This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | Feb16


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.  On Thursday, February 19, MMAC presents an evening with Chris Comer, UM Dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, with a talk entitled A View of Art Through Your Brain at 7:00 p.m. in the Montana Theatre in the PAR-TV Building on UM campus.

The Missoula Art Museum presents Kate Hunt: Recent Works through February 21; 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
opens February 20.


David Morgenroth

Accomplished Missoula jazz artist David Morgenroth releases a new recording this week. Entitled “Verdant,” the recording showcases original tunes by Morgenroth and others. The album also features notable Los Angeles jazz stars Bob Sheppard on soprano and tenor saxophones, Chris Colangelo on bass and Joe La Barbera on drums. The CD is available for sale at David’s website or at Morgenroth Music Center or Rockin’ Rudy’s in Missoula.

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.

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.

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.

The University of Montana Department of Music presents Sing me a Valentine, a concert on February 13, at 7:00 and  9:00 p.m. at the Missoula Winery and Event Center, 5646 West Harrier; Laura Matzke, piano at the UM Music Recital Hall, February 16 at 7:30 p.m; “Clarinetistry at its Finest!” a Faculty and Guest Artist Series with Christopher Kirkpatrick and Maxine Ramey, February 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the UM Music Recital Hall; Student Ensemble Series with the UM Big Bands at the Dennison Theatre on February 18 at 7:30 p.m., featuring two of Seattle’s busiest jazz arrtists, Steve Treseler (saxophone) and Jim Sisko (trumpet); A Springtime of Irish Music and Song, Flute, Concertina and Song, February 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the UM Music Recital Hall; the 33rd Annual Concert Band Festival at the UM School of Music, February 22-24 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.   Living Art of Montana, 725 W. Alder St #17 (Warehouse Mall).

¡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 now through May 12, with a performance May 15.  The group meets at Sussex School – 1800 S 2nd St W.  the Cost is  $200 for 15 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.  For more information, call (516) 445-0767 or e-mail here.

UM School of Theatre and Dance presents Translations in conjunction with the Irish Studies program, February 17-21 and 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.

Tell Us Something presents “Adventure” February 17 at 6:00 p.m. at the Top Hat, 134 West Front Street.  A celebration of the art and craft of live storytelling.  Storytellers from the Missoula community share their true stories, told from memory.  Call 546-3855 or e-mail Tell Us Something.

The Art Associates of Missoula monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 18, at 10:00 a.m. in the Education Center of the Missoula Art Museum.  Maryanne Eikens is looking forward to sharing all about the beauty and strength of the natural world that she is able to masterfully capture in her limited edition bronze sculptures. All Art Associates meetings are free and open to the public. For more information please call Susie at 544-0891.

A screening and discussion of the film “Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture” will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Thursday, February 19, in the University Center Theater on the University of Montana campus. The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 243-5415.

Thomas Sayers Ellis, a University of Montana Creative Writing Program Visiting Hugo Fellow, will present a poetry reading at 7:00 p.m., Friday, February 20, in the Dell Brown Room of Turner Hall. The event is free and open to the public.  Sayers Ellis is the author of two poetry collections, “Skin, Inc.” and “The Maverick Room,” which won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award. His poems and photographs have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including “Best American Poetry” in 1997, 2001 and 2010, Callaloo, Grant Street, The Baffler, Jubilat, Tin House, Poetry and The Nation.  Call program coordinator Karin Schalm at 243-5267 for more information.

2015-02-16_0854Local, regional and national speakers will address the theme of language during the University of Montana’s TEDxUMontana event on Friday, February 20, in the Dennison Theatre from 4 to 9:00 p.m. Speakers will include Missoula Mayor John Engen, Salish and Pend d’Oreille language school executive director April Charlo, climate change communicator Susan Joy Hassol, journalist Clay Scott, Missoula Symphony conductor Darko Butorac, Raptors of the Rockies director Kate Davis, former Montana Poet Laureate Sheryl Noethe, stop-action filmmaker Andy Smetanka, three-time State AA speech and debate champion Erin Johnson, and Drum Brothers member and solo recording artist Matthew Marsolek. At TEDxUMontana, video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection with the audience.  Tickets are $40 for general admission and $20 for students. Dinner and light refreshments are included. The event will not be available as a live webcast and tickets are limited. To purchase tickets, visit here or call 243-2858.

The UM President’s Lecture Series presents Avishai Margalit, Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a talk titled “The Arab Spring and the Israeli Spring”, 8:00 p.m. Friday, February 20, in the University Center Ballroom. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Blue Mountain Clinic presents Off the Rack, Missoula’s unique condom fashion and talent runway show, February 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wilma Theatre.  For tickets and information, visit the website.

The String Orchestra of the Rockies presents Death and the Maiden, with Barry Lieberman, double bass, and Maria Larionoff, violin, on February 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the University of Montana Music Recital Hall.  Visit the website or call 243-2990 for more information.

The Missoula Community Theatre is holding an open audition for Shrek The Musical on Sunday, February 22 at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts.  Please use the Main Street entrance. There are roles for men, women and children, from leads to ensemble.  There are no roles for children under 10 years old.  Audition times are: 12:30-2:00 p.m.-audition for children’s roles (ages 10-15); 3:00-5:30 p.m.-audition for adult roles (ages 16 and older).  Visit the website or call 728-1911 for more information.

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 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 4th 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.