On Tuesday, artist Carrie Mae Weems was named a MacArthur Foundation
Fellow. The award, a sum of $625,000, is also known as the “Genius
Grant”. Weems is a visual artist whose life’s work is an amalgam of
photographs, video and film focusing on the portrayal of race, identity
and politics in African American life.
As expected, President Obama used the stage at the UN General Assembly
Tuesday morning to touch on practically all of the global urgencies the
U.S. faces, and, as expected, Syria and Iran got the most attention.
On October 30, filmmaker Spike Lee will receive the coveted Lillian and
Dorothy Gish Prize, which carries a reward of $300,000. Established in 1994, the award is the highest and
most prestigious honor given to an artist in the United States. Past
honorees include Frank Gehry, Arthur Miller, Anna Deavere Smith, Bob
Dylan and Trisha Brown.
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has been in the news many times for her
monumental philanthropic endeavors, most notably the all-girls school
she opened in Johannesburg, South Africa, back in 2004. Now, she is
being rewarded for her acts of kindness. She is among President Barack
Obama’s 16 picks for the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Award.