12 Local Ways to Honor Prince in This Thing Called Life

Many people remember where they were when they learned of Prince’s death on April 21st, 2016. It shook the lives of many music fans around the world, especially those in his home state of Minnesota.

The brick exterior of the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis, with its trademark silver stars listing artists who have played there; Prince's star is in gold.

Prince’s star on the exterior of First Avenue. Photo by Madeleine Vasaly

Tributes to Prince are already beginning to surface, as this month marks two years since his death. For example, Minnesota Public Radio station the Current has created a special livestream called “Purple Current” on their website. It promises a playlist of funk, jazz, hip-hop, r&b, and more featuring Prince and artists who were inspired by him.

Musicians and others in the Twin Cities area are also planning events of their own in Prince’s honor throughout the month of April and beyond. Here are just some of the ways you can pay tribute to “the Beautiful One.”

Family-Friendly Events

Prince Day at UROC

What: Community Gathering
When: Saturday, April 14th, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where: Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, Minneapolis

The U of M’s Urban Research & Outreach-Engagement Center is honoring Prince’s private but selfless philanthropy toward the arts and his community with a day full of family-friendly activities. Events include games with local artists (“Let’s Go Crazy–With Art!”), a poetry reading, and a celebration of Prince’s contributions to North Minneapolis. There’s also a “Critical Conversations” panel discussion about how Prince’s families played a role in his life at 1 p.m. All events are free and open to the public, but the U of M requests a reservation if you’re attending the panel discussion. This event is also the kickoff to “Prince in Minneapolis: A Symposium,” running April 16-18.

Prince from Minneapolis: A Guided Tour Exploring His Roots

What: Guided History Tour
When: Sunday, April 15th through Sunday, April 22nd and Thursday, June 7th through Sunday, June 10th, various times
Where: Tours begin at Aloft Minneapolis

Many know that Prince grew up in Minneapolis. What happened during his time here, however, is a mystery to some. Prince’s cousin Charles “Chazz” Smith will aim to break some of the rumors about Prince’s childhood during a set of guided tours through north and south Minneapolis. Smith will also share stories about his family and Prince’s early years, while local historian Kristen Zschomler will point out buildings throughout the city that impacted his life. The tours will take place during the week leading up to April 21st and the weekend of June 7th, which would have been Prince’s 60th birthday. Tickets are only available online through Eventbrite.

Prince Legacy Tours @ The Capri

What: Self-Guided Tour
When: Monday, April 16th through Friday, April 20th, various times
Where: The Capri Theater, Minneapolis

While Prince spent a lot of time performing at First Avenue during his career, he had his first solo gig at another local venue, the Capri Theater, in 1979. Fans are invited to take part in a self-guided tour of the north Minneapolis concert spot during the week leading up to April 21st. The Capri is also raising donations to renovate and expand its building. Tickets for this tour are also only available online.

Prince from Minneapolis: A Symposium

What: Symposium/speeches
When: Monday, April 16th, through Wednesday, April 18th
Where: Various locations on the University of Minnesota campus

In something from the “Only in Minnesota” files, researchers and scholars at the U of M have put together a three-day conference celebrating Prince’s life through papers, speeches, and panel discussions. As expected, the event is growing in popularity; as of press time, only free tickets to the opening keynote (April 16, 5:00 p.m.) and the “Prince Alumni” plenary panel (April 18, 11:00 a.m.) are still available, so check it out when you can. You can also follow the hashtag #PrincefromMpls on Twitter for more from the event.

A Purple Celebration

What: Music & dancing
When: Monday, April 16th, from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Where: The Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis

The Guthrie Theater is inviting the public to join them in remembering Prince with a special family-friendly event. Guthrie artists start the night with music and poetry inspired by Prince from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Local favorites JD Steele, Fred Steele, and the Mill City Choir will then perform “a musical homage to the Purple One” and invite the audience to join them for a sing-along. The night will end with a dance party hosted by the Current’s Jake Rudh from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event is free and open to all.

Prince: Live on the Big Screen (Backed by His All-Star Band)

What: Concert
When: Friday, April 20th, at 8:00 p.m.
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis

The second annual Celebration at Paisley Park unofficially ends on April 20th (rescheduled from its original date of April 21 due to Timberwolves playoffs) with a special concert event at the Target Center featuring Prince’s All-Star Band. The public is invited to the concert, which promises newly remastered and never-before-seen footage of Prince. No matter what you thought of the events of this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, you’re sure to enjoy this tribute.

Prince Drag Brunch

What: Drag performance
When: Sunday, April 22nd, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Union Rooftop, Minneapolis

Local company Flip Phone has become known for its widely-popular Drag Brunches with themes from Disney Channel Original Movies to Disney Villains, girl groups, and boy bands. They’re putting together a full weekend of performances to honor Prince, and all but one are sold out. This event is all-ages, but expect risque clothing and some adult themes in the music.

Prince Night at Target Field

What: Minnesota Twins baseball
When: Friday, June 8th, at 7:10 p.m.
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis

The Twins are paying tribute to Prince this season during their game against the Anaheim Angels on June 8th. The first 10,000 fans receive a free inflatable guitar, which officials say will be used for a “special celebration” after the 7th inning stretch. There are also a few special Prince Theme Night packages available, which include a ticket to the game and a special Prince/Twins hat.

Adults-Only Events

Baby UR the Starr Party

What: Dance party
When: Monday, April 16th, at 8:00 p.m.
Where: The Pourhouse, Minneapolis

If you’re more of a lip-sync master than a karaoke star, check out this Monday night party. Alphonso Starr hosts this community dance event along with the People of Paisley Park. In addition to the lip-sync battle, there will also be a costume contest. There is a $10 cover for this event.

The Jellybean Johnson Experience Presents Nothing Compares 2 Prince MN

What: Concert
When: Thursday, April 19th, at 8:00 p.m.
Where: Minnesota Music Cafe, St. Paul

Jellybean Johnson calls himself one of the creators of the “Minneapolis Sound.” He played the drums for several Prince-formed bands, including Morris Day and the Time. Now, he’s teaming up with fellow Time bandmate Tori Ruffin, his band Freak Juice, and others to bring their “Nothing Compares 2 Prince” Australia shows to Prince’s home state.

Prince Tribute Crawl

What: Bar Crawl
When: Saturday, April 21st, starting at 2:00 p.m.
Where: Various bars throughout Minneapolis

Local company Entertainment Factory is hosting what they’re calling “the biggest charity crawl in Minnesota” on the anniversary of Prince’s death. Officials promise to give donation funds to one of a list of local charities as voted on by the public; the winner is set to be crowned at the beginning of the crawl’s after party at The SHOUT House in Minneapolis at 8:00 p.m. The event promises live entertainment and a special performance by an as-yet-unnamed artist.

Erotic City Dance Party

What: Dance Party
When: Saturday, April 21st, at 8:00 p.m.
Where: First Avenue, Minneapolis

If dancing is more your thing, there’s no better place to celebrate the life of Prince than First Avenue. The dance club/venue featured in “Purple Rain” is hosting five DJ’s on April 21st. Among them is one of First Avenue’s original DJs, Roy Freedom, who was the first to play “Erotic City” and other Prince tracks at MF in the 1980’s.

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