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Musician With East LA's Quetzal Awarded $800,000 MacArthur 'Genius Grant'

Three people sitting on a couch play stringed instruments. There is a young man on the left, a woman in the middle in a bright pink dress, and an older man on the right. They all have light brown skin. There are several colorful paintings on the wall behind them.
Martha Gonzalez, center, has been selected as a 2022 MacArthur Fellow.
(Courtesy MacArthur Foundation)
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Los Angeles's Martha Gonzalez, described by the MacArthur Foundation as a "musician, scholar, and artist/activist," was announced as one of 2022's MacArthur Fellows — the prize unofficially known as the MacArthur "Genius Grant."

Her background: She's the lead singer, songwriter, and percussionist for socially conscious East Los Angeles music collective Quetzal. She's involved in several collaborative music and dance-based projects.

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Gonzalez is also an associate professor in the Intercollegiate Department of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies at the Claremont Colleges and director of the Scripps Humanities Institute.

The MacArthur Fellowship: Gonzalez is one of 25 MacArthur Fellows announced Thursday. They will each receive an $800,000 award, which they can use as they see fit. The MacArthur Foundation describes the prize on its website as a "no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential."

Go deeper: You can read more about 2022's MacArthur Fellows in this story from NPR.