Tipton, who earned Tony Awards for her designs for The Cherry Orchard and Jerome Robbins' Broadway, is among a group of artists, scientists, doctors, writers, inventors and scholars who will receive $500,000 in support over the next five years. The grant, which comes with no strings attached, allows individuals to continue in their paths, or take their work in new directions. A group of invited nominators submit individuals who demonstrate exceptional creativity, promise and endeavor in their field. An anonymous 12-member selection committee narrows down the nominations that are then recommended to the MacArthur Foundation's board of directors.
"As a group, this new class of Fellows takes one's breath away," said Daniel J. Socolow, director of the MacArthur Fellows program in a statement. "Each is an original, and each confirms that the creative individual is alive and well, at the cutting edge, and at work singularly and powerfully to make our world a better place."
Joining Tipton on the 2008 list are novelist Chimamanda Adichie, saxophonist Miguel Zenón, sculptor Tara Donovan, violinist Leila Josefowicz, instrument maker and composer Walter Kitundu, New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, as well as astronomer Adam Riess, neuroscientist Sally Temple, geriatrician Diane Meier, anthropologist Stephen Houston and urban farmer Will Allen.