The Baltimore Times Positive People Awards

The Baltimore Times held its 2016 Positive People Awards reception at the Grand on Thursday, September 22, 2016. The theme for this year was “Women of Passion, Women of Purspose.” Women from various walks of life were recognized for their boldness and passion in living their dreams and serving others.

Joy Bramble, publisher of The Baltimore Times and The Annapolis Times presented awards to these very deserving women: Yasmine Arrington, founder, ScholarCHIPS; Chere Goode, founder/CEO, Total Harmony Enterprises; Donna L. Jacobs, founder/director, Morton Street Dance Center, Inc. and artistic director of Full Circle Dance Company; Reverend Bernette L. Jones, Senior Minister, One God One Thought Center for Better Living and creator of Conscious Life Design Systems: The LifeShop; Vicki L. Jones, founder, Bahari Sisters Inc., and Bethesda Arts, Inc.; Nykidra L. Robinson, founder/CEO, Black Girls Vote; Veronica Stone-Elder, PNC Bank; and Tiffany Welsh, director, Food Access for the No Boundaries Coaltion of Central West Baltimore. Congratulations to these powerhouses!

Guests who came to celebrate another “positive story about positive people” were treated to a lovely evening of light fare and music by On Kee Band. LaTara Harris was the Mistress of Ceremony. The event was sponsored by Times Community Services, Inc. and PNC Bank

Dyslexia program seeks volunteers, raise awareness

— Between 70 and 80 percent of individuals with poor reading skills in America are likely dyslexic and according to education and medical experts, as many as 20 percent of the population has a language-based learning disability.

For more than three decades, a Baltimore organization has been working diligently to teach low-income children and adults with dyslexia or other language-based learning disabilities to read.

The Dyslexia Tutoring Program in Southeast Baltimore has been training local volunteers to work in a program where they offer specialized tutoring consisting of at least 60 hours— on a one-on-one basis— to improve the skills, self-esteem and behavior of dyslexic youth. Since 1982, the program also has helped to raise awareness for the learning disability that many acknowledge that they’ve never heard of.

“Remember, you didn’t hear years ago about autism either and all of sudden one of the big company CEOs came forward and his grandchild had it and now you see so many things about autism,” said Marcy Kolodny, CEO of the Dyslexia Tutoring Program.

“When it came to dyslexia, everyone thought people were dumb or something else. But, those who are dyslexic are extremely intelligent and there are a lot of CEOs who are dyslexic and think outside of the box.”

Dyslexia can affect anyone regardless of race, social status, or economic status.

“It’s all over the world. If you suspect your child has a learning disability, the earlier you can get that child to a reading specialist, to a psychologist, to be screened and tested, the better it is so that the child can have remediation and avoid going through a lot of things,” she said.

With October the start of National Dyslexia Awareness Month, Kolodny and others from the program are hoping to attract more volunteers.

“We are tutoring over 200 individuals, children and adults, and all of our tutors are trained,” Kolodny said. “We have tutors from all walks of life. Judges, retired teachers and others and many become mentors and we have a lot of wonderful success stories.”

Dyslexia affects reading, writing, spelling and sometimes speech. The problems displayed by individuals with dyslexia involve difficulties in acquiring and using language, reading and writing letters in the wrong order. However, those are just some of the manifestations of dyslexia.

“There are a number of warning signs including having trouble reading fluently; reversing numbers and letters; a lack of awareness of sound in words or rhymes; difficulty in handwriting; spelling; oral or written comprehension or focus and delayed spoken words,” Kolodny said.

To help sufferers, the Dyslexia Tutoring Program also has a summer program, which provides students with the opportunity to increase their reading, spelling, and writing skills in a short period of time.

For the summer program, program officials send students to camps at The Jemicy School in Owings Mills, Odyssey School in Stevenson, The Gow School and Kildonan School in upstate New York, all private schools for dyslexic children. At camp, students improve their self-esteem and social skills, and receive four hours of one-on-one and small group instruction in the areas of reading, oral and written language, and math five days a week for five weeks, according to Kolodny.

“We send kids to camp for the first time and they’re not bullied or picked on by others,” Kolodny said.

On October 6, 2016, the local program will host its Wishes, Dreams & Imagination Gala at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel where they’ll honor Calvin Butler Jr., the CEO of BG&E, and present their first annual Roger Saunders Memorial Award, named after the psychologist of international renown in the field of dyslexia.

