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Purple Playground envisions a world where Prince’s legacy of positivity and giving continues in perpetuity.

We formed our 501(c)3 nonprofit fan-based group to honor Prince’s legacy and inspire as he did - with funds from our events used to create our FREE Academy of Prince music program for teens. 
MUSIC VIDEO "Purple Playground"

We raise our funds through donations, free and low cost events, and fan created merchandise. Sponsorship opportunities welcome.

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"I finally saw the switch flip for my daughter today – the one where she feels confident in who she is and what she is doing. She was so animated and excited on the way home. The love and support from all the adults at camp have had such an impact on her. Thank you for all of your hard work to make this happen. Daily tears from the mama watching all of this unfold."

Academy of Prince mom


Purple Playground’s annual Academy of Prince summer music program welcomes musical teens. At Academy of Prince they learn Prince history and write and record their own songs, with help from teachers, guest speakers and musicians who worked with him. The two week program begins Monday - Friday, July 22-26, at Urban Ventures where students will collaborate to write songs and interact with guest speakers. July 29 - August 2nd we move to High School for Recording Arts in St. Paul, where we will continue creating songs and record in their professional studio. We will also incorporate performance and dance.  Students may attend for one week or two. Tuition is free but we request a fundraising goal of $199 per student.


Guest speakers have included:

Mark Bonde, longtime Prince fan and motivational speaker and host of Paisley Nights podcast

Andrea Swennson, Prince historian, host of the Local Show on 89.3 the Current, and author of “Got To Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound.” 

PaviElle French, actor, neo-soul singer and composer

Bobby Z Rivkin, Revolution band member, music producer

“Dr” Matt Fink, Revolution band member, founder and director of artist relations at

Jon Bream, author and Minneapolis Star Tribune music writer since 1974

Jellybean Johnson, guitarist, producer and The Time drummer

Jim Walsh - author of Gold Experience, musician and people appreciator 

Terry Jackson - percussionist from Prince's first band, Grand Central

Education Director: Willie Adams

Executive Director: Heidi Vader

Music Director: Elisa Fiorillo

Music Director: Adrian Crutchfield

More about Academy of Prince on these Videos and Podcasts:

VIDEO: The Purple Playground Experience

MUSIC VIDEO: Purple Playground (Wheel of Funk)

Dr. Funk #96

Podcast Juice


                   “This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board"

and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.”  


"Academy of Prince, High School for Recording Arts. Put together by the nonprofit Purple Playground, this inaugural weeklong program taught teens about Prince, the Minneapolis Sound and songwriting. The students wrote and recorded original songs, with help in the studio from Purple pros Bobby Z, Matt Fink and Jellybean Johnson. The songs were quite impressive. Can’t wait for the downloads."

Jon Bream, Minneapolis Star Tribune


Working Towards a Brighter Future

A space to free urself and live Prince's legacy of love4one another and positivity.

Raising funds for kids' music education to keep it funky.


Home: Music Player


Board Member, Education Director

“I’m excited to bring my passion for education and purple funk to Purple Playground’s mission and keep the beautiful and precious legacy of Prince alive for generations.”

Willie is an educator, DJ, and vocalist from the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied the music of Prince and the “Minneapolis Sound” intensively since the 1980’s. From 1991-1996 he was a prominent college radio DJ and music director at KUCI FM in Irvine CA. While living in England, Willie was the voice for all the UK radio adverts for the Emancipation album in 1996-97. 

He is the Co-founder of the fan group Purple Funk SF and served as a history and humanities teacher, counselor, and dean of students. He has also taught and lectured at the University of California Monterey and he’s created and ran enrichment programs for underserved youth.

“This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.”

Academy of Prince

NOTE: We are created for fams, by fams, and “the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson is not affiliated, associated, or connected with Purple Playground, nor has it endorsed or sponsored Purple Playground. Further, the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson has not licensed any of its intellectual property to Purple Playground.”

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