Sneak peek of Charlie Roth playing Memorial Auditorium on Feb 5 at 7pm

Please join us as Dawson-Boyd Arts Association presents a night of stories and songs from singer songwriter Charlie Roth, the Emissary of the Prairie. Joined by vocalist Mary Melby & Cristina Seaborn, fiddler for the Ring of Kerry.

This will be a night to remember!

  • Saturday February 5
  • 7pm
  • Memorial Auditorium, Dawson MN
  • Adults $15 / Students $5
  • Get tickets online!

Memorial Auditorium Fall Events

Prairie Arts Chorale
Brandon Hurley, director
Sunday, November 7 – 4pm
Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students.
Available at the door and online.

*Dawson-Boyd Arts Association is a recipient of an operating support grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council made possible by the voters of Minnesota, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Due to the construction project at the school, the lobby entrance to Memorial Auditorium is temporarily unavailable. Please use the smaller door on the same side of the building. For event details, please check our website or our Facebook page at Dawson-Boyd Arts Association – Memorial Auditorium. Thank you for your support and understanding!

Riverfest Shows June 26: The Dollipops and Divas through the Decades 

We are excited to share our line up for Riverfest Weekend in Dawson – and the good news is that both shows are FREE!

At 12:00pm [NOON] this Saturday, June 26, The Dollipops will perform at Riverside Park. Bring the kids for this family show with music and laughs!

At 2:00pm, Divas through the Decades will take the stage and perform a musical tribute to some of the most influential female vocalists in American pop music. Music, choreography, costumes & high energy will make this show a highlight of your weekend!

Bring a chair and enjoy these shows in the shade of the trees at Riverside Park – at the south end of Main Street in Dawson.

Thanks to our event sponsor – Dawson Co-op Credit Union!

Spread the word – fun for all ages!

Notice of Annual Meeting – Thursday, April 29 at 7:00pm

Please join us for Dawson-Boyd Arts Association’s Annual Meeting for fiscal year 2020. The meeting will not be long – but it will be great to see your faces again!

Two options to attend:

  • Memorial Auditorium – socially-distance seating & masks required
  • Via Zoom meeting – you will receive a link by email to join the meeting

*Note: if you are not currently receiving emails from Dawson-Boyd Arts Association, we do not have your email address. To participate via Zoom, please send your email to: [email protected]

EVENT April 10 and 11: World-class violinist Midori returns to Dawson – virtually

Dawson-Boyd Arts Association is pleased to welcome world-class violinist Midori back to our (virtual) stage for a weekend of virtual events. Thanks to the generosity of Midori’s Nonprofit Organization Partners in Performance (PiP) there is no cost to participate.

In 2007, Midori performed in Dawson to a sold-out audience as part of her PiP program to bring chamber music to underserved communities. In a deeply generous gesture, Midori reached out to offer encouragement to all past community partners to provide this concert at no charge to the presenter or the audience.

On Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 11:30am CST, Dawson-Boyd Arts Association will host a Talking Program Notes presentation. Midori will join participants to discuss her upcoming virtual recital including a question and answer session. The event will be 45 minutes in length.

The following day, Sunday, April 11 at 1:00pm CST, join us for a virtual recital. Midori will perform with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute for a program including Grieg’s Violin Sonata No.2 in G major, Op.13 and Franck’s Violin Sonata in A major. A live question and answer session with Midori will immediately follow the recital.

Registration Details

There is no cost to participate in the events, but registration is required to attend. Please register for each event separately. After registering, you will receive an email with the event link.

See you in the Zoom lobby!

New Traveler Stage Curtain installed at Memorial Auditorium

There may not be performances on stage right now at Memorial Auditorium, but this month a significant and long-awaited improvement was completed. The gold traveler stage curtain, circa 1960s, was replaced earlier with a new black curtain, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Dawson-Boyd Arts Association, Dawson-Boyd School District, community donors and a grant from Southwest Minnesota Arts Council.

“We are delighted to see this new curtain installed,” says performing arts director Luanne Fondell. “The gold curtain may have fond memories for generations of people, but it was very worn out!” According to Fondell, the curtain had been mended many times and had also lost its fire-retardant properties over time. When researching the project, other improvements were required as well. For example, all the “dog chains” used to hang the existing front curtain were no longer acceptable.

