Now in its 18th year, the McKnight Distinguished Artist award recognizes an individual artist who has made a significant contribution to the arts community in the state of Minnesota. The award comes with a $50,000 cash prize.
Shiomi is a playwright, director, producer and musician who has been an influential figure in the the Asian-American theatre movement since the 1980s. Shiomi is the cofounder of Theater Mu in St. Paul, Minn., where he served as the artistic director for 20 years. With Shiomi at the helm, Theater Mu transitioned into the nationally recognized Mu Performing Arts, one of the largest Asian-American theatre companies in the country. He has written, directed and produced more than 50 plays within the last four decades.