This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | Aug 24


The Montana Museum of Art & Culture presents Human Condition: The Art of Ben Steele and Hometown: Images of Missoula from the MMAC Permanent Collection in the Paxson and Meloy Galleries, now through September 12.

The Missoula Public Art Committee is pleased to announce that the winner of the recent Public Art commission for instillation in Pineview Park is at work on the ceramic piece, “Rattlesnake Ripple” and expects to install it in late summer. Missoula artist Alison Reintjes‘ work is funded by a City/private partnership. It will be a ceramic mural composed of 230 8 inch ceramic tiles.

The Missoula Downtown Association presents Out to Lunch on Wednesdays 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and Downtown Tonight Thursday evenings 5:30-8:30 p.m. through the summer at Caras Park.  This week features the Big Sky Mudflaps on Wednesday and Dead Winter Carpenters on Thursday.  All events are free.

The Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre Company is offering an exciting opportunity to audition for the Moscow Ballet production of the nutcracker. Auditions will be held at the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre on September 12 at noon. Register here.

Picture4The Missoula International Friendship Program (MIFP) is seeking volunteer families, couples and single people to become Community Friends to a growing number of international students and scholars who will begin studies at the University of Montana this fall. This is NOT a home stay and Community Friends have no financial obligations for the students or scholars. Many international students want to get to know Americans on a more personal basis and are eager to share their culture with you. For questions please call Foreign Student & Scholar Services at 243-2226. Completed applications should be submitted by August 29.

The Missoula Art Museum presents continuing exhibits American Abstract Artists through August 29; Montana Triennial: 2015 through September 4; Neil Chaput and Keith Graham: Montana’s One-Room Schools through September 19 (pictured here); Kathryn Schmidt: Seen In Broad Daylight through October 24.

Living Art of Montana presents Wednesdays 4 Wellness on August 26 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm at the Living Art Studio (725 W. Alder St., #17). This is an expressive art and wellness workshop offered to anyone who has or has had cancer. No need to register, and all materials are provided. Also at the studio is My Own True Face, a four week mask making workshop led by artist Youpa Stein. The workshop will take place on Thursdays beginning August 27 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Send an email to register. This workshop is open to people facing illness or loss including care providers and family members.

Fact and Fiction presents David Neiwert reading and signing Of Orcas and Men, 7:00 p.m. August 19, Jamie Bianchini presentation and signing A Bicycle Built for Two Billion, 3:00 p.m. on August 23.  All these events are at F&F Downtown.   On Tuesday, August 18, there is a Tribute to Ivan Doig, a celebration of his life and new book Last Bus to Wisdom, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.  August 18 at Ten Spoon Winery, 4175 Rattlesnake Dr.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Margaret Grundstein reading from her new book Naked in the Woods: My Unexpected Years in a Hippie Commune, 7:00 p.m. on August 27.

The Montana Book Festival, coming up in September, is currently seeking donations through Kickstarter. Rewards include recognition, custom pint glasses, free admission to events, and much more. Help support one of Missoula’s best cultural festivals and enjoy literature in all its forms from Western Montana and beyond.

Tickets for the Missoula Community Theatre season are now on sale.  Order your subscriptions online anytime, night or day at the website.  Don’t miss Sweeney Todd, The Sound of Music, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and Mary Poppins. MCT is theatre FOR the community BY the community, so plan now for your friends and family to enjoy live theatre all season.

MCT‘s Annual Volunteer party is this Thursday, August 27 starting at 6:00 pm to celebrate the current volunteers and meet new people interested in getting involved. This is event is for the whole family and will include snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, music, and prize drawings! MCT is theatre for the community, by the community. Call 728-1911 for more information.

Radius Gallery presents Compositions, a group show bringing together the artworks of five diverse and dynamic artists. The artists include: Chris Maynard, Barbara Michelman and Charles Finn, Eric S. Carlson, Darcy Chenoweth.  This group show will run from August 12-September 12.

The fine folks at Radius Gallery are asking the question: Why is this still in my gallery? Seriously it should be on your wall about local artist Courtney Blazon‘s work Dismantled Almosts Singing for Harvest. Get a closer look at the piece and learn more about this talented artist at Radius Gallery in downtown Missoula.

The Missoula Outdoor Cinema is back at it for another summer at 1001 Worden Ave (Head Start) every Saturday evening at dusk. Films this season are A League of their Own, The Chronicles of Narnia, and And When We Were Young. 

2015-08-17_1235_002Ridin’ for Hope, a new exhibition by Ruth Schwarz McDonald will be on display at The Artists’ Shop (127 N. Higgins Ave.) throughout the month of August. The exhibition features works made with dye on silk featuring images from the recent benefit for the Head, Heal, Hope Foundation supporting a Montana child currently suffering from a life-threatening illness. Proceeds from sales will benefit this cause.

The Roxy Theater presents Murray Me, screening Bill Murray films every Wednesday in August. Coming up you can catch Ghostbusters on August 26. Plenty more cinematic offerings as well as a broadcast of the Stratford Festival production of Antony and Cleopatra on August 11 can be found here

The Loft of Missoula presents Rhanda Johnson and Easy Living August 26 at 7:00 p.m.

The 10th annual River City Roots Festival happens in Downtown Missoula August 28-29, featuring Goose Creek Symphony, Acoustic Syndicate, and others.  Visit here for more information.

Picture8SPARK! – Arts Ignite Learning is currently seeking individual artists and arts organizations to apply for our 2015-2016 teaching artist directory who: work in any visual, movement, theatre, music, or literary discipline; have previous experience teaching K-8 students in a classroom setting; are passionate about arts integration; delight in collaboration. Organizations applying must be not-for-profit in nature.  SPARK! is a community wide partnership working to expand arts programming in Missoula County Public Schools. We facilitate and foster connections between district schools and local arts organizations, helping to ensure access to the arts for all MCPS students.  SPARK! is a national partner in the  Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child Initiative.  Learn more about our approach to arts education and what it means to be a SPARK! teaching artist at this information session.  For more information, call Chris at 531-1981.

Picture3The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and the Top Hat Lounge present Quartetto Gelato a Cabaret Series Concert on Tuesday September 8 at 7:30 pm with dinner seating starting at 5:30 pm. Tickets and more information available online.

The Missoula Community Theater is holding an open audition for Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on Sunday, August 30, at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts from 12:30 to 4:30 pm. Please use the Main Street entrance. There are approxamitely 25 roles available for adults 18 and over. There are no roles for children.

Flamenco Montana presents their Fourth Annual Flamenco Montana Festival featuring a host of classes for all experience levels in dance, guitar, and canto (songs). Renowned artists Carlos Lomas, Vicente Griego, and Teo Morca will lead classes and kick off the festival with a concert happening September 16 at 7:30 pm at the First United Methodist Church. Classes will be held at Rocky Mountain Ballet Theater September 17 through 20.

For more information about arts events in the Missoula area, visit our website



Tom Bensen

Tom Bensen has lived in Missoula since 1986, and has been the executive director of the Missoula Cultural Council since June 2004. He has directed First Night Missoula each New Year’s Eve since 1997.   He is a member of Missoula’s choral ensemble Dolce Canto, and enjoys being outdoors, whether it is hiking, biking, skiing, walking the dogs, or mowing the lawn.  His wife Susan works for Montana Public Radio, and their son Peter attends Hellgate High School.