History of the Musicians Association
The Musicians Association was created in 1991. Prior to that time, it was Chartered under the American Federation of Musicians (A F of M) Local 229 which was founded in 1931.
In Jan of 1990, membership voted to terminate the affiliation with A F of M due to the increase cost of membership affiliation at the national level.
In May of 1991, a membership meeting was called to restructure the existing membership and continue on as a nonprofit organization. The name selected for the new organization was the “Musicians Association.” In 1994 our association applied for and was approved by the IRS as a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization.
Our first task as an organization was raising $60,000 in funds to build the Mandan Band Shell along with a five-flag display and an adjoining flower garden.
This IRS approval provided our organization with the opportunity to apply for federal grant dollars related to the arts. In 1994 we were approved for our first funding to be utilized for the Summer Concert Program in Dykshoorn Park in Mandan. Each year since 1994, we have received approximately 25% of our yearly $7500.00 budget for the park’s summer concert series from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, the City of Mandan and business sponsors.
Our mission statement as the Musicians Association is “to provide leadership to create, to promote, and to fund activities in the community that foster live musical entertainment, enhance the abilities and interests of musicians and to champion programs the “support live music for life”.
Summer Concert Series
The Summer Concert Series consists of one-hour concerts at the Dykshoorn Park in Mandan each Monday-Thursday evenings. The forty concerts begin the second Monday of June and continue through the third Thursday of August. Some 300 artists perform during the summer and each are paid a stipend from our $7500 budget. The concerts are open and free to the public. Our summer attendance for the concerts is approximately 10,000 “music lovers”. The 40 performances are organized and hosted by members of the Musicians Association Executive Council. The first concerts began in 1994.
Music Performance Fund
In 2009 our Association Board and members, seeing a need for “live entertainment” in care centers and nursing facilities the Music Performance Fund was established. After meeting with program directors of the care centers, the program created funds for musicians who provide an hour or more entertainment at the care facilities. The care facility provides funding for the program as well as our Association. So that residents of area facilities can enjoy “live entertainment” our Association has committed funding to this program on a yearly basis. Over the past two years these funds have been exhausted by early to mid December. As care facilities for seniors continue to increase in our area, the will be a greater need for funds to support this program.
Waddingham Memorial Scholarship Awards
The Musician Association grants scholarships in the amount of $400 increments to students who wish to attend summer music, art, or dance camps to further their interests and develop their skills and talent. These limited grants are made available through the area schools by application. The applications are sent to selected schools in April. The deadline to file the application is the first week of May. A committee of area musicians and teachers evaluate the applications and decide upon the recipients. We attempt to award a minimum of six grants per year at a cost of $2400. The Musicians Association assists with the Grants by funding 50% of the awards.
The Musicians Association is grateful to the Lloyd Waddingham, Sr. Family for the creation of this fund.
Kaleidoscope began with the idea of one of our members in 1995, and today has grown to a patriotic, variety, musical, comedy show that includes some 100 participants. The show includes a 16 piece pit orchestra, 30 to 40 member choir, 12 dancing ladies in the style of the Rockets, and various performers from comics to musicians. This variety show hosted, sponsored, and directed by the Musicians Association is held at the Mandan High School Auditorium in late June as part of the Mandan Rodeo Days Celebration.
Buggies-N -Blues is a classic car show hosted by the Musicians Association with involvement by 9 local car clubs that began in 1993. This event has grown to be a major attraction in the Bismarck-Mandan area drawing some 25,000-30,000 spectators to enjoy the day viewing some 300+ classic cars that line Mandan’s Main Street. The day also provides businesses the opportunity to display items for sale along Main Street. Spectators can also enjoy food and beverages provided by vendors, music in the park from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM along with other attractions. This event is free for all those who wish to display their vehicles as well as free to the “families of spectators”. Buggies-n-Blues is held in early June with a street dance at Burlington Northern Park on Saturday evening followed by the Classic Car Show on Sunday.
"Wild West” Grill Fest
The Musicians Association teamed with The Mandan Progress Organization to host the first “Wild West” Grill Fest held the third weekend of August of 2010. This event featured food, fun, and entertainment designed for families at prices families could afford.
The success of the event was evident with an attendance of over 5000 for the two day event. The event featured grilled food provided by local eateries along with live entertainment in the city park from noon till midnight. We hope to make this an annual even
Mandan Band Shell
Our Association has inherited the responsibility of maintaining the Mandan Band Shell which is used for the Summer Concert Series. The area includes a lighted flag display along with a flower garden. There are substantial costs involved in planting flowers and replacing flags each season. Along with those areas, there is also the maintenance of the structure which includes painting, upkeep, and repair of facilities. Our Association also includes in its budget each year toward the upkeep of the facility and toward the flower garden.