Annie Baker is among the 24 winners of the 2017 MacArthur "genius" grant.
Annie Baker is among the 24 winners of the 2017 MacArthur "genius" grant.
(© David Gordon)

The winners of the 2017 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship — popularly known as the "genius" grant — were announced today, and playwright Annie Baker (The Flick, John, The Antipodes) and theater artist Taylor Mac (A 24-Decade History of Popular Music) were among the coveted crowd. The 24 selected winners of the MacArthur fellowship receive an unrestricted $625,000 stipend over the course of five years.

In addition to Baker and Mac, this year's recipients include singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, opera director and producer Yuval Sharon, and composer and musician Tyshawn Sorey.

The MacArthur Fellows Program selects talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. The three criteria for selection of Fellows are "exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work."