This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | March 30


First Friday Gallery Night occurs this Friday, April 3 at venues throughout downtown Missoula and beyond.  This month’s First Friday is sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, formerly Prudential Real Estate

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.

The University Center Gallery at the University of Montana is issuing its annual art call for the gallery’s 2015-16 exhibition calendar.  The artwork displayed in the gallery comes from local, regional and national artists. The UCG is a nonprofit, dynamic, student-run space that allows students, faculty, staff and community members to visit and experience contemporary art exhibitions throughout the academic year. The exhibitions are carefully selected based on criteria focused on diversity in origin, media, content and style.  Applications can be downloaded online or picked up and returned to the gallery on the second floor of the UC. A $15 application fee is required, though UM students, faculty and staff may apply at a discounted rate of $10. Fees collected are used to support the UC’s art initiatives and to help provide student-focused programming and space centered around the arts.  The deadline for art call applications is 4:00 p.m. Thursday, April 9. Applications are available online here. To learn more about the art call, email Gwen Landquist, UC marketing and art manager,  or call 406-243-5555.

Best Solctice


The Missoula Cultural Council is now accepting applications to participate in the Last Best Solstice: Art on the River. The event will be held on June 21, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Artists are needed to create art throughout the day or provide a demo of their specific process. Visual artists working in all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The event will be held on the Clark Fork Riverfront Trail. Participating artists and galleries will be provided with space to create and sell art throughout the day. MCC will handle sales in order to provide artists with more time to create art and engage the public. Deadline for applications is April 30.

Fact and Fiction presents Nancy Jensen reading and signing Resurrected Mind, 5:30 p.m. on April 3 at F&F Downtown

Shakespeare and Co. presents Philip Schaefer and Jeff Whitney reading from their new chapbook Smoke Tones with Melissa Mylchreest, author of Waking the Bones, 7:00 p.m. on April 4.

Throwing In the Towel, a special benefit for the Northern Plains Resource Council, will be displayed at The Buttercup Market and Cafe for the month of April. The display comes from the personal collection of Bonnie Tarses. Enjoy the beautiful towels from around the country Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and weekends from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at 1221 Helen Ave.

Picture2Janel Traver, a Missoula high school senior, has made it to the finalist round of the Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest, hosted by The Gallery Collection.  The scholarship is worth $10,000 plus $1,000 for the winner’s school.  Janel’s hand drawn design was selected by the judges and is now one of just 109 remaining this national competition.  Ten artists will move on from this round as potential winners, five by popular vote and five by judge’s choice.  Voting concludes on April 1.  To support Janel, Facebook users are encouraged to vote by following this link or visiting The Gallery Collection Scholarship Contest Facebook page.  Janel’s entry is #9957.  Please help support this local aspiring artist by voting daily.

The Missoula Public Library hosts a seminar called “Edward DeVere at Center Stage: Four Last Plays Seen As For a First Time.”  Stephen Ludwig, a scholar of Edward de Vere, facilitates the 5-week discussion series. The seminar will be an exploration of four Shakespearean plays in light of this information.  Sessions began Saturday, March 28 at 3:00 p.m., and continue at the same time on April 4, 11, 18 and 25.  Space is limited; please register here.

The University of Montana School of Music presents the Student Recital Series: Chris Naro and Braden Mathews, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the UM Music Recital Hall; Stephanie Quist, Piano, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the UM Music Recital Hall; Jordan Wiegert, Percussion, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the UM Music Recital Hall; Carly Beadle, Soprano, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the UM Music Recital Hall; The University of Montana Chamber Chorale with a concert titled “As Waves that Seek the Shore,” April 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Music Recital Hall.

The Clay Studio of Missoula presents Spring Session Classes beginning March 30 at 1106 Hawthorne. The Clay Studio previews POTSKETCH 2015 at the April 3 First Friday reception. Call 543-0509.

