MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation will give $100 million to Elmo, Big Bird and their buddies to massively scale up early childhood development programs for Syrian refugees.

Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee won a global competition by the MacArthur Foundation seeking solutions to what the judges called "a critical problem of our time."

Marcelo Teson, Wikimedia Commons

Mandolinist, former Murray resident, and Murray State Student, Chris Thile, known for his work in Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers, was among those awarded 2012 "genius" grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The 23 fellows will receive $500,000 over the next five years to continue their work or change fields. Tracy Ross spoke with Chris Thile about receiving the award and his plans for the future.