City Council approves adding commemorative street name of Prince Rogers Nelson Way to First Avenue block

May 26, 2022

The City Council has approved adding the commemorative street name of Prince Rogers Nelson Way to the block next to the First Avenue nightclub that the iconic musician made famous.

First Avenue North between Seventh and Eighth Streets will feature a commemorative street sign to honor Prince. Crown Our Prince Mural organizers Sharon Smith-Akinsanya and Joan Vorderbruggen partnered on the application process along with the mpls downtown council for the commemorative street name. A renaming celebration is planned for June 7, on what would have been Prince’s 64th birthday. A 100-foot Prince mural on Ramp A in downtown Minneapolis will be unveiled June 2.

“I’m thrilled that Prince is being immortalized on concrete with ink. Right across from his musical home that is First Avenue,” said City Council President Andrea Jenkins. “Prince’s independent spirit, commitment to social justice, and his love for the Timberwolves makes this the perfect space for his image to live.”

“As a timeless icon of Minneapolis, Prince’s music can be heard from Target Field to backyard BBQs and everywhere in between. It’s only right for his name to be memorialized outside the legendary First Ave, which he helped put on the map for music appreciators nationwide,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Prince will forever be part of Minneapolis history and now that legacy has one more important piece for generations to visit and enjoy.”

“It’s bittersweet, really,” said Sharon Smith-Akinsanya, CEO of Rae Mackenzie Group. “It’s the seventh year of our efforts to get Prince recognized, and it’s only now finally happening. While I think it’s great how we are coming together to get this done -- corporations, organizations, community leaders, city and state officials, and Prince’s family -- Joan and I wish Prince was here to see it and smell his flowers.”

“It was important for Sharon and me to honor Prince in a way that would last for years to come,” said Joan Vorderbruggen, a public art consultant. “When we started on our journey to create the mural it just made sense for us to add the street naming, it truly is the icing on top.”

“Prince is a Minneapolis-born legend, and both Prince Rogers Nelson Way and the Prince mural are fantastic ways for our community to collectively honor Prince and his legacy,” said Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the mpls downtown council. “We are happy to be partnering with such great people and companies to make sure Prince is forever remembered for his incredible impact.”