This Week’s Missoula Arts & Culture Scene | Dec 8

By TOM BENSEN

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

Fact & Fiction celebrates Montana Poetry with several essayists each sharing a poem at 5:30 p.m. on December 12; The International Choral Festival Book Fair with author signings throughout the day December 13; Ken Egan signing Montana 1864 at 1:00 p.m. on December 14; Gary Ferguson reading and signing The Carry Home at 7:00 p.m. on December 15. All events are at F&F Downtown.

Missoula Art Museum

Crossing the River: Hmong Story Cloths through December 24 at the Missoula ArtMuseum.

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 (pictured here); 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.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Nance Van Winckel reading from her latest book Ever Yrs, a novel in scrapbook form, and Spokane poet Tod Marshall reading from his new collection of poems, Bugle, at 7:00 p.m. on December 12; Local author Jen Nitz reads from her book Rubix Ruckus Reubenstein, a story inspired while hiking with her new best friend. Rubix will be in the store to shake hands and sign paw-tographs. All ages welcome.  9:00 a.m. on December 13.

Dunrovin Ranch in Lolo presents DaysAtDunrovin, its first ever on-site/on-line book club featuring books about Western Women. We are honored to have author and University of Montana professor Judy Blunt serve as the on-site host and Diane Diane J. Hoffman from Princeton, NJ. to serve as our on-line host. Conversations with Judy Blunt and other authors will be broadcast via our web camera and include responding to questions from on-line participants. Call 273-7745 for more information.

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 Friendship Force of Missoula and Western Montana hosts the Annual Meeting, Elections & Holiday Celebration potluck, December 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Welcoma Club. Please bring a Secret Santa gift (wrapped, no tag, $10 limit) for a fun exchange and your yummiest potluck dish to share Visit the website for more information.

The UM School of Music presents the 3rd Annual “Holiday Swing” featuring the UM Jazz Ensemble with special guest singer/pianist Kate Skinner and holiday big band favorites of Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and more, at the Missoula Winery and Event Center, December 12 and 13 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. For ticket information, call Rob Tapper, 406.243.6880.

Picture10New Year’s Eve marks the 21st annual First Night Missoula, a community-wide celebration of the arts with more than 80 events and activities throughout Downtown, University of Montana Campus, Southgate Mall, Glacier Ice Rink, McCormick Park, and Peak Health and Wellness Center from noon until midnight.  Admission buttons are $15 and are available at over 20 locations beginning this week.  For more information visit our website or call541-0860.

Montana women’s history comes alive on Friday, December 12 from noon to 1 p.m. at YWCA Missoula as Prof. Anya Jabour presents, “Montana Women Making History.” This free lecture offers biographical sketches of some of Montana’s most significant women reformers: Jeannette Rankin, the Missoula pacifist who voted against U.S. entry into both world wars; Hazel Hunkins, a Billings woman who went to federal prison for picketing the White House on behalf of suffrage; Maggie Smith Hathaway, who pioneered child welfare legislation in the state; and Helen Piotopowaka Clarke, the first Native American woman elected to public office in the Montana Territory.

World Wide Cinema at the Missoula Public Library presents  “The Auction” on December 12 at 7:00 p.m. Inspired by the Balzac novel Le Pere Goriot, this drama is directed by Sebastien Pilote and was a winner at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. Join us at Missoula Public Library for a screening and brief discussion on Friday, December 12 at 7:00 pm in the Large Meeting Room. Lower level doors will be open from 6:45-7:15. Call 258-3848

The Missoula Community Chorus Presents Et in Terra Pax featuring John Rutter’s Gloria, Friday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Church, 217 Tremont Ave.  Call 493-9255
or email chorusmanager@missoulachorus.net

The Buttercup Cafe presents several holiday events this month: Nutcracker Brunch with Baby & Bukowski on December 13, and Art Show with Bayla Laks on December 14.  Enjoy caroling on December 23 from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

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MCT presents the Winter Wonderettes Dec.12-14

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.

Living Art of Montana presents Folk Art Cards with Loretta Vizzutti on December 13 at 10:30 a.m.; and Holiday Social with Tracy Pohndorf on December 20 at 10:30 a.m. These Creativity for Life workshops are 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.  For more information: 549-5329.

The Treasure State Chorale presents a Holiday Concert   Tuesday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Church, 217 Tremont St.

John Floridis presents his Peaceful Season benefit concerts

Saturday, December 20 at the Crystal Theater, 515 S. Higgins, at 7:00 p.m., a Benefit for United Way of Missoula County; and Sunday, December 21 at First United Methodist Church, 300 E. Main St. at 4:00 p.m. as a Benefit for Family Promise. There is no admission fee for either concert, but financial contributions to the organizations benefitting from the performances is strongly encouraged

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

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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 HighSchool.