Then, from October 13 to October 18, officials from the program will attend the Barnes & Noble Book fair at Woodholme Center that will feature a question and answer session and books about dyslexia and famous individuals with the learning disability.

Kolodny says it’s important to emphasize the need for volunteers for the Dyslexia Tutoring Program.

“We need volunteers. We get a number of people who’ll take our course and all of our tutors go through a background check,” she said. “We have three tutoring rooms and we partner with Sinai Hospital.”

To learn more about the program, find out more about the signs of dyslexia and to volunteer, visit:

U.S. Postal Service to issue Kwanzaa Forever stamp October 1, 2016

With this vibrant new stamp design, the U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of celebrating Kwanzaa. This annual non-religious holiday, which takes place over seven days from December 26 to January 1, brings family, community and culture together for many African Americans. December 26, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of this widely celebrated holiday.

The colorful stamp art features a woman holding a bowl that overflows with fruits and vegetables, symbolizing the abundance of African first harvest celebrations that inspired the creation of Kwanzaa.

Created in 1966, Kwanzaa draws on African traditions, deriving its name from the phrase “first fruits” in Swahili, a widely spoken African language. It has its origins in first harvest celebrations that occurred across the African continent in ancient and modern times. Kwanzaa synthesizes and reinvents these tribal traditions as a contemporary celebration of African-American culture.

Each year, millions of African Americans gather with friends and family around a table set with the mkeka— a straw mat symbolizing the history of African Americans. They light seven candles known as the mishumaa saba, each representing one of the founding principles, and share in a feast that celebrates their shared heritage. Kwanzaa is a festive occasion that rejoices in the prospect of health, prosperity, and good luck in the coming year, while recalling the past and its role in future happiness.

Artist Synthia Saint James worked with art director Greg Breeding, who designed the stamp. Growing up in New York and Los Angeles, Saint James always knew she wanted to be an artist. Self-taught, she developed an artistic style that is uniquely and recognizably her own.

Saint James sold her first painting at age 20, a commissioned piece for a coworker, which helped launch her artistic career. A professional artist for more than 45 years, she has worked with clients such as Barnes and Noble, Maybelline, UNICEF, Essence magazine, and The Coca-Cola Company, among others. Saint James created the original cover art for Terry McMillan’s novel Waiting to Exhale and has illustrated and/or authored 17 children’s books. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has appeared in several United States embassies around the world.

With bright, bold colors, Saint James’s striking paintings convey the joy and vibrancy of her subjects. Inspired in part by French Impressionists, she focuses on shapes and overall visual effects, using as many as nine coats of paint to get the colors just right.

Saint James lives and works in Los Angeles. She created the art for the first Kwanzaa stamp issued in 1997. Kwanzaa (2016) is her second project for the Postal Service™.

This is the sixth stamp design issued by the U.S. Postal Service in celebration of Kwanzaa. The first Kwanzaa commemorative stamp was issued in 1997. New designs were also issued in 2004, 2009, 2011 and 2013.

Kwanzaa is being issued as a Forever stamp. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.

Exclusive: Obama says Congress made a ‘political vote’ overriding his veto of Saudi lawsuit bill

— President Barack Obama told CNN’s Jake Tapper Wednesday that members of Congress made a “political vote” by voting overwhelmingly to override his veto of a measure that allows families of those killed during the 9/11 terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia.

“It’s an example of why sometimes you have to do what’s hard. And, frankly, I wish Congress here had done what’s hard,” he said in a CNN town hall before a military audience set to air at 9 p.m. ET.

“If you’re perceived as voting against 9/11 families right before an election, not surprisingly, that’s a hard vote for people to take. But it would have been the right thing to do … And it was, you know, basically a political vote,” Obama said, adding that Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the legislation was a bad idea.

The override is the first of Obama’s presidency — and was supported by lawmakers from both parties. The Senate approved the override on a 97-1 vote with Minority Leader Harry Reid the lone member to sustain the President’s veto. Hours later, the vote in the House was 348-77, with one Democratic member voting “present.”

Obama called Congress’ move a “mistake.”

“I understand why it happened. Obviously all of us still carry the scars and trauma of 9/11. Nobody more than this 9/11 generation that has fought on our behalf in the aftermath of 9/11,” he said.

