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Encyclopedia Dubuque



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DUBUQUE MUSICIANS UNION. Professional organization founded in 1903. Begun as the Dubuque Musicians Protective Association, Local #289, the group was affiliated with the American Federation of Musicians to unite the instrumental portion of the profession for their protection and to enforce good faith and fair dealings.

During March and April 1936, the DMPA hosted its first series of live broadcasts called the "Musicians Union Variety Hour" from the studios of WKBB. In 1937 the third series of programs was broadcast before a packed audience on the stage of the ORPHEUM THEATER.

The membership of the organization in 1990 was two hundred sixty-seven with an estimated forty to fifty performing groups. Approximately 68 percent of the members came from Iowa.

The union president administers the Music Performance Trust Fund that co-sponsored Dubuquefest with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The Fund annually supports concerts that are free and open to the public. Concert sites have included the GAZEBO at WASHINGTON PARK during the Art Fair and HAM HOUSE for the annual Fourth of July Ice Cream Social. The Fund has also helped provide classroom concerts during the school year, the Sixth Annual Free Labor Day Symphony Pops Concert, several Riverfest concerts, and third grade attendance at symphony concerts at the FIVE FLAGS THEATER. Cooperating with the Musicians Union to cosponsor events have been FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF DUBUQUE for the summer concert series in Washington Park, AMERICAN TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK and DUBUQUE BANK AND TRUST COMPANY.