Musician, Novelist, Filmmaker among MacArthur Fellows

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An African American trombonist, novelist and filmmaker are among this year's class of MacArthur Fellows. The three, along with 21 others, will receive $500,000 in "no strings attached" support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation over the next five years.

Trombonist and composer George Lewis is a professor of music at the University of California, San Diego. Known for his work in experimental music, Lewis' performances, criticism and scholarly analyses reveal profound insights into the unique expressive potential of improvisation and its critical role in the history and future of musical expression. In addition to his recent forays into Big Band orchestral performance, he is actively engaged in writing a history of the influential Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, of which Lewis himself has been a member since 1971.

Stanley Nelson is a multiple award-winning documentary filmmaker well known for using compelling narratives to bring important but forgotten history to the small screen. Some of his recent films include Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind, which was named best production of the year by the Black Filmmakers' Hall of Fame and the Black International Cinema Festival in Berlin; The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, which won an Emmy nomination; and Running: the Campaign for City Council, a film based on the 2001 local elections in New York City.

Nelson, executive producer of Firelight Media, a nonprofit production company, plans to use the fellowship to work on new projects, including one on the economic history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and to nurture new filmmakers. …


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