Other honorees include novelist Annie Proulx, contemporary dance legend Trisha Brown and playwright/opera librettist David Henry Hwang.
The 2012 USA Fellows range in age from 31 to 81 and represent 19 states.
Since 2006, United States Artists has distributed more than $20 million, divided among 371 fellows and 500 additional artists honored through USA Projects, a Web-based microphilanthropy initiative launched in 2010.
Through a rigorous evaluation process, panels of experts in each artistic discipline selected the 54 winning artists from among 438 nominated applicants from 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Fellowships are awarded to artists at all career stages who demonstrate artistic excellence, unique artistic vision and significant contributions to their fields.
“The USA Fellows for 2012 are not only incredible artists, they also give back to their communities and engage with the most pressing social issues of our time,” said USA executive director Katharine DeShaw.