Obama said the victims deserve support and compensation, which is why the administration set up a victim’s compensation fund. But he said he doesn’t believe the ability to sue Saudi Arabia will be good for the long term future of the US.

“What this legislation did is it said if a private citizen believes that having been victimized by terrorism — that another country didn’t do enough to stop one of its citizens, for example, in engaging in terrorism — that they can file a personal lawsuit, a private lawsuit in court,” he said. “And the problem with that is that if we eliminate this notion of sovereign immunity, then our men and women in uniform around the world could potentially start seeing ourselves subject to reciprocal laws.”

He added that the US has set up what is called “status of forces agreements” that ensure that when the US deploys troops, they’re not vulnerable to these kinds of private lawsuits. And other countries agreed to do that because the US reciprocated with them.

“The concern that I’ve had has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia per se or my sympathy for 9/11 families,” Obama said. “It has to do with me not wanting a situation in which we’re suddenly exposed to liabilities for all the work that we’re doing all around the world.”

Get money back for medical billing errors

— A bill for a pregnancy test when the patient’s a man. Or a bill for a penile implant when the patient is a woman.

These are just two of the ironic billing mistakes that a startup called Remedy said it’s discovered.

“Even absurdly obvious errors can go undetected by customers,” CEO Victor Echevarria told CNNMoney.

Mistakes like these were virtually invisible to the customers who didn’t see an itemized billing receipt.

Remedy, which opens up to the public on Thursday, wants to put money back into the pockets of patients who’ve been incorrectly billed by doctors.

Anyone can sign up for the service for free on Remedy’s website. Customers select their insurance provider (or indicate if they don’t have one) and authorize the startup to access their accounts. From there, Remedy will screen your medical, dental and vision bills. Echevarria said people can opt out of sharing bills from certain doctors if they’d like.

Remedy, which requests itemized bills on behalf of patients, detects mistakes using a mix of automation technology and human medical experts. It works with doctors directly to fix any errors. It can take anywhere from 12 hours to 2 months to resolve a billing case, said Echevarria.

If customers get money back, Remedy will take a 20% cut of what it recovers (with a limit of $99 on any particular bill).

The company estimates that patients spend a combined $120 billion as a result of billing errors every year.

These errors aren’t lightening the load for many Americans, who are struggling to pay their doctors’ bills. According to a recent study, 20% of working, insured Americans have had problems paying their medical bills in the past year. That climbs to 53% with those who are uninsured.

“A key learning we’ve had [so far] is that there are errors everywhere,” Echevarria said, noting that they’ve helped “hundreds” of customers get money back so far. “It’s not just in $15,000 hospital bills, it is in $20 copays and $50 lab bills. Every bill matters. That’s real money for some people in this country.”

Echevarria said he even tasked Remedy with his own astronomical bills after his then 8-month old son ran a 104 fever and had to be rushed to the hospital.

“The medical bills started rolling in. I was three weeks into doing Remedy. $12,000 went completely to zero,” he said, noting errors they were able to detect like a doctor misspelling his name on a claim form and an incorrectly assigned medical code. “It was everything from the mundane to the super complicated.”

While the service isn’t a covered entity under HIPAA, the company said it treats data as if it was. Still, there’s always a risk with sharing confidential information online, as was seen when hackers stole the medical data of dozens of Olympic athletes.

The company has some big name backers betting on it, including Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, Honest Company’s Brian Lee, Haystack’s Semil Shah and Precursor’s Charles Hudson, who have poured $1.9 million into the company to date.

Former first lady of two African nations, Graça Machel launches new women’s network

— In an effort to transform the narrative and negative perceptions of African women and children, Graça Machel, the former first lady of two African nations, recently established a first of its kind Pan African Women in Media Network (WIMN).

The network of women journalists will work in conjunction with the Graça Machel Trust.

“The Graça Machel Trust’s Women Rights program is based on our aim to multiply the faces and amplify the voices of women, especially in areas where they are underrepresented,” said Machel, who’s also the founder of the Foundation for Community Development in Mozambique. “Through our women’s networks in agribusiness, finance and ‘Women Creating Wealth,’ we foster links and build a critical mass of highly-qualified and active women across sectors and professions who can work collectively to influence, shape and drive the socio-economic policies to ensure that they achieve economic prosperity and social change.”

