Newport stone carver, Providence musician win MacArthur awards

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – $Two Rhode Islanders are among the 23 new MacArthur Foundation fellows. That means they'll each receive $500,000 to spend as they please.

Sebastian Ruth, a musician and the founder of Providence's Community Music Works and Nicholas Benson, a stone carver and owner of the John Stevens Shop in Newport were chosen for their creativity and potential for making important contributions in the future.


Benson says he found out a few weeks ago, and he could only tell one person, so he told his wife.

"She was even more amazed than I was," he says. "I don't know if that's a good thing or not. But it was great. Both of us are just so pleased."

Benson says he hopes to use the money to create a large scale stone inscription in New York City.