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MacArthur ‘Geniuses’ On On Point

The MacArthur Foundation Fellowships (better known as the MacArthur Genius Awards) were announced this week and On Point is pleased to see several past guests on this year’s list of winners.

In 2008, we spoke with poet Kay Ryan, then the nation’s poet laureate. In awarding her the grant, the Foundation noted that her “distinctive and tightly woven verse is grounded in incisive explorations of seemingly familiar language, ideas, and experiences.”

New Yorker writer Peter Hessler joined us in 2006 to talk about modern China. The Foundation noted this week that Hessler “writes with a novelist’s attention to detail and structures his stories around the compelling characters he encounters.”

Roland Fryer talked with us about economics and the black experience in 2005. The MacArthur Foundation this week noted that Fryer “has opened up a range of topics to quantitative analysis, offering new insights on such issues as the cognitive underpinnings of racial discrimination, labor market inequalities, and, in particular, the educational trajectory of minority children.”


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  • Charles A. Bowsher

    One of this years Mac Arthur winners is designing a building for my hometown even now. We have been having a pitched battle in our town (Lexington, KY) for the last five years over a downtown block once filled with a wonderful mixture of historic structures housing iconic venues. A local developer and property owner allowed the buildings to deteriorate through “benign” neglect and then leveled the block claiming cost to rehab was unaffordable. Then they lost their funding (death of a mystery investor) and now the block sits empty, covered in green grass, but fenced off to keep the public out…. Jeanne Gang (one of this years MacArthur “fellows”) has been retained to come up with a “compatible” design. We need a stroke of “Genius” because this block is the very heart of our town.
    I of course have come up with my own “genius” idea for the block (think of a building “sitting” on an Eiffel Tower base) which would allow the ground level to stay “alive” as a gathering place for the community.  Can’t get any response from Ms. Gang to my emails, maybe she follows this show…. 

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    I left this comment for Mr Gehry in hopes he would pass it along to Jeanne Gang….”Please ask Mr. Gehry to whisper in Jeanne Gangs ear that what Lexington, KY needs for the CentrePoint Project she is working on is for the building to be elevated on the “base” of the Eiffel Tower so we preserve the wonderful pedestrian space below. We then cover that space in the special spongy tiles they use at the local horsetrack so the “Plaza” is non-fatiguing, drains easily and captures the spirit of the horse industry. Protecting the “Plaza” for year round use would benefit the community as well as the developer. A win/win Thanks, charles show more show less

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