United States Artists (USA) awarded $2.5 million in fellowships at a ceremony in New York on Dec. 7. From 50 awardees, the public grant-making organization designated three winners in architecture and design. These $50,000 unrestricted grants went to architects Teddy Cruz of San Diego and Greg Lynn, from Los Angeles, as well as New York-based graphic designer David Reinfurt.

“Small practices are a struggle, so this helps immensely,” says Cruz. His work has been largely focused on the social and humanitarian conditions along the U.S.-Mexico border, so it lacks the traditional paying client that keeps most offices solvent. “A lot of our work is self-initiated research, so it does not depend on the practice itself,” he adds. “This grant will help to support these projects.” Cruz, who is also putting together his first book and website, says the funds will help with those endeavors as well, noting, “We have been so busy just keeping afloat.”

Since its inception in 2006, USA makes awards across artistic disciplines, including visual arts, theatre, music, dance, and literature. At the ceremony, USA also announced the launch of a microphilanthropy website, unitedstatesartists.org, aimed at supporting artists' projects through small, aggregated donations. USA executive director Katharine DeShaw said the site would “connect people with great artists and support them on a radically expanded scale.”