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 4.  Register online here.

heavy metalThe Missoula Art Museum presents Heavy Metal from The Collection, an exhibit featuring four pieces of steel sculpture by Ted Waddell and Manuel Izquierdo, through April 4 (pictured here);  Theo Ellsworth: Thought Clouds through June 26;  Renée Brown: Profusion through June 20.  Four Decades Of Collecting: Selections From The Permanent Collection through April 18; Big Sky High School Art Club through May 29.  The Andy Warhol Collection from Museum Of Art at Washington State University begins April 9, with a Preview and Talk April 8 at 5:30, followed by a 7:00 film at the Roxy Theater.

Preserve Historic Missoula will hold its annual Preserve Historic Missoula Night on Saturday, April 4 from 6:00- 9:00 p.m. at Heritage Hall, Fort Missoula.  The event will include food and refreshments and a silent auction featuring vintage furniture, clothing, books, and decorative items.  Three Cats and a Fiddle with Ellie Nuno will provide music.  Local non-profit organizations that focus on historic resources and landscapes will man tables providing information about their groups and answering questions.  Featured speaker for the evening will be Montana State Senator Diane Sands.  Senator Sands will speak about World War II Alien Detention Centers with specific emphasis on the detention center at Fort Missoula.  As the former development director at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, she worked to expand knowledge of the detention center and promote the preservation of its remaining physical resources at the Fort.

The Montana World Affairs Council presents “Geopolitics, Geoeconomics and Globalization” with Richard Erb, PhD in economics from Stanford University. During his career, he worked on economic, monetary and financial sector issues at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the White House, and the US Treasury Department.  April 9 from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Governor’s Room in the Florence Building.  Call 728-3328.

Master of Fine Arts graduate students Crista Ann Ames and Tyler Nansen will present their thesis exhibitions April 9-23 in the Gallery of Visual Arts, located on the first floor of the Social Science Building at the University of Montana. The opening reception for the exhibition will be from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9. The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Award-winning author and conservationist William deBuys will deliver a nonfiction reading at 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 10, in the Turner Hall Dell Brown Room at the University of Montana. The reading, which is free and open to the public, will conclude the UM Creative Writing Program’s spring Visiting Writer Series. For more information call Creative Writing Program Coordinator Karin Schalm at 243-5267 or email here.

The Captain Wilson Conspiracy plays at the Loft of Missoula Friday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m.

The Art Associates of Missoula monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 15, at 10:00 a.m. in the Education Center of the Missoula Art Museum, 335 N. Pattee St, Missoula. Kathi Olson of the City of Missoula Public Art Committee will share project details about Missoula’s artistically decorated Traffic Signal Boxes. Art Associates meetings are free and open to the public. For more information please call Susie at 544-0891.

The International Choral Festival, KPAX-TV and Southgate Mall are presenting “Raise Your Voice,” a live on-air fundraising telethon to benefit the 2016 International Choral Festival April 18 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. The broadcast will be aired on Channel 8 and will be live from the JC Penney Court of the Southgate Mall.  Local choral groups including Missoula Mendelssohn Club, Sweet Adelines, Hellgate Chevaliers, Missoula Kid’s Choir, Choral Festival Octet and the University Choir will perform during the hour-long Telethon. The broadcast will be hosted by KPAX’s Mike Powers, Jill Valley and Erin Yost, who will present entertaining commentary about Missoula’s Festival, interviews with Festival organizers, and pre-recorded interviews with key community supporters for a perspective on the Festival’s impact on Western Montana.  Sponsors of the 2016 Festival will also be featured during the broadcast. Come watch the Telethon live at the Mall, or tune into KPAX Channel 8 from home on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m., or watch the broadcast streamed on

The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the annual Preserving Missoula County History Grant program.  This program is open to all Missoula County non-profit organizations involved in historic preservation and interpretation projects in Missoula County.  A total amount of $10,000 is available for one-time projects with a demonstrable long-term impact for local history; individual projects are limited to a maximum grant of $5,000.  For details and applications contact Matt Lautzenheiser, Executive Director, Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, 3400 Captain Rawn Way, Missoula, MT, 59804; 728-3476, extension 1; or e-mail here.  Application deadline is June 15, 2014 (earlier submission is recommended).
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.