Chicago can claim a pair of geniuses in their midst, because two individuals with local ties were awarded MacAthur geniuses this year.
It's kind of a big deal.
"The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction," according to the John D. and Catherine T. MacAthur Foundation Website.
The recipients, an assistant professor of Anthropology at University of Chicago and a former Chicago playwright, are among 23 MacArthur Fellows for 2010. Shannon Lee Dawdy, professor; and David Cromer each recieve $500,000 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Dawdy is both an archaelogist and anthropologist focusing on the culture of New Orleans. She has contributed to numerous books and authored several journal articles.
Cromer is a theater director and actor who began his work in Chicago. He attended Columbia College Chicago and worked with Steppenwolf Theater but now lives in New York.
No word yet on how either Dawday or Cromer plan to invest their grants.