The Graça Machel Trust works across the African continent to amplify women’s movements, influence governance, and advocate for the protection of children’s rights and dignity.

The Trust consolidates the work of Machel and seeks to build on her legacy by inspiring the younger generation to take up new challenges and create societies that value and care about social justice.

Machel noted that the primary mission is to amplify the voices of women’s movements, influence governance and promote women’s leadership and contributions in the economic, social, and political development of Africa.

The Trust also advocates for the protection of children’s rights and dignity.

Recognizing the crucial role that media plays in shaping societal attitudes, Machel said it’s important that women are at the center of transformation within the media landscape.

The new network has also gained the support of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the Black Press that’s comprised of approximately 208 African-American owned newspapers across the United States.

“The National Newspaper Publishers Association supports and salutes the Graça Machel Trust that effectively empowers African women. When African women are empowered, it results in advancing all African people throughout the world,” said Dr. Benjamin Chavis, the president and CEO of the NNPA.

“The Diamond Empowerment Fund, co-founded by Russell Simmons, me and others also recognizes the extraordinary global leadership of Graca Machel and the Graca Machel Trust. I vividly remember meeting Graça Machel at her home in Maputo, Mozambique along with her husband South Africa President Nelson Mandela and my colleague Russell Simmons in 2006.”

Chavis continued: “We discussed the ongoing struggle and movement to transform Africa for progress and the liberation of all who stand for freedom and equality.”

Prior to her marriage to Mandela, Machel was the wife of Mozambique President Samora Machel. She also served for more than a decade as that country’s minister of education and culture.

Machel said that WIMN will drive coordinated messaging and build awareness on issues related to health, education, and women’s economic empowerment, which will have a positive effect on women and children.

“Given the influential role that media plays in shaping societal attitudes, the network seeks to change the present narrative of women that presents them as powerless victims and ignores the many positive stories and successes,” Machel added. “When economically empowered, women take control of their lives, set their own agendas, provide solutions to their problems and challenges, and develop self-reliance.”

Machal added: “To build a strong and equitable future for all Africans, we acknowledge the fundamental contribution of women and ensure that we create a supportive and enabling environment where they are able to fully participate and benefit.The network will also create an inter-generational platform to allow young talented female journalists to participate and work alongside the continent’s more seasoned veterans. WIMN will comprise an initial group of about 30 to 40 women journalists, bloggers and influencers, officials said in a statement.

“Women and children’s issues have tended to make headlines more as victims that are helpless, abused and exploited yet women and children have, over time, been capable of so much more, having overcome many obstacles and excelled in many sectors of the economy and society,” said WIMN board co-chair Susan Makore. “The amazing stories need to find more expression in our media. Therefore, I hope to do my part in ensuring that key stories that highlight and celebrate the various facets of children and women’s activities across all sectors are given prominence in the media by working with my colleagues that run media houses, especially in Zimbabwe where I hail from.”

Bronwyn Nielsen, the co-chair of the WIMN advisory board, said that Africa’s youth and female dividends are at the core of the continent’s future and, with the right support.

“It is a fact the women and children who can positively impact the future from an economic growth and development perspective,” said Nielsen. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members and all the members of this privileged network to jointly leverage our circles of influence under the esteemed guidance of Mrs. Machel to drive this agenda deep across the continent with both speed and passion.”

Nielsen continued: “Together we can create a new narrative when it comes to Africa’s women and children.”

Did Janet Jackson just confirm her pregnancy?

— Janet Jackson has not officially confirmed that she is pregnant, but some photos have surfaced that may give fans a clue.

On Wednesday Entertainment Tonight shared pictures it said were of Jackson and her baby bump.

The images appear to show a very pregnant Jackson leaving a baby furniture store in London. According to ET, Jackson visited the store with members of her staff and left with a bag of merchandise after 45 minutes.

The 50-year-old singer has been out of the spotlight since April when she announced she was halting her concert tour for personal reasons.

“I thought it was important that you be the first to know,” she said in a video she released via Twitter. “My husband and I are planning our family, so I’m going to have to delay the tour.”

Jackson is married to Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana.

Shortly after she teased fans with the release of the music video for her song “Dammn Baby.”

CNN has reached out to reps for Jackson for comment.

Kids review the presidential debate: Candidates didn’t ‘play nice’

— A group of middle-schoolers in New Jersey, all members of their school’s student council, were dismayed by the performances of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the first showdown of this most unusual presidential campaign.

