Each year the MacArthur Foundation awards 20-30 fellowships, unrestricted, multi-year grants of $625,000, to individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and manifest promise for important future advances. The over 900 recipients to date have included poets and novelists, artists and composers and people working on issues of concern to the public. The awards generate great public interest, so there is often a wealth of information on the individuals and their work: biographies, interviews, recorded lectures, follow-ups and the like. The Foundation’s website keeps updating information on past fellows, as does Google. Each week our study group will explore the life and work of three recipients of the “genius grants,” as they are called in the media--one each from visual arts and performance arts, and one from either the written word or public issues. Participants will be expected to select a “genius” that they would like to present and lead a short discussion on during the semester.