The Minnesota Center is offering two programs that will focus on who Prince was in the very early stages of his career, well before the landmark hit "Purple Rain".

First, on September 21, Prince fans can check out the new exhibit “Prince: Before the Rain” by Minnesota photographer Allen Beaulieu:

As Prince’s personal photographer and friend from the late 1970s into the early 1980s, Beaulieu worked closely with the artist, helping to transform Prince from rising star to superstardom. Through it all, he had access to the musician that few photographers have had, before or since.

According to the History Center, "Prince: Before the Rain" by Allen Beaulieu will showcase 50 digital prints, including the album covers of “Dirty Mind,” “Controversy,” and “1999,” promotional photos of Prince and The Revolution, Morris Day and The Time, and other artists, as well as rare behind-the-scenes candid shots.  There is no additional cost for this exhibit, it is included with the standard $6-$12 History Center admission price.

Then, on October 1, you can see Beaulieu, Dez Dickerson, guitarist for The Revolution, and Kevin Cole, veteran First Ave DJ, in a panel discussion about Prince's early career.

The panel is expected to discuss the emerging R&B, punk and new wave sounds that emanated from Prince's hometown when he was just starting out.  There will also be DJ music, featuring Kevin Cole from 6:30 - 7:00 p.m.  This program, and History Center admission, is free.

Minnesota History Center