Asked whether the presidential candidates “played nice” with each other in their highly anticipated first debate, none of the 16 students who gathered to talk with CNN on Tuesday raised their hands.

Trump, the Republican businessman, interrupted the Democratic politician way too often, said Emma Zwickel, an eighth-grader and a Trump supporter.

“Every time that Hillary said something that Donald Trump didn’t agree with that was about him, Donald would be like, ‘Wrong, wrong, wrong,’ ” said Emma, vice president of the student council at Robert R. Lazar Middle School in Montville, New Jersey. “Hillary at least wasn’t interrupting him.”

Riya Jain, a seventh-grader, said both candidates are not playing fair and should have considered their opponent’s points and listened to what they were saying. “I think that they should listen to each other, because the main thing a president needs to have is listening skills and ideas and being open to different thoughts and opinions.”

If she treated her siblings or friends the way she thinks the candidates treated each other at the debate, Riya said, she would be grounded for a week or maybe longer.

Mihir Tanguturi, a sixth-grader, said he would probably be punished too and wouldn’t have the friendships he has today. “I definitely wouldn’t have many friends at all, and they would know that I wasn’t a very nice person.”

Megha Rameshkumar, a seventh-grader who said she remains undecided, said Trump was being “rude” and not “really respectful” every time he interrupted Clinton.

“I think he should have let her speak, because he had a chance to speak after her, so he could have made his points when he got the chance to speak,” Megha said. “He should have let her talk when she had the chance to talk.”

Ian Hagen, an eighth-grader, said Trump kept speaking over his allotted time, and Ian didn’t appreciate his personal approach with Clinton. “When they were handshaking, he put his hand behind Hillary, and that’s just really rude.”

Sarah Gorman, a sixth-grader and a Clinton supporter, said Trump wasn’t focusing on the issues that were on the table and was instead often pointing fingers at his rival. “He was only talking about his business, and he was also blaming Hillary Clinton for a lot of things that were obviously not her fault.”

Trump needs to “learn how to talk and be respectful,” said Adyna Silverberg, a seventh-grader who said she favors Trump after watching the debate. “Hillary Clinton, she was very nice and respectful, but he just has to be more respectful.”

But Trump wasn’t the only candidate these sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders took issue with during what is now the most-watched television debate in US history, with more than 81 million viewers tuning in. Clinton also didn’t behave well, some of the students said.

“While Donald Trump was saying his speech and talking about what he feels (are) his issues, she was smiling and laughing,” said Aaron Parisi, a sixth-grader who was undecided before the debate but said he now supports Trump.

“She just wasn’t respecting his ideas the way she should have been. She was setting a bad example and basically laughing at what he was saying,” said Aaron, the school’s student council treasurer.

Louis Neri, a seventh-grader and Trump supporter, thought that Clinton was “being a little bit arrogant” and that Trump was the more respectful debater. He also took issue with moderator Lester Holt, anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” saying he believed that some of the questioning was “biased,” with too much of a focus on Trump and not enough on Clinton.

“They asked him about (his) business and all the bankruptcy and debt, and they should have focused on her email scandal … and Benghazi,” he said, referring to the deaths of four Americans at the consulate in Libya in 2012.

Elijah Dor, a sixth-grader, thought Holt did a fine job but Trump was the one being disrespectful. “I felt like Donald Trump was kind of attacking him when he was trying to ask the questions very nicely. It was just really, really rude,” he said.

CNN invited members of the school’s student council to do an interview Tuesday morning after the debate. The students, all under 18, may be #tooyoungtovote, but they’re not too young to care about the issues. Invites by the school were sent to more than 30 students. Twenty-five volunteered to do the interview, and the first 16 students who signed up were selected.

Ten of the students thought Clinton behaved better during the debate, while seven thought Trump did. Overall, the students expressed real frustration with what they are seeing and hearing from the candidates.

“I would say it’s a circus,” said seventh-grader Matthew Wei, who would vote for Trump if he weren’t #tooyoungtovote. “This is one of the most bizarre campaigns ever. It’s all about Hillary Clinton saying something bad about, and making commercials about, Trump. And Donald Trump saying something bad about Hillary.”

