Iris Hu ’17 awarded 2016 The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Visual Arts MFA student Iris Hu ’17 has been awarded a 2016 Soros Fellowship for New Americans. The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans awarded 30 fellowships who were selected for their potential to make significant contribution to US society, culture or their academic field and vary from different backgrounds and professional fields. The winners were selected from a pool of 1,443 applicants.

The Soros Fellowship was established in recognition of the vital role New Americans have played in American life and to provide opportunities for continuing generations of able and accomplished New Americans to achieve leadership in their chosen field.

Iris Hu holds a BA from UCLA and attended the Mountain School of Arts. She has exhibited her works in national and international galleries and is a co-founder of the collaborative experimental art publication baumtest, for which she received a grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation. The Soros Fellowship will allow Hu to further develop her practice.

In her work, Iris shares stories of belonging and identity, informed by the marginal experience of American history in hopes of creating spaces for those historically left out. “In this country, there are still very few advancements opportunities for immigrants and children of immigrants, and alarmingly less so for those of us in the arts,” Hu said. “I am an artist because I believe that art in its varied forms gives me space to rearrange our habits of being together, and that rearrangement allows for the possibility of dynamic and social change. The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans will make this change more tangible in practical and creative realms.”
In addition to receiving funding for the graduate program of their choice, each new Fellow joins the prestigious community of past recipients. “I am humbled and honored by receiving this award, she said. “It will make my life in New York easier on a practical level, but I’m more excited about having access to a community of brilliant thinkers and makers—scientists, educators, engineers, medical practitioners, lawyers, artists—who will share the responsibilities of re-envisioning our social habits of actively participating in the world.”

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.