Arts Calendar, UPDATED MAY 10

Premier Bank and Matter, Dubuque's creativity epicenter, have teamed up to bring all of the tri-states premier arts events to you in 365ink and online at Whether it's fine visual arts, staged theater of symphonic music, you'll find it in this list, so you can plan your season around the arts in Dubuque and the Tr-States. If something is missing from this list, please send it to us right away to Click into this blog post for the full calendar of events!

Tri-State Arts Calendar Events

Dubuque Museum of Art 2013 Biennial Juried Exhibition

April 6 – July 21
Sponsored by Marella
Opening April 6th, the fourth Dubuque Museum of Art Biennial Juried Exhibition features exciting works of art by some of the most talented artists in a 200 mile radius of Dubuque. Generously sponsored by Marella fine gifts, located in the Roshek building downtown Dubuque. This home grown exhibition highlights the quality and variety of artwork that is currently being produced by the artists of this area. Special thanks to this year’s juror Mr. James Welu, Director Emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts. Mr. Welu will present a gallery talk on Sunday, April 21st at 1:30 pm. The 2013 Biennial was the most competitive call for entries yet with 124 artists submitting 348 works of art. Of those, 47 artists and 50 works of art were selected by the juror for the exhibition. A Members-Only Preview Reception will be held Friday, April 5, 2013 from 5:30-7:30pm with an awards presentation at 6:00pm; seven artists will receive awards. The reception will also celebrate the openings of Margaret Whiting’s paper sculptures and DMA New Acquisitions. Anyone that is not a member yet but would like to attend the reception can sign up for a membership at the door.

Dubuque Museum of Art Exhibits

• Margaret Whiting: Art and the Environment
  March 22 - July 7

Taming of the Shrew
May 17-19, 7 p.m.
Flora Park Playground
May 18 and 19, 2:00 p.m.
Dubuque Renaissance Faire

Trainwreck Productions presents an hour long adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, full of physical comedy and stage combat. Previews of the play will take place at 12:00 p.m. at DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival, Washington Park and Town Clock Plaza, Dubuque. All performances are free; donations are accepted. For more information, visit

DubuqueFest Fine Arts Festival
Friday-Sunday, May 17-19
Washington Park / Town Clock

Three days of music, art, and culture featuring a fine art fair, a vinyl record fair, live music on three stages, and interactive art for all ages. Admission is free. Visit

Rave On! Plus... Classic, Rod &
Custom Car Show & Flea Market
 Car Show from Noon - 4 p.m .
Showtime: Saturday, May 18, 7 p.m.
Ohnward Fine Arts Center
From 12:00-4:00 p.m. in the Ohnward Fine

Arts Center parking lot and lobby, 1215 E. Platt St., Maquoketa, IA, check out this car show and flea market. Car registration is from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; cost is $10. All makes and models of classic, rod, and custom cars are welcome. Trophies will be given to the top 20 cars with one Best of Show trophy to be awarded. Tables at the flea market cost $10; call (563) 652-9815 to reserve your spot. Admission to the car show and flea market is free. Sandwiches, soda, beer and wine will be available. For more information, visit At 7:00 p.m. at the Ohnward Fine Arts Center, America’s premiere Buddy Holly interpreter, Billy McGuigan, backed by the rockin’ Rave On Band, ignites the stage and breathes new life into the music of Buddy Holly. In this rock and roll tour-deforce, audiences will experience all the thrills of a Buddy Holly concert re-imagined. For tickets or more information, visit

Summer Songs  of the 50’s & 60’s
Saturday, May 18
The Grand Opera House

At 7:30 p.m. at the Grand Opera House, 135 W. 8th St., Dubuque, the 30-piece Grand Pops Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of Paul Hemmer will present summertime hits of the 50s and 60s with guest soloists. Hear many of your favorite hit songs from that wonderful era of popular music. For tickets or more information, call (563) 588-1305 or visit

It Was a Beautiful Country
Saturday, May 18, 7 p.m.
E.B. Lyons / Mines of Spain
At 7:00 p.m. at E. B. Lyons Interpretive

Center, 8991 Bellevue Hts., Dubuque, The Medicine Band presents a rock opera concert about Black Hawk, leader and warrior of the Sauk Native American tribe, as a fundraiser for land expansion at the Mines of Spain. Bring your lawn chairs for this outdoor concert. In case of inclement weather, the concert will move inside. A free will offerings will be accepted. For more information, call (563) 566-0620 or visit

Dubuque Renaissance Faire
Saturday & Sunday, May 18 & 19, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Camp Albrecht Acres, 14837 Sherrill Rd.

A captivating family event enabling visitors of all ages to beenchanted by this era of jousting, juggling, music, dance, blades, battles, pirates and peers. Visit

Big Band Concerts
May 19, 5-8 p.m.
Hotel Julien Dubuque
Ken Killian’s 15 member Classic Big Band will be performing at the Hotel Julien Dubuque on Sunday May 19th from 5-8 p.m.. You’ll get to hear more “new” arrangements that have been preserved from the Jurgens library along with some other tunes that have a “newer” wrinkle to them! Additional Classic Big Band Sundays for 2013 are June 30th (their 30th Anniversary, by the way.....yes, there will be cake!) August 18th, and October 13th. Performances will all be in the Grande Ballroom of the Hotel Julien, and tickets are available at the door or by calling 608-348-3748. Additianally, Ken’s Jazz Trio will be appearing in the Hotel Julien’s Riverboat Lounge on Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. through the end of March.

