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It is the mission of the Dubuque Arts Council, Inc. to present multi-cultural and diverse artistic and educational opportunities that expand cultural horizons and improve the quality of life within our community, with school and community based performances including, but not limited to, the Artist in Residence programming and Music in the Gardens. The mission includes increasing the community’s appreciation and knowledge related to music, performance art, the world and other cultures, and the differences between themselves and others in the greater Dubuque community.
Dubuque Arts Council History
The Dubuque Arts Council was founded in 1969 by a dedicated group of individuals whose mission was to bring oustanding performers from many artistic disciplines to perform in Dubuque Schools to provide inspiration for young people as they experience professionals they normally wouldn't see.
Since then the program has expanded to include 30 schools in the greater tri-state area. Artists are scheduled for three performances per day for 10 days, reaching approximately 5,000 students per artist.
How do we do it
The Dubuque Arts Council operates on voluntary contributions from many outstanding individuals, civic minded business leaders and corporations who believe in our mission of "Educating and Entertaining." We receive an operational support grant from the City of Dubuque Arts & Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission that helps defray our office expenses. We have also received grants from the John Deere Foundation, Dubuque Racing Association-Mystique Casino, the Iowa Arts Council and bequests from several estates. More than 85% of money raised is used to pay for artists.
Music in the Gardens
When the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens constructed the Packard Pavilion as a venue for outdoor concert events the Dubuque Arts Council began sponsoring and scheduling a regular series of summer evening events held on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm. For seven weeks from mid-June to late July thousands of Tri-state residents gather on the lawn in front of the pavilion to enjoy a wide variety of popular musical attractions ranging from swing to country, jazz to blues and everything in between. Local, regional and national acts have played the Arboretum. Admission is free but free will offerings are taken to help support the mission of the Dubuque Arts Council.
June 16 - The Modern Sounds
sponsored by Dupaco Community Credit Union & Burkart Brothers Flooring
June 23 - Manny Lopez Big Band
sponsored by Parco Ltd
June 30 - Dubuque Symphony Orchestra
sponsored by City of Dubuque; DRA/Mystique Casino;
Mediacom & Prudential Retirement; John Deere Dubuque Works
Rainsite: Five Flags Arena
July 7 - Bob Dorr & The Blue Band
sponsored by Floorshow Companies & Dubuque Home Improvement
July 14 - Endless Summer
sponsored by Conlon Construction Co & DuTrac Credit Union
July 21 - Kids From Wisconsin
sponsored by Fuerste Eye Clinic
July 28 Hunter Fuerste's American Vintage Orchestra
sponsored by American Trust & Savings Bank & Tri-State Independent Physicians
Photos from the TEXAS TENORS performance at The Grand Opera House - April 24, 2013
Sponsored by Dubuque Arts Council & The Falb Family Foundation
2012-2013 Artists in Residence Series
April 15-26 in area schools
Gareth Johnson performing at Acquin School in Cascade, Iowa
An artist with flair that brings to the stage an exciting 21st Century rendition of the master's
mixed with the vibrancy of youth, perfection and extraordinary musicality.
At the age of 10 after hearing famed Itzhak Perlman, the young Mr. Johnson declared, “I can play that instrument!" And how right he was.
Mr. Johnson is an articulate, enthusiastic, and creative presenter and an inspiration to young musicians everywhere.
In addition to his talents as a classical violinist, Mr. Johnson is also a devoted composer and arranger of other music forms.
Dubuque Arts Council is pleased to bring Gareth Johnson back to Dubuque as the final artist in our 2012/2013 series.
He performed a residency for us several years ago that was enthusiastically received by tri-state schools.
Let's Talk Jazz - Frieda Lee
February 4 - 15. 2013
Frieda is the lead vocalist with The Chicago Jazz Orchestra and has performed at Lincoln Center and numerous concerts in the Windy City. Since her early retirement from the Chicago Board of Education she has developed and presented workshops for students and teachers throughout the Midwest.
During her Dubuque Arts Council residency she was accompanied by pianist Terry Dillon.
Neil Jacobs - 12 String Guitarist
Performed in area schools October 15-26. 2012
Neil Jacobs is truly a master of the acoustic 12-string guitar. With his own style of playing that
the St Louis Riverfront Times describes as "mesmerizing" and the Austin Chronicle
describes as "the rockin'est since early Leo Kottke".
Here's a few photos and a video from his appearance at Eisenhower School
Neil Jacobs is truly a masterfu
The Alley Cats
Performed in area schools September 10-12; 17-19; 24-26
Here's a few photo highlights of their entertaining and educational presentation.
Highlights from the Summer of 2012
June 17 – Larry Busch Orchestra (big band)
Sponsor: Dupaco & Dubuque Internal Medicine
June 24 – Fast Eddie & the Corvettes (50’s/60’s)
Sponsors: Floor Show Furniture & Flooring & Parco Ltd
July 1 – Peter Oprisko Trio (American Standards)
Sponsor: Conlon Construction
July 8 – The Dang-Its (Country Swing)
Sponsors: Burkart Brothers Flooring & United Floor Installers
Once again the Dang-Its were a major hit with our Arboretum audience who treated them to a standing ovation.
Their new CD is now available. Visit their website at the link above to get your copy or to contact the band.
July 15 – Modern Sounds (Jazz/Blues/Rockabilly)
Sponsors: Premier Bank & Parco Ltd
This exceptionally talented trio from Chicago were the surprise hit of the summer at the Arboretum.
The wide variety of music and their impeccable musicianship gave us an evening of
absolutely wonderful entertainment
July 22 – Switchback (Celtic/Soul)
Sponsor: DuTrac & Dbq Home Improvement
This popular concert included an appearance by the Dubuque Pipe & Drum Corps plus the Dubuque Arts Council Scholarship presentation to Megan Whiteman and Amanda Zasada. Both a music majors at UW-Platteville.
A crowd estimated at 1,500 enjoyed the evening of great entertainment.
July 29 – Hunter Fuerste’s American Vintage Orchestra (Swing)
Sponsors: American Trust & Tri-State Independent Physicians Association
A beautiful summer evening brought a huge audience for Hunter Fuerste's American Vintage Orchestra
in the annual presentation of classic swing and big band favorites.
Photos from 2011-2012 Artists in Residence Series
The Orchid Ensemble Residency was April 11-13
Established in 1997, the JUNO nominated Orchid Ensemble is Lan Tung (Taiwan/Canada) on the erhu/Chinese violin, Yu-Chen Wang (Taiwan/US) on the zheng/Chinese zither, and Jonathan Bernard (Canada) on percussion. The ensemble blends ancient musical instruments and traditions from China and beyond, creating a beautiful new sound. The ensemble has embraced a variety of musical styles to its repertoire, ranging from the traditional and contemporary music of China, World Music, New Music to Jazz and Creative Improvisation.
Photos from Drexler Middle School Performance - Farley
by Jan Hemmer
Photos by Judy Simon at Epworth Elementary
Photos from the Kipperton String Quartet Residency - Spring of 2012
Other recent performances
Pianist Eugene Alcalay
Bottom Line Duo