people pushing boldly to change, improve, and protect our world, to make it a better place for all of us.”