Adit Terapanthi, a seventh-grader, said the debate was like a baseball game, with the two candidates constantly trying to score against each other. “It was like ‘Tom & Jerry’ … fighting over every little thing. Donald Trump kept saying, ‘Oh, ISIS formed because of Hillary,’ and Hillary kept saying, ‘Donald Trump didn’t pay his federal taxes’. … They didn’t really propose how they’re going stop ISIS or what they’re going to do about taxes.”

Jade Hieger, a seventh-grader, agreed. “The thing that makes me most frustrated is how they’re treating each other like enemies, like they don’t even respect each other, and they don’t have any tolerance for each other when they’re talking,” she said. “And the fact that Donald Trump was speaking over Hillary and the fact that (she) was laughing at his ideas was a little frustrating as well.”

Looking ahead to the next presidential debate, scheduled for October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, these middle-schoolers — and possible future political leaders themselves — had plenty of advice for the candidates.

To Trump and Clinton, Michael Usatine, an eighth-grader who says he remains undecided, said he hopes to hear more substance in the next debate. “Instead of fighting over every question, maybe they should let the candidates speak and then tell what they want to do but propose a plan on stage.”

Julia Demetropoulos, an eighth-grader who says she now supports Trump, said her candidate was “really rude” to Clinton and needs to change that in the next showdown. “I think he should treat her and other women better,’ she said. “Definitely let her talk and don’t cut people off.”

Matthew Colatrella, a sixth-grader and a Trump supporter, agreed. “Maybe … to be a little … nicer.”

How Hot Technologies Can Improve Your Kitchen

— Modern technology is improving every facet of our lives and the kitchen is no exception. By carefully outfitting your kitchen, your appliances can be safer, more efficient and give you versatility and precision as a home chef.

One technology, which has been popular in Europe for years but is still relatively new to the US, is induction cooking which uses electromagnetic energy to heat foods quickly and precisely.

Like a gas burner, an induction cooktop or range-top surface can handle the rapid shifts in heat settings required in a busy kitchen. And because the burner does not heat unless cookware is detected, ventilation can operate more efficiently.

Other efficiencies in induction cooking are exemplified in such appliances as the new 36” Induction 5-Zone Cooktop from Verona, which includes a fast boil setting for rapid cooking as well as a low power setting for delicate meals. A pan detection system saves energy by sensing the size and shape of cookware and intelligently heating only the needed cooking area. Features like a residual heat indicator and an automatic shut-off in case of spillage make cooking with this induction cooktop safer, too. The brand also makes a 30” induction cooktop and 30” induction range. More information can be found at

“Because induction cooking offers the most direct heat transfer of any cooking surface and features unprecedented safety benefits, it’s become the modern standard for kitchens today,” says Melissa Haber, director of sales and marketing for EuroChef USA.

Consumers looking to upgrade their kitchens in the future will enjoy even more choices, as new induction ranges are introduced, such as 36” and 40” ILVE ranges, which offer a wealth of features like a rotisserie, warming drawer, power boost burners and a multifunction convection oven. To learn more about the brand and its current 30” induction range visit

If you are still cooking with old school appliances in your kitchen, you may be working harder than you need to be. When making an upgrade, consider the latest cooking technologies.

Baltimore-based artist Scott named recipient of prestigious national award

— A profile of Baltimore-based multi-media artist Joyce J. Scott, who was honored last week with a national MacArthur Genius Award, airs during the Thursday, September 29 episode of Maryland Public Television’s Artworks series. The episode airs on MPT-HD at 8:30 p.m. The segment featuring Scott is also available for viewing online at

Scott is one of this year’s 23 MacArthur Fellows, recipients of what are frequently called “genius grants.” The awards were announced September 21 by the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The MacArthur Fellowship is for individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future. It is designed to provide recipients with the flexibility to pursue their own artistic, intellectual, and professional activities in the absence of specific obligations or reporting requirements. The foundation gives each honoree $625,000 over five years to spend any way he or she pleases. More than 900 people have received the grants since 1981.

Scott works in a variety of media including fiber, bead, glasswork, sculpture and performance. Her work is infused with sharp wit and social commentary.

In April, Scott was highlighted during MPT’s 2016 Baker Artist Awards Special as the winner of the $50,000 Mary Sawyers Imboden Prize – the top Baker Award. The Baker Artist Awards celebrate both individuals with outstanding talent as well as the Baltimore region’s creative vitality.