History of the Musicians Association
The Musicians Association was created in 1991 and is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.Our first task as an organization was to raise $60,000 to construct the Mandan Band Shell along with a flag display and a flower garden. Our status as a non-profit allowed us to apply for federal grant dollars to continue to support the Summer Concerts in the park.The Summer Concert series began in 1994. Each year we receive approximately 25% of our budget for the summer concert series from the ND Council on the Arts along with grant funding from the City of Mandan and support from local businesses.
Our Mission Statement
“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 $10,000 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, created the Music Performance Fund. After meeting with program directors of local care centers, the program created funds for musicians who provide an hour or more entertainment at the senior 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 $500 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 available on-line.i 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 $3000 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, 20 to 25 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 the last Wednesday and Thursday in June as part of the Mandan Rodeo Days Celebration.
Buggies-N -Blues is a classic car show began 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.
In 2018 after 25 years of involvement the Musicians Association sold its inventory and the rights for Buggies-n-Blues to the Mandan Progress Organization thus terminating our time and investments into this event.
"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. The event was discontinued during Covid and has been resurrected.
Mandan Band Shell
Our Association has inherited the responsibility of maintaining the Mandan Band Shell (Vern Cermak Band Shell) which is used for the Summer Concert Series. The maintenance of the structure includes painting, upkeep, and repair of facilities. Our Association also includes in its budget each year toward the upkeep of the facility. The Association also provides and maintained the sound equipment that is required for the Summer Concert Series.