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NASH, Russell

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Ancestry: https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/1164055/person/1346098008/facts?_phsrc=HEg4492&_phstart=successSource

Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

NASH, Russell. (Minneapolis, MN, Feb. 25, 1921--Dubuque, IA, June 25, 2000). Russ and Ruth NASH attended the University of Minnesota. He served during WORLD WAR II in the Navy. They were married at the naval base in Norfolk. (1)

Russ taught at the Pratt Institute in New York City and then took a position at Whitmore College in Walla Walla, Washington. After five years, he took a position at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. In 1965 they moved to Dubuque. (2)

Russ, an instructor at the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE from 1965 to 1986, served as state chairperson of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE (N.A.A.C.P.) from 1963 to 1964. Russ and Ruth were among the founders of the DACCR (Dubuque Area Council of Community Relations) "feeds" which occurred once each month unti1 1978.

Art Cooperatives: Four Iowa Models by Russell and Ruth Nash (1976) featured 1970s counter-culture art cooperatives in four Iowa communities.

In 1972 Russ and his wife founded the Fourth Street Art Gallery in which as many as one hundred fifty artists brought works to be sold on consignment. In 1976 they founded the DUBUQUE COUNTY FINE ARTS SOCIETY. Russ was active on the Central Committee of the Democratic Party and co-chaired on several occasions the Art Fair during the DUBUQUEFEST/VERY SPECIAL ARTS Festival. He served as president of the DACCR, Eleventh Street Neighborhood Association and the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society and co-chaired Iowans for Fair Housing and the Iowa Human Rights Coalition. Both he and his wife were active in the Historic Bluffs Neighborhood Association. (3)

Since its beginning in 1985, Russ arranged guests for "Question Box," a locally produced weekly television program dealing with a variety of subjects. In 1997 when their friend Rocco BUDA died, the Ruth and Russ purchased his half of the duplex, knocked through basement wall and connected the two homes. They then opened the Rocco Buda Arts Resource Center, a free art museum featuring the work of local artisans. (4)

A poet published by Lyric Iowa and Julien's Journal, Russ received a plaque as "Premier Poet of Dubuque and Patron of the Arts" from the Dubuque Area Writers' Guild. (5) In 1979 the fine arts society honored Russ and Ruth with its first annual Elisha Darlin Award and again recognized them in 2003. The Telegraph Herald awarded them its FIRST CITIZEN AWARD in 1998. (6)

As a memorial to Nash, the program known as "Artstart," an outreach of the Dubuque County Fine Arts Society, was started in 2001. Designed for talented elementary students, the project provided after-school opportunities for talented students. For the pilot project, Artstart targeted students from Prescott, Fulton, St. Patrick and St. Mary schools. Several home-schooled students would also be included. Students were chosen on the basis of recommendations from their teachers. (7)



1. Jonjack, Donald. "A Love Affair With the Arts," Julien's Journal, February 1996, p. 51

2. Ibid.

3. Voight, Sandye. "Nashes Bring, Art, Culture to Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, November 10, 2008, p. 43

4. Gwiasda, Susan B., "Nashes TH First Citizens," Telegraph Herald, January 1, 1999, p. 1

5. Voight

6. Ibid.

7. Voight, Sandye, "Perfect Fit, Telegraph Herald, February 23, 2001, p. 20