Prince Rogers Nelson Way Unveiled In Downtown Minneapolis
Prince has been celebrated by the city of Minneapolis on what would have been his 64th birthday with a gift: Prince Rogers Nelson Way.
The commemorative street sign was unveiled on Tuesday at the corner of First Avenue and Seventh Street. A crowd dressed in purple gathered at noon to celebrate the musical great just a week after a roughly 100-foot mural unveiling of Prince occurred down the street.
Sharon Smith-Akinsanya (Prince’s marketing director in the early 90s) and Joan Vorderbruggen (Minneapolis activist) led the mural and street sign project and spoke at the event along with city leaders and members of Prince’s family and friends.
“I love Minneapolis, but today and last Thursday… I haven’t felt like that in a very long time,” Smith-Akinsanya said. “I have lived here for 30 years. Prince was my boss and mentor, but I was not planning to stay here for 30 years but he said in that Prince voice, ‘you’ll never leave.’”
Vorderbruggen suggested that the honour continued the work Prince did in the community, “Prince Rogers Nelson Way is not just a commemorative street name or amazing icon for Minneapolis, it is a way of being and making community and creating authentic spaces where people feel like they belong,” she said.
Thank you, @prince, for believing in me. Thank you for teaching me that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. I'll never be able to repay you fully, but the Purple Block Party was all about showing you what you meant to me & this city. #CrownOurPrince pic.twitter.com/bP2fiTkAO5
— Sharon Smith-Akinsanya (@BoldlySharon) June 7, 2022
Mayor Jacob Frey and several Minneapolis City Council members were also present at the unveiling. Frey referenced the mural and sign unveiling as another way to bring Minneapolis residents together, something he says Prince did, too.
“That is the legacy we should be living out here in Minneapolis – Prince did every single day,” he said. “He had a way of bringing people from a thousand different perspectives together. This is a really important person to honour and someone we can all rally around.”