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Meet the 2017 New York MacArthur ‘geniuses’

New Yorkers stood tall as this year’s “genius grants” from the MacArthur Foundation were announced, with five of the 24 winners from the area.

That group, now in an elite club of high achievers, include playwright Annie Baker, 36, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, 41, theater artist Taylor Mac, 44, landscape architect Kate Orff, 45, artist and geographer Trevor Paglen, 43, and immunologist Gabriel Victora, 40.

Each is these new MacArthur Fellows has been awarded the prize for bring “their exceptional creativity to diverse people, places, and social challenges. Their work gives us reason for optimism and inspires us all,” the Foundation noted.

And each was singled out by the Foundation for their individual contributions to art, culture and science:

* Baker, a Pulitzer Prize for her play “The Flick,” mines “the minutiae of how we speak, act, and relate to one another and the absurdity and tragedy that result from the limitations of language.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones, 41 "the persistence of racial segregation in American society."

Nikole Hannah-Jones, 41 “the persistence of racial segregation in American society.”

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArth)

* Hannah-Jones chronicles “the persistence of racial segregation in American society, particularly in education, and reshaping national conversations around education reform.”

Taylor Mac engages “audiences as active participants in works."

Taylor Mac engages “audiences as active participants in works.”

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArth)

* Mac engages “audiences as active participants in works that dramatize the power of theater as a space for building community.”

Kate Orf designs "adaptive and resilient urban habitats."

Kate Orf designs “adaptive and resilient urban habitats.”

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArth)

* Orff designs “adaptive and resilient urban habitats and encouraging residents to be active stewards of the ecological systems underlying our built environment.”

Trevor Paglen documents “the hidden operations of covert government projects."

Trevor Paglen documents “the hidden operations of covert government projects.”

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

* Paglen, currently in Germany, documents “the hidden operations of covert government projects and examining the ways that human rights are threatened in an era of mass surveillance.”

Gabriel Victora investigates “acquired, or adaptive, immunity."

Gabriel Victora investigates “acquired, or adaptive, immunity.”

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArth)

* Victora investigates “acquired, or adaptive, immunity and the mechanisms by which organisms’ antibody-based responses to infection are fine-tuned.”

On Twitter, Orff expressed her reaction — and there’s little doubt she spoke for all of the winners in New York and beyond: “I am so honored. Thank you.”

Each winner receives a no-strings-attached $ 625,000 stipend that’s paid in quarterly installments over five years.

For a complete list of winner, go to the MacArthur Foundation at macfound.org.

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