Thoma Foundation Awards First-Ever ‘Digital Arts’ Writing Prize

Ippolito and McNeil. Images courtesy Amy Pierce and Clayton Cubitt.

John Ippolito and Joanne McNeil.


The Thoma Foundation, a Santa Fe and Chicago foundation established by Carl and Marilynn Thoma, has announced the winners of a new prize, the Thoma Foundation Arts Writing Fellowship Award, for writers who concentrate on covering digital art. The Thomas, philanthropists who made of their money in venture capital beginning in the 1980s, are collectors who specialize in digital artwork.

The inaugural winners are John Ippolito, a professor of New Media at the University of Maine, in the established category, and Joanne McNeil, a freelance New York City writer, in the emerging category. McNeil is the author of essays on humans and technology such as “My Broken iPhone,” and Ippolito, a former Guggenheim curator, studied astrophysics before going into art. The fellowship, which is $30,000 in the established category and $15,000 is the emerging category, comes with no obligation to the writer.

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