By TOM BENSEN
Admission buttons for First Night Missoula go on sale in early December, beginning with the First Night Book Fair at Fact and Fiction on December 5, and a special 2 for the price of 1 button sale that day only at Fact and Fiction. Call 541-0860 for more information.
First Night Spotlight, the annual High School singing competition, begins its preliminary rounds the first week of December, at Big Sky High School December 1, Sentinel High School December 2, and Hellgate High School December 3, all immediately after school ends for the day. The final preliminary round, for those at other area schools or home-schooled, will take place Saturday, December 5 at the Silver (formerly the World Theater. Winners from these rounds perform on the Dennison Theatre during First Night Missoula on New Year’s Eve. Sign up here.
The Missoula Art Museum presents Terrain: Plateau Native Art & Poetry through February 27, 2016; John Buck: Free for All through March 12; Good Wood: Carved And Cut From MAM’s Permanent Collection through March 12; A Few of My Favorite Things, an exhibition selected by MAM’s Senior Exhibition Curator Emeritus Stephen Glueckert, through December 23 (pictured here); MaryAnn Bonjorni: Legends Are History, through January 2.
The Montana Museum of Art & Culture presents The Intimate Diebenkorn: Drawings 1949 – 1992 now through December 12 in the Paxson and Meloy Galleries. The exhibition features 52 pieces, many of which have never been publicly viewed, and includes pencil and ink drawings on paper, collages of torn paper and watercolors.
Dolce Canto and St. Francis Xavier Church present a Lecture/Recital called The Spotless Rose, Thursday, December 3, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier (420 W. Pine St.) This preview of our holiday concert will feature a collaboration with Father Joseph Carver, SJ, who will share a talk on significance of Mary, the Spotless Rose. Visit here for more.
Fact and Fiction presents James Lee Burke reading and signing House of the Rising Sun, at 7:00 p.m. on December 1 at F&F Downtown. The First Night Book Fair, with numerous author signings, is all day Saturday, December 5.
Sunshine Unlimited presents Shakespeare’s Richard III December 3 through December 13 at The Crystal Theater.
The University of Montana School of Music presents Student Ensemble Series: UM Percussion Ensemble and Islander Steel Band, December 1 at 7:30 p.m., Dennison Theatre. Admission costs $11 for general, $6 for seniors or $5 for students. For more information, call the School of Music at 243-6880.
The Dana Gallery presents Silas Thompson: “Gold, Frankincense, and Mirth” with an opening reception on First Friday, December 4, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Call 721-3154
Radius Gallery is celebrating First Friday with our Second Annual Holiday Show, featuring over 200 artworks by 76 artists. It’s that time of year when we are thinking about showing our appreciation for those we love. Why not give the gift of art this holiday season? Radius Gallery is the place to be First Friday from 5:00-8:00 p.m., to mingle, take in the diverse art options (most under $500!), and get in the spirit of the holidays. Call 541-7070.
The 21st annual Juried Student Art Exhibit at the University Center Gallery of Visual Arts runs now through December 10. Call 243-2813.
The Garden City Duplicate Bridge Club is offering free bridge lessons from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 noon on a Saturday December 5, December 12, and December 19. This group of three lessons will introduce you to Play of the Hand. The lessons will be given at 2825 Stockyard Road Building I Unit 3 in Missoula. Call Beth Loehnen at 546-1512 to register for the class.
The Sound of Music is a Missoula Community Theatre production for the holiday season at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts. “Premiere Night” is Thursday, December 3 with a catered reception and the regular run plays Friday, December 4-6, 9-13 and 16-20. For tickets, visit here or call the box office at 728-7529.
The University of Montana Creative Writing Department presents a prose reading by Bernard Cooper on Friday, December 4, at 7:00 pm in the Dell Brown Room of Turner Hall, UM campus. Cooper is the Visiting Kittredge Writer this semester, teaching both graduate and undergraduate workshops in fiction and nonfiction. He is the author of four memoirs, most recently “My Avant-Garde Education,” a novel and a collection of short stories. For more information, contact Karin at 243-5267.
Nancy Seiler presents Art Workshops throughout November and December at her studio at 330 Brooks Street. The next is Thursday, December 10, 9:00 a.m.-noon: Nature Journaling with Watercolor. The workshop repeats Saturday, December 12, from 1:00-4:00 p..m. She’ll show you how to sketch, ink, and apply watercolor to objects found in nature. We’ll work inside the studio. Nancy is a certified GOLDEN Art Educator. Call 370-1254 to register.
University of Montana School of Theatre & Dance presents Treasure Island by Ken Ludwig, Adapted from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, continuing December 1-5 at 7:30 p.m. November 29 and December 5 at 2:00 p.m. Montana Theatre, PARTV Center, U of M Campus.
The University of Montana School of Theatre & Dance also presents Dance Up Close, December 4-5 and 11-12 at 7:30 p.m., and December 12 at 2:00 p.m. at the Masquer Theatre, PARTV Center, U of M Campus.
The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale present “Holiday Pops” Saturday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, September 6 at 3:00 p.m. in the UM Dennison Theatre. The orchestra and chorale ring in the special season with a joyful and touching program of holiday favorites. Call 721-3194.
Join the annual holiday season celebration at the University Center for the UC Holiday Art Festival. The Art Festival will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5 in the University Center Atrium. The UC Holiday Art Festival features unique, hand-crafted art from local and regional artists, as well as live music, live art demonstrations and prize raffles. This is the perfect place to get your holiday shopping done. Come support local artists as they show their wares in the beautiful UC Atrium.
The UC Art Festival is the longest running art fair in western Montana and has a legacy of returning and new artists from around the state and beyond. The UC Art Festival is a non-profit art fair that funds student-run programming at the University of Montana. For more information, call 243-5622.
The Montana World Affairs Council presents a lecture by Rafael Chacon, Ph .D, School of Art at the University of Montana titled Cuban Art in the Modern Age at the Missoula Public Library, Thursday, December 3, at 4:00 p.m. The next guest in the Council’s Distinguished Speakers Program is U. S, Ambassador (ret.) Vicki Huddleston, who was Chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana from 1999-2002. The program will take place at the Doubletree in Missoula on Monday December 7 at 7:00 p.m. Ambassador Huddleston will discuss U.S. – Cuban Relations 1900 – 2015: The Best of Enemies. For more information, call 728-3328. On December 8, enjoy an Afternoon Tea with Vicki. A taste of mojitos, a little Hemingway, and how to travel to Cuba! Talk on Cuban culture, Cuba as a travel destination and Hemingway in Cuba. 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel. $15, open to the public, RSVP to 728-3328.
Tell Us Something presents Illumination/Revelation, December 8 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the new Wilma Theatre.
MCT is participating in Toys for Tots this holiday season. Please drop off new, unwrapped toys for a deserving child at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts before December 23, between the hours of 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. You may also drop toys off one hour before each performance of The Sound of Music (Dec 3-6, 9-13 and 16-20). For more information, call MCT at 728-1911.
For more information about arts events in the Missoula area, visit our website
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.