Hear from musicians, staff and fans about the legendary music venue at ‘First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota’s Mainroom’ opening May 4 at the Minnesota History Center.

Since 1970, First Avenue & 7th Street Entry have been at the heart of the Minnesota music scene. Celebrate the musicians, the employees and the regulars who called First Avenue their rock ‘n’ roll home with the new exhibit “First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota’s Mainroom,” opening May 4, 2019, at the Minnesota History Center.

Through music, interviews, images, artifacts, and hands-on interactive elements visitors can relive the club’s nearly 50-year history. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will encounter stories from the people who were there. “It was just like you see it in the movie [Purple Rain]. It was like one big party every time we played,” recalled Jellybean Johnson, member of The Time. “Everything about this place is legendary,” said Sophia Eris, solo artist and international touring DJ. “It’s a part of history. It’s a part of my history. It’s a part of my development and the reason why I’m an artist in a lot of ways.”

The exhibit opens May 4, 2019, with DJ music, art activities, photo ops and book signings. This summer the History Center’s annual outdoor concert series, Bands on the Boulevard, takes on First Avenue as its theme. Plus, starting in June visitors can drop in for “First Avenue First Tuesdays” for special programming such as DJ nights, panel discussions, dance parties and more.

The exhibit draws from the MNHS Press book, “First Avenue: Minnesota’s Mainroom,” by Chris Riemenschneider, local music critic and reporter. Join Riemenschneider for a look back at the place where Prince and Minnesota made rock ’n’ roll history, at one of rock’s most storied clubs and the thousands of musicians who took the stage there.

For more, visit http://www.mnhs.org

Exhibit and Program Support “First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota’s Mainroom” is made possible in part by Presenting Sponsor, Baird. Media support is provided by The Current and the Star Tribune. Additional support is provided by the Legacy Amendment through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

Location and Hours

The Minnesota History Center is located at 345 Kellogg Blvd. W. in St. Paul.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays (admission is free on Tuesdays from 3 to 8 p.m.), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice.

For more information, call 651-259-3000 or 1-800-657-3773.

Admission to “First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota’s Mainroom” is included with regular History Center admission of $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students, $6 ages 5 to 17; free age 4 and under and MNHS members.

About the Minnesota History Center

The Minnesota History Center houses the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society and is home to the History Center museum with innovative exhibits, Gale Family Library, café and museum store. The History Center is located at 345 W. Kellogg Blvd. in St. Paul.

For more information, visit www.minnesotahistorycenter.org.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history. Visit us at mnhs.org. The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by Premier Partner Explore Minnesota Tourism.