This Week’s Missoula Arts & Culture Scene | Dec 1


December is here, and with it comes plenty of activity.  First Friday Gallery Night is this Friday, December 5, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., sponsored by Murphy-Jubb Fine ArtSaturday is the Missoula Downtown Association’s annual Parade of Lights, with Arts and Crafts and Family activities all day, and the Lighting of the Tree at the North end of Higgins Avenue at 6:00 p.m.

Current exhibits at the Missoula Art Museum include The Art of Human Conflict Conflict through December 24; Pamela Caughey: Ubiquitous: Migration of Pathogens through December 24; Crossing the River: Hmong Story Cloths through December 24; Kate Hunt: Recent Works through February 21, 2015; Elizabeth Dove: Corpus of the Unknowable through January 31, 2015; Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts: Selected Works through March 21, 2015; Pat Zentz: Trio through March 28, 2015 (pictured here).

The Montana Museum of Art & Culture presents Amanda Browder: End of the Infinite in the Meloy Gallery (pictured here), and Vanessa German: Bitter Root in the Paxson Gallery.  Both exhibits run through January 10, 2015.  To honor MMAC’s 120th anniversary, the museum has published the first-ever guide to the permanent collection, The Art of the State: 120 Artworks for 120 Years. Learn more here

Picture10Fact & Fiction presents The Whizpops! singing and signing Talking ‘Bout Dinosaurs, 5:30 p.m. on December 5.  On Saturday, December 6, Fact and Fiction hosts the annual First Night Missoula Book Fair.  Support First Night while taking care of your holiday shopping. On Sunday, December 7, Celebrate Tell Us Something, with Author Signings throughout the day. All events are at F&F Downtown.

Now through December 16, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at the University of Montana presents “Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings,” produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  For more information, call 243-4505

Shakespeare and Co. presents Larry Evans sharing from his latest publication A Field Guide to Tropical Amazon Mushrooms; Kate Lebo reads from her new book Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour, and Butter, answers questions, and offers a hands-on dough demonstration, December 7 at 3:00 p.m.

The Hip Strip invites you to our warming station for the holidays, Located on the Hip Strip at 509 S. Higgins.  Each Saturday between now and December 20, you will have the opportunity to be dazzled by a local non-profits gift wrapping talents and warm up with some cider and treats. Each Non-profit will provide a unique and special gift wrap, for a donation of your choice, for each of your lovely gifts. Call 543-3955 or visit Jeanette Rankin

The UM School of Music presents Arron Clark, tenor, December 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall; The Guitar Ensemble December 2 at 7:00 p.m. in Music Room 218; Symphonic Wind Ensemble/Concert Band December 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre; The University Choir, Chamber Chorale and UM Symphony Orchestra presenting Gabriel Faure’s Requiem with a special appearance by The UM Women’s Chorus, 7:30 p.m. on December 3 in the UM Dennison Theatre; the Trillium Brass Composition Competition December 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall; Caitlin Wallace, euphonium, December 7, 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall.


First Friday Gallery Night is this Friday, December 5, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., sponsored by Murphy-Jubb Fine Art.

The 20th Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition at the Gallery of Visual Arts at the University of Montana is on display from now through December 5.  For more information, visit the website.

The University of Montana School of Theatre & Dance presents Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Jere Lee Hodgin, with performances continuing December 2-5 at 7:30 p.m.; December 6 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Montana Theatre, PARTV Center, U of M Campus.

The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center presents a screening of Beyond the Divide, a Feature-Length Documentary Film About War, Peace, and the Courage to Find Common Ground, Thursday, December 4, at 7:00 p.m. at the Roxy Theater.  Call 543-3955 for more information.

The University of Montana Emerging Ceramic Artists (UMECA) and the Student Sculpture Association (SSA) of the UM School of Art will be holding its 29th annual Art Annex Holiday Sale and Juried Show Thursday through Saturday, December 4-6, in the Art Annex.  The sale will include ceramics and sculpture by students and faculty from the School of Art and the show will feature student work created in the past year. The work will be juried for entry and awards by ceramic sculptor Chris Dufala, an Archie Bray Foundation Resident.  For more information, call 243-4181.

There will be an Opening Reception for “Marvelous Fancy” from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on December 4 at the University Center Gallery. Call 243-5564 for more information.

Missoula’s premier vocal ensemble, Dolce Canto, presents, “Wonderful Peace” on Friday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Parish (207 Tremont Street).  Tickets may be purchased at Fact & Fiction, Rockin’ Rudy’s, or via the choir’s website. Dolce Canto recently released its second CD, “A Joyful Season”. Copies of the new CD will be available for purchase at the concert.

The annual Jeannette Rankin Peace Center Kid’s Night is on First Friday, December 5 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Parents are encouraged to drop their kids off at the peace center with a list of gifts to buy and a budget.  Meanwhile parents can enjoy diner, First Friday events or a little shopping of their own. We will have volunteers ready to assist the kids in picking the perfect gifts and wrapping them to take home and put under the tree.  Reservations not necessary. For more information, call 543-3955.
Living Art of Montana presents Upcycled Wine Bottle Trays with Odette Grassi on December 6 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. This Creativity for Life workshop is open to anyone facing illness or loss including care providers and family members. All materials will be provided. No charge. Art experience is not necessary. Living Art of Montana, 725 W. Alder St #17 (warehouse mall). For more information, call 549-5329.


The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale present “Holiday Pops,” ringing in the season on December 6th.

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale present “Holiday Pops,” ringing in the season with a joyful and touching program of holiday favorites, on December 6 at 7:30 p.m. and December 7 at 3:00 p.m. Dennison Theatre. Included in the program will be Carol of the Bells, selections from The Nutcracker, I’ll be Home for Christmas, and Jingle Bells, to name a few.  This year’s “Encore Auction” pits the Halleluiah Chorus against “Sleigh Ride.” Call 721-3194 for tickets and more information.

Winter Wonderettes runs December 12-14 and 17-21 at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts.  Wednesday-Saturday night performances begin at 7:30 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m.  Ticket prices range from $15.00-$21.00 and can be purchased at the MCT box office (200 North Adams), online here, or by calling 728-7529.  In January, the Missoula Children’s Theatre’s winter class and world premiere of Gulliver’s Travels begins for K-12 children. For tickets and class registration information, call 728-7529 or visit the website.

The International Wildlife Film Festival is now accepting submissions for the 2015 festival, happening in Missoula, Montana April 18-25 at the historic Roxy Theater.  Now in its 38th year, the week-long event will feature new and exciting films, special guests, workshops, seminars, field trips, technology sessions, product demos, parties and dynamic networking events. With 6,000 annual attendees, IWFF engages Missoula’s progressive community with dozens of screenings and events like the WildWalk Parade. A filmmakers’ festival, IWFF focuses on films and filmmakers, and celebrates emerging artists and the future of wildlife & environmental media. Our expanded programming welcomes all films about the natural world, from environmental and conservation films, to issue driven explorations of earth and its inhabitants.

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