Photo by Eric Ogden for Billboard.
A composer, lyricist and performer, Miranda was recognized for "reimagining American musical theater in works that fuse traditional storytelling with contemporary musical styles and voices."
The MacArthur Fellows Program, MacArthur Fellowship, or "Genius Grant" is a prize awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation typically to between 20 and 40 individuals, working in any field, who "show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work and are citizens or residents of the United States.
According to the Foundation's website, "the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person's originality, insight, and potential." The current prize is $625,000 paid over five years in quarterly installments. This figure was increased from $500,000 in 2013 with the release of a review of the MacArthur Fellows Program. The award has been called "one of the most significant awards that is truly 'no strings attached.'"
Miranda joins an illustrious list of MacArthur Fellows including cultural anthropologist Alfonso Ortiz; historian Ramón A. Gutiérrez; community organizer Ernesto J. Cortés, Jr.; community developer Hipólito (Paul) Roldán; farm labor leader Baldemar Velásquez; community development leader María Varela, human rights lawyer José Zalaquett; writer and artist Guillermo Gómez Peña; artist and cultural critic Amalia Mesa-Bains; physician Pedro Greer; radio producer Hugo Morales; writer and poet Sandra Cisneros; journalist Alma Guillermoprieto; voting rights advocate Joaquín Ávila; writer and performance artist Luis Alfaro; physicist Juan Maldacena; artist Pepón Osorio; photographer Alfredo Jaar; civil rights policy advocate Cecilia Muñoz; poet Lucía M. Perrillo; artist Íñigo Manglano Ovalle; photographer Camilo José Vergara; archaeologist Guillermo Algaze; composer Osvaldo Golijov; agronomist Pedro A. Sánchez; businessman and activist Rueben Martínez; sculptor Teresita Fernández; theoretical chemist Todd Martínez; computer scientist Luis van Ahn; cosmologist Matías Zaldarriaga; forensic anthropologist Mercedes Doretti; saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón; choral conductor and composer Francisco Núñez; jazz percussionist and composer Dafnis Prieto; fiction writer Junot Díaz; and community leader Juan Salgado.
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