Gospel singer Williams wins ‘Genius Grant’

Gospel singer Marion Williams and public radio pioneer William H. Siemering are among 13 women and 18 men sharing in $ 9.2 million in so-called “genius grants” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Williams, 65, has been recording since 1947 and has influenced artists in gospel, rock and soul music.

She received a $ 374,000 grant.

Siemering, a broadcasting consultant in Philadelphia, set the agenda for National Public Radio in 1970 when he wrote a mission statement that emphasized excellent writing, imaginative production and a conversational style.

He said his $ 345,000 grant will enable him to train journalists and station managers in South Africa, where independent, community-based broadcasting will soon begin after years of government control of the airwaves.

New York-based writer and critic Stanley Crouch said his $ 290,000 grant will enable him to work undistracted on a biography of saxophonist Charlie Parker and other projects.

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