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.
"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
ACADEMY OF PRINCE
"Academy of Prince, High School for Recording Arts. Put together by the nonprofit Purple Playground, this inaugural weeklong program taught middle-schoolers 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
Purple Playground’s annual Academy of Prince summer music program welcomes musical teens, ages 13-18. 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 26-30, at Minneapolis School of New Music, where students will collaborate to write songs and interact with guest speakers. August 2-5 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.
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
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:
“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.”
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.
writings about Purple Playground
FINDERS OF THE FUNK
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.
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.”