When Doves Cry: OEC Remembers Prince

Michael Jackson. David Bowie. Prince.
Some of the world’s greatest pop icons have passed recently – and each time, it can hurt. We don’t necessarily grieve because we know them personally, but we grieve because these artists have helped many of us get to know ourselves. And for many of us at OEC, their music served as the soundtrack for our time as we became environmentalists, advocates, and Oregonians.
The most recent passing of Prince particularly hit home. He actively campaigned and supported urban farming, health, and disadvantaged youth – many of the same issues that we care deeply about.
Here are some of the thoughts from staff on what Prince meant to us:
“Prince taught me that it was ok to be creative, that it was indeed something to treasure. I think that’s why I am so taken by his death. He inspired me to pursue art for art’s sake. ” – Michelle McGrath, Grassroots Engagement & Membership Director
“Prince was not only the soundtrack of my teens, but he let me know that being different was something to celebrate and not hide from.” – Anessa Lewis, Special Projects Manager
“I’ve been in awe of Prince throughout his career – his musical genius, his dedication and hard work, and his celebration of love, social justice, equality and peace.  I wore a purple boa to his concert in Portland in 2004 and it was AMAZING!” – Angela Crowley-Koch, Legislative Director
“Prince’s earliest hits were on the top of the charts when I first moved to Oregon. As I fell in love with this state, I was dancing to his iconic sound.” – Chris Hagerbaumer, Deputy Director
“I admire that Prince was a fearless advocate for artistic freedom. And I loved that he did it with a sense of humor along the way. Fearlessness and humor are great traits for all dedicated advocates no matter the cause.” – Jana Gastellum, Program Director (Climate)
“Growing up in Minnesota, Prince was a timeless symbol of homegrown pride. He busted the walls of conformity wide open in everything he did and his influence is pervasive in nearly every genre of music today. His legacy will never be forgotten.” – Samantha Murray, Program Director (Water)
“Let art have no limits, let simple word speak their full volume, let pain kiss beauty, invent and reinvent yourself freely, let your freak flag fly: these are the blessings that shaped my adolescence and live on in the music of Prince.” – Jen Coleman, Health Outreach Director
“From his music, to the audacity of simply becoming a symbol, Prince didn’t think years ahead. He thought about progress in terms of centuries – both with his art as well as his activism.” – Simon Tam, Marketing Director
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