This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | Feb 23


The Missoula Historic Preservation Commission is seeking nominations for the 2015 Missoula Historic Preservation Awards. The annual Missoula Historic Preservation awards honor those who work to preserve and restore the places in our community that lend so much character to our life in Missoula. Nominations are due March 2. The 22nd Annual Missoula Historic Preservation Awards are judged by the Missoula Historic Preservation Commission, with the individuals and groups honored at a public catered awards event during May, National Historic Preservation Month. Projects must have been completed in 2012, 2013 or 2014. Nomination forms can be downloaded from the City’s Historic Preservation webpage located here. Nomination forms can also be obtained by contacting the Historic Preservation Office, or e-mailing a request to Leslie Schwab.

The Montana Museum of Art & Culture presents Art of the State: 120 Artworks for 120 years, an exhibition celebrating the 120th Anniversary of the Permanent Collection, now through May 23. MMAC presents an evening with UM Professor of Art History and Criticism, H. Rafael Chacón, Predilections and Possibilities: the Virtues of a Teaching Collection, in the Masquer Theater in the PAR-TV Building on UM campus, on March 3 at 7:00 p.m


The Missoula Art Museum presents Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts: Selected Works through March 2

The Missoula Art Museum presents Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts: Selected Works (pictured here) 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; Fifth Grade Identity-In A Box! through March 13; Theo Ellsworth: Thought Clouds through June 26.

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 Gallery of Visual Arts at the University of Montana presents Robert Schweiger: The Dakota Series and Selections from the Montana Museum of Art & Culture Ackerman Print Collection now through February 26.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Josh Wagner reading from his new book Shapes the Sunlight Takes, February 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Fact and Fiction presents Missoula’s Liz Carlisle with a presentation and signing of Lentil Underground, 7:00 p.m. on  February 24 in the Urey Lecture Hall on UM Campus. On Saturday, February 28, Buzzy Jackson will be reading from and signing The Inspirational Atheist, at 1:30 p.m. at F&F Downtown.

The University of Montana Department of Music presents  the 33rd Annual Concert Band Festival at the UM School of Music, continuing February 23-24 all day.

Living Art of Montana presents Cancer, Courage & Creativity: an eight-week workshop for men and women experiencing the effects of cancer now through March 26.  Registration Required: email here or call 549-5329 to sign up.
On February 28: Watercolor Leaves drop-in Saturday Workshop with Loretta Vizzutti. 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. On March 3, 10, and 17: Exploring Glass Three-Week Workshop with Katie Patten. Three Tuesdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Registration Required: please email here or call 549-5329 to sign up. Open to people dealing with illness and loss including care providers and family.  All materials will be provided. No charge & art experience is not necessary. Living Art of Montana, 725 W. Alder St #17 (warehouse mall).

The UM Dennison Theatre presents a concert: Freedom Sings, First Amendment Center, February 25 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Show begins at 7:30 p.m.

UM School of Theatre and Dance presents Translations in conjunction with the Irish Studies program, continuing February 24-28, in the UM Masquer Theatre in the PAR-TV building on campus, at 7:30 p.m. each evening. For more information, call 243-2849.

University of Montana Creative Writing Program graduate students Jolene Brink and JP Kemmick were selected to receive this year’s Merriam-Frontier Award.  The students will read their award-winning submissions from 4:10 to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 27, in the Mansfield Library Theta Rho Room. The reading is free and open to the public.  For more information call Karin Schalm at 243-5267.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre invites your entire family to an out-of-this-world adventure at the world-premiere musical of Gulliver’s Travels… space!  Performances of this original musical are at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. this Saturday, February 28 and again on March 1.  The show features more than 50 talented kids from the Missoula area!  For tickets, visit here, call 728-7529 or visit the MCT box office.


The Top Hat presents world renowned pianist Spencer Myer playing solo works Feb 25

The Top Hat presents world renowned pianist Spencer Myer playing solo works, as well as chamber music with some of the stars of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra including Margaret Baldridge, violin, Maxine Ramey, clarinet, Susi Stipich, oboe, Alicia McLean, bassoon, and a wild four-hands, one-piano piece with Christopher Hahn, Wednesday, February 25, at 7:30 p.m., with dinner seating  from 5:30-6:30 p.m.  Call at 721-3194 for more info.

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra & Chorale follow up with Keys to the Heart, performances on Saturday February 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 1 at 3:00 p.m. at UM’s Dennison Theatre, joined by pianist Spencer Myer.  Visit the website or call 721-3194

Aikido Missoula presents After School Aikido for Young People ages 7-14. Orientation for new students on Wednesday, March 4.  Classes meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:15-5:15 p.m.  Aikido is a noncompetitive martial art that teaches centering, balance and dynamic blending movements in a cooperative, fun class.  Please call 549-8387

Dolce Canto presents a free Open Rehearsal on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 202 Brooks.  There will be door prizes and refreshments.

The Art Associates of Missoula monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 18, at 10:00 a.m. in the Education Center of the Missoula Art Museum.  Peter Barberio, Missoula’s own music man and instrument-maker will passionately share his love for music and stringed instruments. All Art Associates meetings are free and open to the public. For more information please call Susie at 544-0891.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre spring day camp is just around the corner with The Tortoise Versus The Hare…..the greatest race!  Open to all K-12 children, the camp is March 30-April 4 with one day of performances on Saturday, April 4th.  Register online 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.