This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | March 9


The 2015 Annual MCC Arts & Culture Awards Luncheon is on Tuesday, March 24, at the Doubletree Hotel from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  This year’s honorees include William Marcus, Director of the UM Broadcast Media Center and Montana Public Radio / Montana PBS, for Cultural Achievement;  Stephen Kalm, internationally acclaimed opera performer and Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at UM, as Individual Artist; Karen Kaufmann, professor of dance at the University of Montana and director of Co-Motion Dance Project and MoDE (Montana’s Model Dance Education Project), for Arts Educator; the Downtown Dance Collective for Business Support for the arts; and the Missoula Children’s Theatre for Cultural Vision.  Tickets for the event are $25 each or $200 for a table of 8 and may be reserved from MCC at 541-0860 at our website.

The Roxy Theater presents Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? on March 9 at 7:00 p.m.  The 38th International Wildlife Film Festival comes this April 18-25.


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 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 March 19,  MMAC presents Special Tapestry Viewing Event, Le Joueur de Cornemuse (The Bagpipe Player) and Judith with the Head of Holofernes, at the PAR-TV Center, Masquer Theater at 7:00 p.m.

Zootown Arts Community Center’s  3rd annual Mini Benefit Show is March 21 beginning at 5:30 p.m. This gala event brings together Missoula’s creative community to celebrate all things mini. Enjoy a catered dinner by Bravo! Catering, a performance from the ZACC’s Girls Rock School, a silent and live auction of mini artworks and miniature desserts made by Missoula chefs and restaurants, concluding with music and dancing.

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.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Aaron Parrett reading from his new book Literary Butte: A History in Novels & Film, 4:00 p.m. March 15.

The University of Montana School of Music presents a
Faculty & Guest Artist Series featuring Nancy Cooper & Friends at the UM Music Recital Hall March 10 at 7:30 p.m.; and a Student Recital Series with Lisa Muñoz and Hannah Hutchins, March 15 at 3:00 p.m. at the UM Music Recital Hall.  Call 243–6880.

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 March 10, and 17: Exploring Glass Three-Week Workshop with Katie Patten. 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).

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 “Journey Home” on Saturday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (202 Brooks).  Doors open at 6:45 PM. Tickets may be purchased at Fact & Fiction, Rockin’ Rudy’s, or via the choir’s website.

Heroes Are Gang Leaders

The Missoula Art Museum presents Heroes Are Gang Leaders, featuring Thomas Sayers Ellis, at 9:00 p.m. on March 13

The Missoula Art Museum presents Heroes Are Gang Leaders, featuring Thomas Sayers Ellis, at 9:00 p.m. on March 13 (pictured here). $25 General Public, $15 MAM Members; Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts: Selected Works through March 21; 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;  Renée Brown: Profusion through June 20.  Four Decades Of Collecting: Selections From The Permanent Collection opens March 13.

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana, in conjunction with UM’s East Asian Studies, will host a showing of the documentary “The Land of Many Palaces” at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, at Missoula’s Roxy Theater.  The 60-minute documentary on China’s current efforts to move 250 million rural villagers into urban cities will be followed by a Q-and-A session with the film’s co-director and co-producer, Adam James Smith. It is free and open to the public. More information is available at the website.

MCAT presents Aristotle in concert Friday March 13 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. The concert is free-come down to MCAT Studio, 500 North Higgins to hear Aristotle in concert, including the performance of spiritual reading in the last half hour of the show.  Call 542-6228.


Claudia Rankine

The University of Montana Creative Writing Program will host its second Thinking Its Presence conference on race, creative writing and literary study, Thursday through Saturday, March 12-14.  Claudia Rankine, a Jamaican-born poet who has been nominated for the National Book Award, will deliver the keynote address at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, March 14, in the University Center Theater.  Most conference events take place on the UM campus, but Shakespeare & Co. and the Missoula Art Museum also will host some of the conference readings and performances. A complete schedule is available online here.

The Starving Artist Cafe, the Missoula Folklore Society and Circle of Friends present Slow Jam, a session of tunes from the Celtic, Old Time and Contra Dance repertoire, played at less than full speed so they’re easier to learn by ear, most alternate Thursdays beginning March 12, starting at 6:00 p.m. This is a jam, not a clinic or instructional session but it is appropriate for musicians of all levels.  Starving Artist Cafe, 3020 S Reserve St, Ste A, Missoula, MT 59801. Near the intersection of S Reserve St and Harve Ave W. Call 541-7472 for more information.

Also on Friday, March 13, Bases Covered are at the Loft beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Solero Flamenco, Houston’s premier flamenco performance group, will perform at the Top Hat on Friday, March 13 and at Flathead Lake Brewing Company on March 14.  They  present a two day workshop in Missoula March 14-15 at Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre.  From here, they will go on to Great Falls to spend a week in the schools and perform on March 20.  The workshop March 14 and 15 at Rocky Mountain Ballet Theater will include Cuadro Communication, Castanets, Dance, Percussion, and Accompanying the Cante with Guitar.  Visit the Flamenco Montana website.


The Radius Gallery is presents Form to Action, an exhibit featuring the abstract artworks of five Montana artists. March 13 from 5-7pm.

The Radius Gallery is presents Form to Action, an exhibit featuring the abstract artworks of five Montana artists. Each employs the visual language of form, shape, color and line distinctively and to surprising effect. We are immensely thankful for the opportunity to bring such fully conceived and expertly crafted artwork together into one energetic, expressive, multi-dimensional exhibition.  Opening reception is March 13 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

The University of Montana College of Visual & Performing Arts present the Odyssey of the Stars, honoring outstanding University of Montana performing and visual arts alumni and tells the story of their artistic journeys, showcasing the many different roads to success that an artist can travel.  Odyssey features some of UM’s finest student performers and artists.  The production supports the College of Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship Fund.  The 2015 Odyssey of the Stars event will be held on March 14, 7:30 p.m., in the Dennison Theatre. Join us as we celebrate twotime emmy nominee, Rene Haynes, Casting Director. For Odyssey of the Stars Sponsorship information, call 243-4990.  or email

The Missoula Mendelssohn Club will be celebrating their 70th Annual Spring Concert by taking the stage with the Montana A Cappella Society for an evening of music and community.  Please join us in the Music Recital Hall  on the University of Montana Campus on Sunday evening, March 15 at 7:30 PM.  Tickets ($15 General, $6 Student) available at Rockin’ Rudy’s, Worden’s and from Mendelssohn Club members.

The University of Montana Schools of Theatre & Dance and Music presents Pippin March 17-21, 24-28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Montana Theatre, PARTV Center, U of M Campus.

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 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

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.