Prince fans group photo

Prince “fams” in front of the Prince mural, painted on the side of Chanhassen Cinema, the pop icon's favorite movie theater.

Prince’s death left a hole in the universe, especially for his "fams" - think family, not fanatic - who followed him passionately for nearly four decades. Prince fams needed a way to continue his legacy of positivity and love4oneanother for another 40 years. Thus began the Purple Playground.

Purple Playground launches publicly next week with the Purple Playground Picnic, Pic and Dance Party, from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 10, at 570 Market St., Chanhassen, at the Prince mural behind the Chanhassen Cinema.

The gathering begins at noon with the formation of a giant human Prince symbol in front of New Zealand artist Graham Hoete’s Prince mural. Paisley Park regular DJ Michael Holtz will spin purple tunes so all can dance on.

Take a picture in a photo booth, nibble on Prince’s favorite cookies and pancakes, or bring your picnic basket and spread your paisley blanket.

The fam-based nonprofit Purple Playground was created to provide a space to unite fams again, organizing gatherings, opportunities for discussion and special events. They will feel a new sense of purpose while raising much needed money for children’s music and arts programs.

The Purple Playground is the funky brainchild of Heidi Vader, a longtime Prince fam, who wanted a way to fill just a little of the void and to channel the passion, grief and longing into something beautiful and healing. Heidi first worked in nonprofits with the Diverse Emerging Music Organization (DEMO), founded by Minneapolis music icon Steve McClellan.

Board members include former Paisley Park Museum General Manager and advertising executive Karen Ryan of Chanhassen, photographer and activist Robin Stevens of Austin, Texas, and marketing and promotions expert James Sucher of San Francisco.

The Purple Playground will be the first fam-run nonprofit to offer membership to Prince fams from around the world. It will provide an online and physical arena for fams who wish to do good in their communities with a purple angle.

The website will include a membership program, and sell T-shirts and other exclusive Prince-inspired artwork. Purple Playground will host special events and programs with guest speakers. Members will be able to view content online or in person. It’s on, it’s on, it's on!


Unsie Zuege is an award-winning multimedia journalist, who enjoys community journalism, bibimbop, Netflix, Trivia Mafia and snuggling tiny dogs, not necessarily in that order.


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