Dawson-Boyd Arts Association launched the fundraiser campaign to replace the gold curtain last November during the annual Give to the Max Day for non-profits in Minnesota. Later in the winter, Fondell wrote a grant to Southwest Minnesota Arts Council through its Equipment & Facilities Improvement grant program.   The $10,000 grant was awarded in March and the Arts Association began working with Centre Stage Manufacturing in Sauk Centre to order the curtains. The process of dying and sewing the curtains took approximately twelve weeks. DBAA previously worked with Centre Stage when the back stage curtain was replaced in 2010.

Others who have helped with this project are audience members who designated gifts to this curtain project and also contributed to the “coffee bowl” in the lobby during performances. “Our thanks to every single person who helped with this project,” says Fondell. “Each donation makes a difference when big projects like this are done. We can’t wait to use it!”

Singer Carrie Newcomer comes into our lives and into Dawson at just the right time

By Luanne Fondell
Performing Arts Director

People often ask, “How do you find your artists?” Now that the Arts Association has put together 19 seasons, we can say that sometimes we find the artists, sometimes our audience members find the artists and sometimes, the artists find us.

In the case of Carrie Newcomer and pianist, Gary Walters, performing on November 16, here’s the story: I first heard of Carrie Newcomer from our daughter, Elisabeth. Elisabeth moved home to live with us in 2017 – the last year of my husband’s life. She may not have known it then, but the addition of this artist into our family’s music library would become a source of strength and inspiration in the months ahead.

Room at the Table

Elisabeth had attended one of Carrie’s concerts in Chicago and it made a deep impression on her. She talked about this artist’s kindness and gentle manner, as well as her music and message to the audience to search for the good in each other and make good change in the world. Songs like “I Heard an Owl” or “If Not Now.” She said that there was a time when the audience sang along on “Room at the Table” and it was not the least bit weird.

And so, Carrie Newcomer’s music entered our playlists. In the kitchen, in the car, on our phones, on road trips back and forth to Mayo Clinic. And our favorites emerged: “You Can Do This Hard Thing” and “Sanctuary.” We would get in the car after appointments and my husband would say to me, “Who should we listen to? Neal & Leandra? Peter Ostroushko? Chuck Suchy? Ingrid Michaelson? Carrie Newcomer?” He often called them by first name as if they were close friends. And whether the news from each appointment was good or bad, we returned to these musicians again and again as part of our “driving away” ritual – to celebrate or to be restored or to be comforted.

One day Elisabeth said, “Why don’t you bring Carrie Newcomer to Dawson some time?” I did a little research, mostly out of curiosity, assuming that this Grammy-winning artist, based in Indiana, would be out of our league. Thankfully, I was wrong. The next step was to ask the Arts Association board members to listen to her music and decide whether to add her to our season. The reactions were overwhelmingly positive. Contract signed. Carrie Newcomer scheduled for the 2018-2019 season.

Not so fast

Scandinavian Folk Music Concert & Meal – Oct 5

Dawson-Boyd Arts Association announces its opening concert of the 19th performing arts season at Memorial Auditorium in Dawson – a Scandinavian Folk Music concert during Meander Weekend on Saturday, October 5 at 7:30pm. Featured performers will be Paul and Marikay Dahlin, Art Bjorngjeld, Char and Bruce Bostrom and Ross Sutter. These musicians will present a variety of Scandinavian folk songs, tunes and dances. Ross Sutter is a familiar performer and folk music educator in the west-central Minnesota community playing guitar, button accordion and dulcimer; Art Bjorngjeld plays button accordion and fiddle; Char Bostrom is on fiddle; Bruce Bostrom is on moon harp and various percussion instruments.

Also performing will be Paul Dahlin of Minneapolis, along with his wife Marikay. Paul Dahlin is a premiere Swedish-style fiddler, educator and founder of the American Swedish Institute’s Spelmanslag, or “fiddlers’ team.” He is devoted to the study, preservation and performance of Swedish traditional music.

Prior to the concert, a Swedish meatball meal will be served beginning at 6:00pm in the School Commons. Menu includes: meatballs, mashed potatoes & gravy, salads, Knackebrod, pickled herring, lingon preserves, coffee, beverage and Scandinavian almond cake. Meal tickets are $15 per person. Order Online: Click here!