Prince conference organiser playing major role in Minneapolis event
A SYMPOSIUM honouring the legacy of Prince is being held in the star’s home city – one year after the University of Salford, in MediaCityUK, organised the world’s first conference dedicated to the singer.
The University’s Dr Kirsty Fairclough, who organised last year’s Purple Reign conference, is taking part as an official consultant in the Prince From Minneapolis symposium, featuring musicians and artists who worked with the singer as well as international journalists and academics.
The symposium, held by the University of Minneapolis on April 16-18 as part of Prince Week commemorating the second anniversary of the singer’s death, includes talks from Matt Fink, who played keyboard in The Revolution and Shelby J, who sang in The New Power Revolution.
Dancer and choreographer Mayte Garcia, who as well as working alongside Prince was married to the star for four years, will also speak at the event, alongside his former bodyguard Harlan Austin and creative director Sotera Tschetter.
Dr Fairclough was invited to take part as a consultant after organisers were impressed with last year’s Purple Reign conference, held at The Lowry and the University’s MediaCityUK campus, which as well as generating a book has also been nominated for a Chartered Institute of Marketing award.
That event attracted academics from New York University, Harvard University and the prestigious Smithsonian museum complex, as well as from Amsterdam, Poland and New Zealand, to come to Salford and discuss the lasting impact the singer had on popular culture.
Prince fans also listened to former Revolution guitarist Dez Dickerson talk about his experiences working alongside the star, while HOME Manchester housed a packed screening of his 1986 musical drama Under The Cherry Moon.
The University’s Peel Hall and MediaCityUK buildings, as well as Salford City Council’s Swinton Civic Centre, were lit purple throughout the event.
Mike Alleyne, an expert in popular culture from Middle Tennessee State University, who co-organised the Purple Reign conference, is also acting as a consultant at the Prince From Minneapolis event.
Dr Fairclough, Associate Dean of the University of Salford’s School of Arts and Media, said: “The response we had from academics, as well as Prince fans, who travelled from all over the world to come to last year’s event, was truly astounding. Prince touched the lives of thousands of people and we always set out for this to be so much more than simply an academic conference.
“It’s truly an honour to have been invited to come to Prince’s home city and be involved in such an important event – and it’s wonderful to see that the idea we started in Salford has now taken hold across the Atlantic.”
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