This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | Jan 19


The Missoula Cultural Council is seeking nominations for the 16th Annual Missoula Arts and Culture Awards program. Established in 1999, the MCC Arts and Culture Awards demonstrate the importance of the arts as they relate to Missoula’s quality of life by honoring those who have made significant contributions to the arts community. Individuals and businesses may be nominated in five separate categories:  Cultural Achievement, Individual Artist, Arts Educator, Business Support for the Arts, and Cultural Vision. To make a nomination in one of the above categories, complete the one-page form found on the MCC website, by Friday, February 6, and attach a separate page describing the nominee’s qualifications. Application materials may be emailed to: the MCC office or mailed to: MCC Arts Awards, PO Box 7662, Missoula, MT 59807.

The Montana Museum of Art & Culture presents an Opening Reception and Student Welcome Back Party for Art of the State: 120 Artworks for 120 years, an exhibition celebrating the 120th Anniversary of the Permanent Collection, with remarks by President Royce Engstrom.  The reception is on January 22 in the PAR-TV lobby from 5:00-7:00 p.m.  Learn more about the published work, here

Current exhibits at the Missoula Art Museum include Kate Hunt: Recent Works through February 21; Elizabeth Dove: Corpus of the Unknowable through January 31; Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts: Selected Works through March 2; Pat Zentz: Trio through March 28; Heavy Metal from The Collection, an exhibit featuring four pieces of steel sculpture by two accomplished artists: Ted Waddell and Manuel Izquierdo, through April 4 (pictured here); Fifth Grade Identity-In A Box! through March 13; and the Ruby Jubilee Auction Exhibition through February 4.  The 2015 Benefit Art Auction, celebrate the museum’s 40th Anniversary with a Ruby Jubilee, is February 7 beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.


At MAM: Heavy Metal from The Collection, an exhibit featuring four pieces of steel sculpture by two accomplished artists: Ted Waddell and Manuel Izquierdo, through April 4

The City of Missoula Public Art Committee invites artists residing in Montana to apply for a public art project to create art for Pineview Park in Missoula’s Rattlesnake neighborhood. Artwork should reflect one or more of the following characteristics of Pineview Park ~ Natural surroundings: native plants and animals found in the Rattlesnake ~ Recreational activities: ice skating, hiking along the creek, children’s play ground, dog play ~ Historically significant use of the land the park now occupies: Native American use, and previous use such as the the Poor Farm and cemetery. The Committee is willing to consider two (2) possibilities: 1. A proposal for the purchase of an existing artwork that also meets stated project goals. 2. A detailed proposal for a new work designed by the artist that meets stated project goals; For complete application information, please here.  Submittal deadline is Friday, March 20, by 5:00 p.m.

The Downtown Dance Collective is offering Free membership in January.  Pay absolutely nothing when you sign up as a DDC year-long member. Tell your friends, family, and coworkers to get in here this month and take advantage of a DDC yearly membership and enjoy member rates all of 2015.  A DDC membership gives you reduced rates on drop-in classes, social dance 6-week sessions, kiddos dance sessions, and rentals.

Missoula Public Library’s 7th Annual Writing Contest kicked off January 5.  The contest is known as an opportunity for writers of any age to see their works of short fiction or non-fiction in print, as all qualified entries are bound into book form for check out.  First place winners in eight categories receive $100, $50 for second place, and $25 for third. Writers have until 5:00 p.m. on February 20 to submit their entries in the format required.  Entry forms and rules brochures can also be found online here or call 721-2665(BOOK) for more information.

Fact and Fiction presents Kay Whitlock, with a discussion and signing Considering Hate, 7:00 p.m. on January 22, at F&F Downtown.

The University of Montana Department of Music presents the UM All-Star High School Honor Choir, January 25 at 1:00 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre; the Celebrate Piano Series IV with Margery McDuffie Whatley at the UM Music Recital Hall, January 25 at 3:00 p.m. For more information, call 243-6885.

Picture19The Radius Gallery presents Bobbie McKibbin: Second Sight, from January 14-February 22.  This exhibition features the pastel landscape drawings of Bitterroot artist Bobbie McKibbin, a nationally recognized artist whose work has been collected by many national and regional museums, including the Smithsonian’s American Art museum. In this exhibit, McKibbin debuts new works inspired by the Bitterroot valley as well as Yellowstone and Bryce National Parks.  An educational element on the unique history, the techniques of pastel drawing will include an interactive table where viewers can touch and draw with pastels.

