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Amanda Williams

Earlier this week, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the prestigious fellowships known as “genius grants” that recognize society-changing people whose work offers inspiration and insight.

The Chicago-based foundation announced Wednesday that it increased the “no strings attached” award from $625,000 to $800,000 over five years. The chosen fellows are not required to report how they spend the money.

Three Chicago residents were among the group honored this year. One of those honorees is Amanda Williams, an artist who uses color and architecture to explore issues of race and the built environment. 

Through her work, she explores how urban planning, zoning and disinvestment play a role in the lives of people, with a focus on African American communities, according to the foundation. 

Find more about her work. 

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