Sebastian Ruth, the founder of Community MusicWorks, an inner-city music education project in Providence, Rhode Island, has been named as one of the 23 MacArthur Fellows for 2010. The violinist and violist, who plays viola in the Providence Quartet, will receive a $500,000 grant over five years.

Ruth founded Community MusicWorks in 1997, giving free violin lessons to 15 children. Today the organisation reaches more than 100 students a year from Providence neighbourhoods that count as some of the poorest communities in Rhode Island. Based around the permanent residency of the Providence Quartet, which was founded in 2001, Community MusicWorks provides weekly lessons in violin, viola and cello, performance opportunities, leadership development groups for teenagers, and community music events.