The Associated Press

4 In Boston Area Win MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius Grants’

Genius grant winner Junot Diaz visited Radio Boston recently. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Genius grant winner Junot Diaz visited Radio Boston recently. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

CHICAGO — Four Boston-area artists and researchers are among 23 recipients of this year’s so-called “genius grants” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

They will receive $500,000 over the next five years from the Chicago-based foundation. The grants announced Monday night are designed to provide freedom to pursue a creative vision.

The local winners include:

– Harvard University economist Raj Chetty, who studies how policy affects real-world behavior;

– MIT fiction writer Junot Diaz, whose works describe the various worlds that immigrants straddle;

– Children’s Hospital neurosurgeon Benjamin Warf, who is honored for his treatment of hydrocephalus and brain diseases in children and his work to improve health care in the world’s poorest regions;

– Benoit Rolland of Boston, who is honored for his work as a stringed instrument bow maker who uses new designs and materials.

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