40th anniversary poster

Dubuque County Fine Arts Society Hosts 40th Annual DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival May 19-21, 2017

Free Festival Celebrates Music, Art and Culture in Historic Downtown Dubuque

DUBUQUE, Iowa, April 26, 2017—Dubuque County Fine Arts Society will host its 40th annual DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival May 19-21, 2017. Held in the heart of the historic downtown Washington Park and Town Clock Plaza, the free, three-day festival encourages Tri-State community members to experience art through a juried fine art fair, live concerts, a community chalk mural and even a World Music Night—a first for the festival.

“We’re incredibly proud to say DubuqueFest has raised arts awareness, celebrated culture, and offered economic opportunities to local artists for four decades,” said Danielle Stowell, DubuqueFest festival director. “Forty years is a long time to keep any festival going, and we’re excited to remember our past, share those photos and memorabilia with the public, and celebrate what’s to come.”

DubuqueFest kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 19 at the Town Clock Plaza with World Music Night. Celebrating the sounds of Dubuque’s cultural diversity, live music will begin with Dubuque Fire Pipes & Drums, and Balleyheigue—a local, five-piece Irish folk band specializing in traditional instrumental and vocal Irish songs. At 7 p.m., attendees can enjoy traditional Marshallese music and readings from The Facing Project, while StellaRoma out of Minneapolis will follow at 7:30 p.m. with progressive world music that has futuristic flavors. Parranderos Latin Combo from Des Moines, Iowa will conclude the live-music celebration at 8:30 p.m. with a mix of Latin American salsa and urban folk.

“With World Music Night, we hope attendees will enjoy hearing new types of music that the Dubuque community may not have encountered at other downtown performances before,” said Amanda Reynolds, DubuqueFest Town Clock music coordinator.

Live music continues at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 20 in Washington Park with The Fiddlers, Americana Band, and ACE. Converts will continue all day at the Town Clock Plaza with Dubuque Senior High Ensembles, Black Velvet Band, Cranes/Vultures, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, Lexi Parr & the Rubyblonde Band, Driftless Sisters and electro-pop group, GGOOLLDD, from Milwaukee. On Sunday, May 21, live music concludes with Mimi Ottavi on Ukelele and local duo Medicinal Purposes in Washington Park.

“Live, local musicians are always a guaranteed good time,” said Reynolds. “Plus, it’s free!”

The juried art fair, taking place Saturday, May 20 through Sunday, May 21, received more than 100 applications from regional artists and artisans. Nearly 80 have been accepted and invited to participate this year. Community members will have the opportunity to purchase some of the very best jewelry, glass, painting, photography, wood work, metal work, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, fiber, drawing and original design work the tri-state region has to offer.

“We are thrilled to have increased the variety of media that will be showcased at this year’s event,” said Rose Noble, DubuqueFest art fair coordinator. “We’ve also had a number of artists approach us about doing live demonstrations of their craft, which should be fun for the public to experience.”

New to DubuqueFest arts programming this year will be plein air painting demonstrations and a special photography exhibit, “Masterpieces on the Mississippi: Dubuque, Look at You Now,” through Dubuque’s Fountain of Youth Program. In addition, Chalk the Walk, the collaborative community chalk mural, will be designed by the Youth Art Team from Waterloo, Iowa.

“I love that DubuqueFest is a hub for different arts organizations and non-profits to feature themselves, and reach a larger audience,” said Noble. “It’s fun to discover new things as you walk through the festival.”

DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival would not be possible without the support of McGraw-Hill Education, Runde Auto Group, Mediacom and the City of Dubuque office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. Additional in-kind sponsors include Radio Dubuque, The Lift, 365Ink, Hy-Vee, Green Iowa AmeriCorps, Stonecliff Winery, TH Media, Woodward Communications, Inc., JMJ Screen Printing, Ignite Power Yoga Studio, Travel Dubuque, Dubuque Bike Coop and the Dubuque Museum of Art.

“DubuqueFest is really about showcasing the best of what the tri-state area has to offer, and that includes all of the local businesses and individuals who make our event possible through funding, donations, and volunteerism,” said Stowell. “We really couldn’t do this without the support of the entire community.”

For a full schedule of arts programming, musical performances and a gallery of accepted artists, please visit www.dubuquefest.org.

About the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society:

The Dubuque County Fine Arts Society (DCFAS) is a volunteer-driven 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit arts organization serving the Dubuque, Iowa community. DCFAS serves as an “umbrella” organization for a range of affiliate groups and programs and is governed by an active volunteer board and committees. The group’s mission is to encourage, promote, and present local and regional arts including music, writing, theater and fine art. For more information, visit www.dcfas.org.