MINNEAPOLIS: The McKnight Foundation has named Faye M. Price to be its 2021 Distinguished Artist. The Distinguished Artist Award grants $50,000 to one artist each year who has chosen to make their lives and careers in Minnesota and made significant contributions to the state’s cultural life.
“We are thrilled to celebrate Faye, who has brilliantly demonstrated how theatre can advance civic conversations about race, equity, and justice,” said Tonya Allen, president of the McKnight Foundation, in a statement. “As our stages reopen and we come together once again for live theatre, we look forward to seeing Faye’s vision and mentorship of artists of color continue to resonate in performances around the state.”
As a director, actor, dramaturg, and arts leader, Price has influenced Minnesota theatre by bringing the seminal work of Black artists to the forefront and marrying live theatre with social justice. She was the co-artistic producing director of Pillsbury House + Theatre for 21 years and stepped down to pursue personal projects last March. Price was also 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 theatre canon.
“Faye and her partners at Pillsbury House found a way for her to be a thought leader and to forge a path that allowed her to be artistic and creative in both her artistic and administrative work,” said Lana Barkawi, executive and artistic director of Mizna and a member of this year’s Distinguished Artist Award selection committee, in a statement.
In addition to her work in theatre, Price played a leading role in advocating for the passage of the Minnesota Legacy Amendment as board chair of the Minnesota Citizen for the Arts, which was approved by voters in 2008 and is expected to provide more than $1.2 billion in public funding for the arts across the state over 25 years.
The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to advance a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and the planet thrive. Established in 1953, the McKnight Foundation is deeply committed to advancing climate solutions in the Midwest; building an equitable and inclusive Minnesota; and supporting the arts in Minnesota, neuroscience, and international crop research.
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