Urban designer Emmanuel Pratt and cartoonist Lynda Barry are two of the 26 winners of the 2019 MacArthur Foundation “genius grants,” the no-strings-attached $625,000 prizes given annually to artists, scholars and other creative thinkers, the Chicago-based philanthropy announced Wednesday.

A handful of this year’s MacArthur Fellows, as the program is formally known, have Chicago ties, including landscape architect Walter Hood and artist Jeffrey Gibson, both educated at the School of the Art Institute, and theater artist Annie Dorsen, who taught at University of Chicago in recent years. A complete list of the winners is at the bottom of this article.

But Pratt, who lives and works in Chicago, and graphic novelist and educator Barry, who lived here for about a decade and now lives in Madison, Wis., have the strongest connections.

Pratt’s Sweet Water Foundation takes what he calls a “holistic” approach to neighborhood regeneration from its base on Chicago’s South Side.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune