Four Southland residents — two filmmakers, a film scholar/archivist and a digital media scholar — were among 25 MacArthur Fellows announced Tuesday.
“As we emerge from the shadows of the past two years, this class of 25 Fellows helps us reimagine what’s possible,” Cecilia Conrad, director of the Fellows program at the MacArthur Foundation, said in a statement. “They demonstrate that creativity has no boundaries. It happens in all fields of endeavor, among the relatively young and more seasoned, in Iowa and Puerto Rico.
“Once again, we have the opportunity for exultation as we recognize the potential to create objects of beauty and awe, advance our understanding of society, and foment change to improve the human condition.”
The recipients each receive a $625,000, no-strings-attached award, which is intended as an investment in their creativity and potential rather than a lifetime achievement prize.
The foundation, which has awarded 1,086 fellowships since 1981, uses three criteria for selection: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances and potential for the fellowship to support creative work.
The Southland Fellows are:
— Cristina Ibarra, a Pasadena-based documentary filmmaker who focuses her work on narratives about border communities, “often from the perspective of Chicana and Latina youth”;
— Safiya Noble, an internet studies and digital media scholar at UCLA, whose work highlights ways “digital technologies and internet architectures magnify racism, sexism and harmful stereotypes”;
— Alex Rivera, a Pasadena-based filmmaker and “media artist” whose work explores “issues of migration, globalization and technology with an activist orientation”; and
— Jacqueline Stewart, a film scholar, Turner Classic Movies host and chief programming officer at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, who works to ensure “that the contributions of overlooked Black filmmakers and communities of spectators have a place in the public imagination.”
According to the MacArthur Foundation, the fellowship program “is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.”