This Week’s Missoula Arts & Culture Scene

This week’s Missoula Arts & Culture happenings are provided by the Missoula Cultural Council – Connecting Art, Culture and Community through Education, Advocacy and Celebration.


Current exhibits at theMissoula Art Museum include Alison Reintjes: DoubleColumn through July 27;  Chris Autio: Hands On through July 26; Blessingway: Prints by Melanie Yazzie through September 6; Bill Ohrmann: Tainted Revelations through October 11; Crossing the River: Hmong Story Cloths through October 25. Pictured above, the newly refurbished Edgar Paxson Murals will be exhibited through September 6, before returning to the Missoula County Courthouse.

The Montana Museum of Art & Culture at the University of Montana presents Sandra Dal Poggetto: Meditations on the Field, opening July 17 in the Paxson and Meloy Galleries.  Throughout the summer and early fall of 2014, Helena-based artist Sandra Dal Poggetto will be featured in a solo exhibition of new and recent works at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at The University of Montana. Dal Poggetto uses an abstract language and fragments of the western landscape-hide, feathers, wood and wire-to create evocative paintings and drawings. She draws on and deconstructs both Euro-American pictorial language and American Indian visual traditions.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre’s final summer day camp  is The Secret Garden, July 21-27. Deadline for sign up is July 18. There are limits on the number of participants in certain age groups.

The Missoula Downtown Partnership’s Out to Lunch and Downtown Tonight are now in full swing and continue throughout the summer.  This week features Jelly Bread on Wednesday at lunch, and Black Mountain Boys Thursday evening.

Missoula City Bandcontinues the summer season this Wednesday at Bonner Park. This week’s program features the Montana Centennial Band Celebration.

The next outing of the Friendship Force of Missoula and Western Montana Polson Weekend with Kalispell, Great Falls & Spokane Friendship Force clubs August 1 and 2. Flathead Lake “brunch on the boat” cruise from Kwa-tuk-nuq.  Anyone interested in learning more please call Shawn at (860-428-9301).

The University of Montana, in partnership with theMissoula Public Library’s The Big Read program, has selected “The Things They Carried” by National Book Award-winner Tim O’Brien as the 2014 First-Year Reading Experience book.  This is the first time the University has partnered with the Missoula community to share a common read. The collaboration, which is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, offers students and community members common ground for meaningful discussion. Many community partners and sponsors will offer programming, exhibits and other involvement opportunities to discuss the themes of the book.  The author will be on campus Tuesday, October 28, to speak to the freshman class as well as to the campus and Missoula communities.

Hugo_2The Big Sky Film Series presents Free Summer Screenings at the Top Hat Lounge Monday Nights at 8:00 p.m. On July 21 –
Richard Hugo: Kicking the Loose Gravel Home, tracing the Montana poet’s life from his grim childhood, through his experiences as a bombardier in World War II, to his creative writing professorship at the University of Montana.  On July 28 – Charles Bradley: Soul of America, telling the incredible rise of the 62-year-old aspiring soul singer, whose debut album rocketed him from a hard life in the Brooklyn Housing Projects to Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 50 albums of 2011.  Charles Bradley will perform at the Top Hat on July 31.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Big Fork author Laura Grace Barrett reading from her memoir What is More Real Than a Dream? with a wine tasting from Chateau Montelena Winery, 7:00 p.m. on July 17; Michael Orford reading from his new children’s book, How Ice Cream Saved Missoula, 11:00 a.m. July 19; and Carol Bradley and Jamie Ford reading from their latest books Last Chain on Billie: How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped the Big Top and Songs of Willow Frost, 7:00 p.m. on August 4.

Fact & Fiction Downtown presents James Lee Burke reading and signing Wayfaring Stranger, 7:00 p.m. July 15; Philip Donlay signing Deadly Echoes, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. July 19; Victoria Kann reading and signing Pinkalicious and other books in the series, Noon to 1:30 p.m. July 20; Michael Leach discussion and signing Grizzlies on My Mind, 7:00 p.m. July 23; and Brian Krans, signing Assault Rifles and Pedophiles, 7:00 p.m. July 31. In addition, Fact & Fiction presents “Find Waldo Local in MISSOULA!” from now through July 31. For more information about hunting for Waldo and Woof in Missoula, call Fact & Fiction at 721-2881.