Living Art of Montana presents Creative Connections for Cancer Survivors on January 21.  This is an expressive art and wellness workshop offered every third Wednesday for anyone who has or has had cancer. Drop-in. noon – 1:30 p.m.  On January 24: Relief Prints drop-in Saturday Workshop with Odette Grassi.  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. For more information, call 549-5329.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre invites school-aged kids to follow the intrepid space traveler, Gulliver, in his rocket ship to explore strange new lands.  Get ready for Gulliver’s Travels…in space! MCT’s winter after school performing arts class of this original, world-premiere musical begins January 21 and 22.  The classes culminate in performances February 28 and March 1.  For more information or to register, visit the website or call 729-1911.

The Clay Studio presents Wintersession Classes, starting January 12.  Some classes are full or filling quickly. Call 543-0509 or email here.

¡Pura Vida! announces the Winter/Spring Session of group singing with Josh Farmer.  The group meets Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m. from February 3 – May 12, with a performance May 15.  The group meets at Sussex School – 1800 S 2nd St W.  the Cost is  $200 for15 weeks of group singing.   ¡Pura Vida! is group singing for everyone! No audition required to become a part of this open, accepting, fun exploration of our own singing voices. Learn more about music and the power it has to transform our lives. Cost is only $175 if you sign up before January 20.   For more information, call (516) 445-0767 or e-mail here.

The Art Associates of Missoula monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 21, at 10:00 a.m. in the Education Center of the Missoula Art Museum.  Dale Manning, 2013 Best in  World Waterfowl Taxidermist,  will be sharing  his artistry at the gathering. All Art Associates meetings are free and open to the public. For more information please call Susie at 544-0891.

The Montana Repertory Theatre begins its 2015 national tour of The Great Gatsby with a Gala on January 23 at the Montana Theatre at the University of Montana beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Curtain time for the show begins at 6:30 followed by an elegant dinner and dancing. The Great Gatsby will play in Missoula through February 7 prior to the national tour, which begins in February and travels the country through April. For more information call 243-6809.

Country Music Association “New Artist of the Year” nominee Kip Moore will perform at the University of Montana Adams Center on Tuesday, January 27. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m.  Country music artist Canaan Smith will open the show.  For tickets,  visit, the Adams Center Box Office and all GrizTix locations. Tickets also may be purchased by calling 243-4051.

The Missoula Community Theatre opens Clue: The Musical this Friday, January 23 for a two-week run of silly situations, campy music, and a murder mystery that may be solved up to 216 ways. Bringing this popular board game to life are the eight colorful characters you know and love from the Parker Brothers board game. Clue: The Musical runs January 23-25 and January 28-February 1 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 online at here, by phone at 728-7529, or at the MCT box office (200 North Adams).

Zootown Arts Community Center the 3rd Annual {mini} Benefit Show in March 21.  Deadline for submission is February 1. The gala event on March 21 will bring together Missoula’s creative community to celebrate all things mini. This year {mini} just got more mightier. Enjoy artworks now measuring 12″ square. Attend the gala event to fight to the last bid for your favorite and/or read the requirements below and submit your own work.  Attend the art opening on March 13 to get a sneak peak of the artwork, pick your favorite piece,and start bidding on the silent auction pieces.  For more information visit the website.

The Missoula Community Theatre is holding an open audition for The Rainmaker on Sunday, January 25 at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts from 12:30-4:00 p.m.  Please use the Main Street entrance.  This non-musical has roles for seven men and one woman, ages 20 and older.  There are no roles for children. Serving as guest director for the production is Gregory Johnson, the artistic director of the Montana Repertory Theatre at the University of Montana. The Rainmaker runs March 20-22 and 25-29 at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts.  For questions regarding auditions, or to inquire about a perusal script, please call MCT at 728-1911 Monday-Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Picture22The Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre and the Shaanxi Performing Arts Group from China share the stage for a performance at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, February 7. Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre performs highlights from its “Destination Missoula” program that toured to China in fall of 2014.  Sharing the stage is the Shaanxi Performing Arts group from Shaanxi, China performing Chinese folk tales through their shadow puppets.  There is a matinee performance at 1:00 p.m. and an evening performance at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are available at the Missoula HUB 140 N. Higgins, 543-3300.

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.