Two Latinos Given 'Genius Grants'

The recipients of the MacArthur Fellowships (also known as "Genius Grants") have been named for 2012. Included in the list of 23 outstanding individuals are two Latinos: Natalia Almada, the 37-year-old filmmaker who resides in both Mexico City and New York and Junot Diaz, the 43-year-old Dominican-American writer. 

The fellowships, from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, are awards that can't be applied for. The recipients are given $100,000 a year for five years, with no stipulations or expectations. Recipients of the grant "have shown exceptional creativity in their work and the promise to do more."

“You usually have to apply for something, and it’s a lot of work,” Almada told The New York Times. “It’s such freedom to think I can count on something. It’s huge. It’s validating.”

The recipients range in age from 31 to 66, and come from all types of backgrounds and professions. To see the full list, go to

What do you think of the awards?