This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | Dec 7


Admission buttons for First Night Missoula, the New Year’s Eve community celebration of the arts, go on sale this week at locations throughout Missoula and in the Bitterroot. 80 events at more than 25 venues.  Visit here or call 541-0860 for more information.

First Night Spotlight, the annual High School singing competition, will be held at the Dennison Theatre on the UM campus this year during First Night Missoula on New Year’s Eve.  Admission is a First Night Button plus a $2 ticket to assure your seat for the show. Visit here for tickets and information.

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.

Picture6The 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 World Affairs Council presents a lecture as part of the Council’s Distinguished Speakers Program, featuring 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 tonight, December 7 at 7:00 p.m.  Ambassador Huddleston will discuss U.S. – Cuban Relations 1900 – 2015: The Best of Enemies. 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.

Fact and Fiction presents David Brooks, reading and signing Restoring the Shining Waters, December 10 at 5:30 p.m. at F&F Downtown.

TellUsSomethingFlier_December2015_small-lgTell Us Something presents Illumination/Revelation, December 8 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the new Wilma Theatre. Visit here for more information.

The University of Montana Emerging Ceramic Artists group of the UM School of Art will hold its 30th annual Art Annex Holiday Sale and Juried Show Thursday through Saturday, December 10-12, in the UM Art Annex.  The sale features ceramics and sculpture by UM School of Art students and faculty, and this year will include T-shirts, cards and prints from the printmaking division. The show will take place in the Off Center Gallery of the Art Annex, and student work created over the past year will be juried for entry and awards. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call the School of Art office at 243-4181.

Sunshine Unlimited presents Shakespeare’s Richard III December through December 13 at The Crystal Theater.

The University of Montana School of Music and the  University of Montana Jazz Program presents the 4th Annual Holiday Swing at the Missoula Winery on Saturday evening December 12 with internationally recognized soloist Eden Atwood along with auction items, special surprises, and holiday big band favorites. For more information on this event and ticket prices please call 243-6880 or email here.

The Missoula Community Chorus presents “Merry Christmas,” its annual winter concert December 11 at St. Anthony Church at 7:30 p.m., featuring former Mormon Tabernacle Choir tenor soloist Paul Gates.  The main choir and smaller Chamber Chorale will perform a variety of holiday songs both sacred and secular.   For more, visit here.

2015-11-30_1129Dolce Canto presents A Spotless Rose, a holiday concert at St. Anthony Parish, 217 Tremont, December 12 at 7:30 p.m. featuring Special Guests Hellgate High School Chamber Choir and Chevaliers.  On Tuesday, December 8, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Dolce Canto will be at Draught Works, 915 Toole Ave. for a Cheers For Charity event. The choir will sing Christmas carols, and the patrons are encouraged to join in. Visit here for information.

Picture5Radius Gallery is holding a raffle now through December 24 for three exquisite artworks: “Frida Kahlo” by James Todd, “Secret Embrace” by Louise Lamontagne, and “Lonely Planet” by Pamela Caughey. $5 per ticket. Buy as many as you like, for whichever artwork(s) you want. And, just curious, but WHY IS THIS STILL IN MY GALLERY? SERIOUSLY, IT SHOULD BE ON YOUR WALL. Megan Moore’s Persephone and Zeus is an oil on wood panel, 30 x 30 in, and a masterpiece.  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 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, continuing December 9-13 and 16-20. For tickets, visit here or call the box office at 728-7529.

The University of Montana Creative Writing Department

Picture4Nancy 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.

The Missoula Public Library shows a free international film monthly on the Second Friday of the month. All films are shown in original language with subtitles. December’s film is Stations of the Cross: Maria and her family are faithful to a Catholic radicalism that requires sacrifice and devotion. Told in fourteen fixed-angle, single shot, individual tableaus that parallel Christ’s journey to his own crucifixion, Stations of the Cross is both an indictment of fundamentalist faith and the articulation of an impressionable teen’s struggle to find her own path in life. From Germany, this film is in German with English subtitles. Join us for a screening and brief discussion (optional) on Friday, December 11 at 7:00 pm in the Large Meeting Room. Lower level doors will be open from 6:45-7:15. Call 258-3848.

The University of Montana School of Theatre & Dance also presents Dance Up Close, continuing December 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 Treasure State Chorale presents Sounds of the Season, a holiday concert on December 13 at 4:30 at St. Anthony Church, 217 Tremont.

Picture7The Ed Norton Big Band plays its usual monthly gig at the Missoula Winery & Event Center, Sunday, December 13 at 6:00 p.m.

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.

The Missoulian is accepting submissions for the 2016 MLK Youth Art & Essay Contest. Submit a piece of 2-D art work or an essay, poem or letter of no more than 250 words in response to the quote “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  Handwritten or typed essays will be accepted. Artwork may be any medium but no larger than 8.5 X 11 inches.  On the back of each entry please include the student’s full name, grade, school, home address and home telephone number. Entries will not be returned unless special arrangements are made.  To enter you must be a student in preschool-12th grade in Western Montana. Entries must be received at the Missoulian by December 18. Winners will receive a cash prize, be featured in the Missoulian, and recognized at the MLK Community Celebration on Monday, January 18, 2016.  For questions, contact Ben Mincks. here

The Missoula Children’s Theatre celebrates 2016 with its original, world-premiere of The Snow Queen.  This winter performing arts class runs January 18-February 21 and is open to Grades K-12.  Give the gift of wonder this Holiday season with a registration to The Snow Queen!  Register here.

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.