More than $6 million in grant money will go to 179 Fellows in the arts, humanities and sciences, thanks to this year's John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowships. Winners in the category "Playwriting and Performance Art" are Jon Robin Baitz (Three Hotels, Mizlansky/Zilinksy), Will Eno and Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues). Ron Jenkins, of Cambridge, MA, also received a fellowship in the "Theatre Arts" category of the Humanities division.
As announced in the New York Times, the Guggenheim Foundation was established in 1925 as a memorial to Senator Simon and Mrs. Guggenheim's son, John, who died at 17. The idea is to give artists and scholars assistance in developing and researching their projects "under the freest possible conditions." "Unusually impressive achievement in the past and exception promise for future accomplishment" are cited as the bases for selection.
Among judges on the 1999 Committee of Selection were novelist playwright Joyce Carol Oates and dramatist Wendy Wasserstein (The Sisters Rosensweig, An American Daughter).
Publicists for the Guggenheim Foundation were out of the office this week and unavailable for further information.
-- By David Lefkowitz