2014-07-14_1050The Dana Gallery presents the 12th annual Paint-Out through July 16, featuring 20 artists from the western region to paint Montana’s beautiful outdoors.  Artists include Caleb Meyer, Robert Moore, Dave Mensing, Silas Thompson, David Wilson, Janet McGahan, Lori McNee, Karl Stein, Nick Oberling, Christine Kidwell, Diane Ainsworth, Francis Switzer, Michael Blessing and Meagan Blessing.  There is a Paint Out reception on Wednesday, July 16, when all of the new work will be displayed.   The gallery will also be hosting a small auction event where all proceeds will be donated to either Missoula Youth Homes or the Hellgate Track Resurfacing Project.

The Montana Repertory Theatre’s Missoula Colony 19: Women Creating Theatre Plays Written, Directed, Organized, and Produced by Women runs now through July 19 at the University of Montana. Three noted playwrights – Deb Laufer, Molly Rice, and Julia Jordan – will lead the Colony along with Salina Chatlain, who has produced the Colony for the past two years. Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Marsha Norman will also be participating.  They’ll be joined by other women producers, dramaturgs, and directors.

Missoula Outdoor Cinema presents the following films: High Fidelity (2000) at 9:23 p.m. July 19; Jurassic Park (1993) 9:16 p.m. July 26; This is Spinal Tap (1984) 9:07 p.m. August 2; Sabrina (1954) NR 8:56 pm August 9 at 1001 Worden Street on the North Side.

1317661330_LMR-Blues-371The Loft of Missoula presents the KVD Trio on July 16 at 7:30 p.m., featuring Kevin Van Dort, vocals, guitar, Stuart Garney, bass, and Vally Lopez, drums. This show will be a blend of acoustic/electric blues and original High Mountain Soul Music. This band spent 14 years in Missoula and is now based in the Flathead.  The Loft is located upstairs in the LaFlesch Building, 119 W. Main Street. $5 suggested donation and all money collected goes to the musicians. Please bring any beverage of your choice. Glasses and stemware provided. And a snack to share is always welcome.

Zootown Arts Community Center Rocks the Hood Saturday, July 19, from 3:00-9:00 p.m. at ZACC, North 1st Street West. This all-day festival features non-profits from all across the Northside and Westside neighborhoods of Missoula as well as a full line up of bands and entertainment.  The Garden City Lady Arm Wrestlers (G-Claw) will be returning this year alongside the new Stensrud Playhouse-Improv and Dinner Theatre. The lineup of bands includes Gerygone and Twig, Ampersand and The Alsos, Family Friendly Hip Hop hour with DJ Brand-One, Traff The Wiz, Tonsofun, Wormwood, and All Night Alibi.

The Wilma Theatre presents Nickel Creek Thursday, August 7 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets available at Rockin Rudy’s and online at TicketWeb.

The Clay Studio of Missoula presents a workshop by Sarah Jaeger – CForm & Surface: Creating Unique Utilitarian Work,

Saturday, August 2, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. $95 for non-members, $85 for members, seniors, and students. Tuition includes lunch.

Summer Camps and Classes are offered atMissoula Writing CollaborativeThe Clay Studio of Missoula, Zootown Arts Community Center ,The Missoula Art Museum ,Downtown Dance Collective, Montana Natural History Center, MCAT, and  Tangled Tones Music Studio.

Living Art of Montana presents “Therein Lies the Rub” with Diana Reetz-Stacey, MSW,Wednesday, July 16, noon-1:30 p.m. for anyone who has or has had cancer. The Living Art Studio is located at 725 W. Alder, Ste. #17.

2014-07-08_1735_001Joan Baez performs at the University of Montana Dennison Theatre on Thursday, July 17, courtesy of UM Productions. Tickets cost $40 in advance and $42 day of show and are available at all GrizTix locations, including Southgate Mall, Worden’s Market, the Source in the University Center, MSO Hub and the Adams Center Box Office. Tickets also can be purchased by calling 406-243-4051 or toll free 1-888-MONTANA or visiting griztix.

Susan Gibson, Tom Catmull, Jenn Adams and John Floridis all perform at The Crystal Theater, Thursday, July 24, at 8:00 p.m. This is an evening of shared songwriting by four of Missoula, Montana’s pioneer and veteran independent singer songwriters.  These four singer songwriters began their careers in Missoula, Montana in the early and mid 1990’s at the dawn of the movement toward independently produced CD’s and recordings. Though they’ve all pursued their paths individually, they’ve frequently shared billing with one another, recorded together and even occasionally played in each other’s bands. Last year they joined each other on stage for the first time, and the show was so well received they’re doing it again. Tickets will be available through brownpapertickets and at Rockin Rudy’s.

Celtic Festival Missoula takes place in Caras Park July 25 and 26. Featured bands are Enter the Haggis and the Young Dubliners.

For more information about arts events in the Missoula area, visit the Missoula Cultural Council website.


Tom BensenTom 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.