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McKnight Distinguished Artist Award

Recognizing the artists who have made significant lifelong contributions to Minnesota, enriching our communities.

The annual $100,000 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award recognizes artists who have made a lifelong commitment to creating art that is locally, regionally, and/or nationally significant.

These artists have chosen to make their lives and careers in Minnesota, thereby making our state a more culturally rich place. First and foremost, they have produced creatively incisive art reflecting their particular and extraordinary point of view.

McKnight Distinguished Artists have also inspired other artists, earned acclaim from audiences, patrons, critics, and other arts professionals, and some have founded and strengthened arts organizations.


at a Glance

1Artist every year

24Artists since 1998

$1.2MIn awards

2021 distinguished artist

Faye M. Price

As a director, actor, dramaturg, and arts leader, Price has significantly influenced Minnesota theater by bringing seminal work of Black artists to the forefront and marrying live theater with social justice. She was the co-artistic producing director of Pillsbury House Theatre for 21 years and a founding member of both Penumbra Theatre and Mixed Blood Theatre, where she originated numerous roles and created foundational work by Black artists that is now part of the American theater canon.