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2023 California 'Genius' Grantees On Art, Community, and Place

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Manuel Munoz and Patrick Makuakane. (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Manuel Muñoz is the son of immigrant farm laborers from California’s Central Valley whose four works of fiction center the lives of Mexican-American communities in the region. Patrick Makuakāne is a native Hawaiian and San Francisco-based kumu hula, or master teacher, who created a unique form of hula that blends traditional movements with contemporary music. They’re among five Californians who have been awarded the MacArthur Fellowship this year. We talk to them about what the award means to them and their communities and how themes of love, class, sexuality and identity suffuse their art.


Patrick Makuakāne, A kumu hula, or master hula teacher; director of Nā Lei Hulu i ka Wēkiu, a San Francisco-based dance company blending modern music and themes with traditional Hula Movements.

Manuel Muñoz, fiction writer and creative writing professor, University of Arizona. He writes about California's Central Valley where he was born and raised.<br />


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