“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, experimental puppeteer Basil Twist and set designer Mimi Lien are among the names on the list of 2015 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, each receiving a hefty sum in what is commonly known as the MacArthur “genius grants.”
Tap dancer Michelle Dorrance, photographer and video artist LaToya Ruby Frazier and Ta-Nehisi Coates, the writer and intellectual who turned heads last week when he was announced as the writer of Marvel Comics’ upcoming Black Panther comic book, also are among the 24 fellows, each of which will receive a $625,000 grant with no requirements on how they must spend it.
Miranda, also the creator of Tony winner “In the Heights” (and recently named to Variety‘s Gotham 60), wins the fellowship on the heels of the Broadway opening of his hip-hop founding-father bio “Hamilton,” which is the hottest ticket on Broadway. Longtime downtown artist Twist scores the grant for a career whose groundbreaking puppet works included the underwater spectacle “Symphonie Fantastique” (he’s up next in New York with his latest, “Sisters’ Follies: Between Two Worlds,” next month), while Lien takes the prize for provocative, sometimes immersive set designs, including the sets for “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” and Annie Baker’s “John.”
The full list of 2015 fellows also includes people making waves in education, health care, biology and other areas of study.