Dixieland Sundays
Sundays, 5 p.m.
River’s Edge Plaza

Dubuque’s Americana Band, aka Guerrilla Band or Band of Infidels, will be playing Dixieland and ragtime music in the American Trust gazebo by the riverfront outside the Ice Harbor this summer. Weather and mayflies permitting, the group will start playing about 5 p.m. on Sundays starting now. They will play traditional Dixieland music as the riverboat Twilight docks, and the Spirit of Dubuque leaves the Ice Harbor for the Sunday evening cruise. Uniquely, anyone can show up and join the group and jam with them. For more details visit

B.B. King 
Presented by the Telegraph Herald 
Tuesday, May 28, 8 p.m. (See page 23) 
Mississippi Moon Bar, Diamond Jo Casino
There is only one King of the blues and that’s Riley B. King, affectionately known as B.B. King.  B.B. King has released over 60 albums, many of them considered blues classics, like live blues album Live at the Regal and Together for the First Time.  Soon after his number one hit, “Three O’clock Blues,” B.B. began touring nationally, and he has never stopped, performing an average of 125 concerts a year. His classic songs such as “Prayin’ the Cost to be the Boss,” “Caldonia,” “How Blue Can You Get,” “Everyday I Have the Blues,” and “Why I Sing the Blues,” are concert and fan staples. B.B. King has received many awards including the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award and the Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award.  B.B. King’s imprint was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991 and he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.  B.B. has also been presented with fifteen Grammy Awards over the years.  Ticket prices range from $45-$85

Matt & Ben
Fri-Sun, May 31-June 2 & June 7-9
Five Flags Theater

At 7:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 2:00 p.m. Sundays in the Bijou Room of the Five Flags Theater, 405 Main St., Dubuque, Fly-by-Night Productions presents a comedy by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers. How did Matt Damon and Ben Affleck come up with the screenplay Good Will Hunting that awarded them Oscar gold and made them elite Hollywood stars? This hilarious play takes us back to the pivotal moment in 1996 when the finished script that would change their lives fell from the ceiling. For more information, visit See page 28 for details on Dubuquefest weekend including Dubuquefest Fine Arts Festival, The Dubuque Renaissance Festival and the Old House Enthusiasts Tour!

Tri-State Wind Symphony Shows
Thurs., May 30, 7:30 p.m., Eagle Point Park Band Shell
Brian Hughes Conducts 
Sunday, June 2, 6:30 p.m., Dubuque Arboretum
June 6, 7:30 p.m., Eagle Point Park Band Shell
Feat. Dbq. Chorale & Loras College Flute Ensemble

Events & Articles

Voices From the Warehoue District 11:  Streets

Posted on August 26, 2015

Voices, arguably Dubuque’s largest annual art event of the year both in scale and impact, returns to the raw 15,000 square foot warehouse space in the rapidly evolving Millwork District with Streets, a large-scale exhibit and series of special events.  Voices 11 begins the annual exhibit’s second decade with an Opening Reception, Saturday, September 12, with a series of special events to follow.  
Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series

Posted on August 04, 2015

The University of Dubuque’s 2015–2016 Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series boasts 14 professional guest artist performances selected from today’s national touring circuit, plus the University’s signature Christmas at Heritage Center presentation. All performances occur in Heritage Center’s premier venue, John and Alice Butler Hall, with a seating capacity of 1000 patrons located at 2000 University Ave. on the University of Dubuque Campus.

The Grand Opera House: Exciting Change & Historical Celebrations

Posted on August 04, 2015

Anniversary Concert
Saturday, August 15 @ 7:30 PM
Story by Shelby Dill
Photos by Josh Dill

Everything Photography: New Location, New Opportunities

Posted on July 23, 2015

Story By Shelby Dill
Photos by Everything Photography

In December of 2012, Sean MacDonald opened the store Everything Photography here in Dubuque. Over the past few years, the store has provided a place for individuals to develop their passion for photography, while giving others a resource for their business or hobby. Now in a new location on 1st and Main, Everything Photography is continuing to do just that and more.

Scott Thomas & the Birth of Buzz Entertainment Group

Posted By Bryce Parks on July 07, 2015

Scott Thomas’ love of live music started when his dad took him to see Johnny Cash when he was 8 years old. Today, Scott has been booking live music events in the Tri-States for more than 20 years, from the days of putting on teen dances at Riverside Bowl, to track acts at the Brass Ring (popular pop artists singing to recorded backing tracks), to creating recognizable ongoing festivals like Kickoff to Summer and Summer’s Last Blast, and eventually to the man behind the music at the Diamond Jo Casino’s Mississippi Moon Bar. If there was a national act visiting Dubuque, chances are Scott was involved somehow.