“The Wire” and “Treme”‘s David Simon, Others Win $500k MacArthur Genius Grants

Will New Orleans be a winner, too?

David Simon


The 2010 Class of MacArthur Genius Grant Winners have been announced and include, among others, quantum physicists, musicians, teachers, and David Simon, the creator of The Wire.

“While I think storytelling is a meaningful way to spend your life . . .
it does feel a little bit secondary or off-point. I definitely felt a
little sheepish after looking at the list,” said Simon, who currently produces the post-New Orleans tribute series Treme.

It would not be surprising to see Simon give all of his $500,000 away to local communities and initiatives, or perhaps music-based programs, given that his focus, professionally and personally, has been New Orleans for the past couple of years.

“A vague sense of guilt,” is how Simon described feeling after hearing the results. Guilt or not, the guy has certainly become a favorite over the years–from his crime reporting to crime story-telling–and his status just got a major boost.

Joining Simon on the list are a host of artists and researchers, as well as academics from name-brand schools like Harvard, Berkeley, and Stanford. Marla Spivak is investigating disease among honey-bees; Carol Padden is a sign language linguist and Amir Shabo-Shaeer is a teacher in the Bay Area driving home innovation in engineering and robotics with his Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy.

[Image via flickr/stutefish]


About the author

Jenara is an overseas reporter for Fast Company and a freelance writer/producer in Asia, regularly on CNNGo, and a graduate of Harvard and UC Berkeley.