Interview: Paisley Park's Executive Director Alan Seiffert

Paisley Park
Paisley Park (c 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.)
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Interview: Alan Seiffert, Executive Director of Paisley Park
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Jill Riley connects with the Executive Director of Paisley Park, Alan Seiffert on the fifth anniversary of Prince's passing. The two discuss Paisley Park's plans for remembering Prince today, and how they'll be celebrating his legacy with fans.

Interview Transcript

Edited for clarity and length.

JILL RILEY: You're listening to The Current's Morning Show, I'm Jill Riley. Today is the fifth anniversary of Prince's passing and all day here on The Current we're marking this occasion by celebrating the life and legacy of Prince through his music. Prince was born and raised in Minnesota, he was truly one of us, and he passed away at his Paisley Park home on this day in 2016. I have a special guest from Paisley Park here on The Current morning show today. Alan Seiffert, the executive director of Paisley Park, good morning.

ALAN SEIFFERT: Good morning, Jill, how are you?

I'm alright, thank you for checking in on this day. What are some plans for remembering Prince today?

Today is a difficult day. But what we wanted to do, as much as possible, kind of recognize how important Prince was to our fans, but also how important fans are to Prince. So what we're doing today is we're opening up the atrium, and we're allowing guests to walk in, pay their respects, and then leave a little note, so leave a little gesture. So it's our way of letting so many of the fans just acknowledge Prince, and at the same time, just give a little bit back to the fans.

I've done the tour at Paisley Park, and that space in the atrium brought out so much emotion from me when I visited. For anyone who's never been to Paisley Park, can you describe the atrium?

Sure, the atrium is this very--it's probably my favorite place. The atrium is a very bright light, it's about two stories high, and it's just about lights and airiness. If you think about what Paisley Park is, it was really created as a sanctuary for Prince. For him to create and that atrium really is just a very uplifting, open and very inspiring space. So we feel like it's just right to have that space be where people can pay their respects. It's just a beautiful space, that's also where you will see the doves and sometimes you will hear them. It's a pretty awesome place.

Well, Alan, I went to Paisley Park a couple of times, I remember going to the pajama party for the single "Breakfast Can Wait," that's a memory that I will hold close for the rest of my life. Then I went there after Prince passed away for the tour of the museum, but it was made really clear as I was making my way through Paisley Park, that it's so much more than just a museum. That building and just the vibe in the air, it really is a living, breathing event center and recording studio. Can you talk a little bit more about what Paisley Park still represents?

Sure, I think you just put it perfectly. Paisley Park is more than a place. It was really designed as a creative space. Part of what we do is we really tried to bring Prince's vision for Paisley back. So not only do we have a place where you can enjoy and get some sense of his music, his musical legacy, the wardrobe, the kind of artifacts, but it's also a living breathing space. We have 8+ artists coming in on a regular basis making music. We have television productions, we have concerts.

The space itself includes a pretty amazing 25,000 square foot space for concerts, rehearsals. Our goal and what we've been doing, since he passed is really bringing that back. We've also added some new elements to it. Again, Paisley Park--Prince wanted it to be open so we are actually creating exhibits and moments where you can learn a little bit more about Prince but also just try to feel what it was like and so we spent a lot of time trying to make the space open, engaging. We've been seeing artists come from from across the world to visit, to record, and that is what ultimately Prince wanted.

I'm talking with Alan Seiffert, the executive director of Paisley Park, as today's the fifth anniversary of Prince's passing. Here on The Current we are taking this occasion to celebrate the life and legacy of Prince through his music. So you're going to hear the music of Prince throughout the day. I haven't been on the tour since it opened, and so it'd be really interesting to go back and to kind of see what's new.

Yeah, I think you'll see some some changes. We put out the love symbol in the front of the space. We've also created a space to give more of a foundation on Prince, to talk about his early years. Then we've created a soundstage experience where, as close as we can, this is what it felt like when you saw Prince. This is what it feels like when you walk into this space and there's this live music. Those are the more recent changes, and I think that the feedback has been tremendous. It's a really special place and not just on this solemn day, but we have tours throughout the week. When people come back, I think we're at the point to where we're really remembering and really celebrating Prince. Paisley Park is really key to that. I look forward to seeing you back here and getting a sense about what do you think about it because it's a pretty awesome space. The vibe here is something that you really cannot get anywhere else.

Well, Alan, you just said the word celebrate--we're looking forward to when Celebration can come back to Paisley Park. Is there anything exciting in the works at Paisley Park? I know because of the global pandemic, the big celebration isn't possible.

We have music concerts coming up. We actually are going to be doing a jazz series out on the patio. We have a series called Live From Paisley Park. We actually did an amazing one last fall during COVID, it was a COVID-friendly concert. We do have those planned. We're just encouraging everyone to be safe and once we're able to, we will be announcing those and bringing those on back. It's a pretty exciting place and a pretty exciting time. We take today as just being a point of reflection, a point to honor him. Then we spend the rest of the time really just celebrating him and his music.

Alan Seiffert is the executive director of Paisley Park. You can find more information about Paisley Park located right here in Minnesota out in Chanhassen. Alan, thank you for taking the time to check in.

Thank you so much, Jill.

External Link

Paisley Park - official site

Credits

Guest - Alan Seiffert
Host - Jill Riley
Producer - Anna Weggel
Digital Producer - Jesse Wiza

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  • Paisley Park Executive Director Alan Seiffert
    Paisley Park Executive Director Alan Seiffert (c 1985-2021 The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson. All rights reserved.)

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