This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | April 13


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.

The Missoula Public Library, with its partners spectrUM Discovery Area, The Children’s Museum and MCAT, will open a 21st Century library soon.  Tonight, April 13, there is a presentation and conversation concerning this new facility from 7:00-9:00 p.m.  To learn more or to RSVP, call 728-7836.

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.

Picture20The 38th International Wildlife Film Festival begins April 18 at the Roxy Theater.  The Wildwalk Parade on Higgins Avenue begins at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 19, followed by Wildfest in Caras Park.  Both events are free. For the full schedule of films, visit here.

The Missoula Art Museum presents   Theo Ellsworth: Thought Clouds through June 26 (pictured here);  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;  Jeneese Hilton: Raven Reviewing Modern through August 22;  The Andy Warhol Collection from Museum Of Art at Washington State University through August 15.

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.

The University of Montana School of Music presents 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; Student Recital Series with Lucas Mesenko, Composition, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the UM Music Recital Hall; Student Recital Series with Jesse Davis, Composition, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the UM Recital Hall; Student Recital Series with Taylor Caprara, Soprano, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the UM Recital Hall; UM World Rhythms Concert, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre; Student Recital Series with the Student Chamber Recital, April 19 at 3:00 p.m. in the UM Music Recital Hall; Student Recital Series with Barbara Shinaver, Trombone, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the UM Recital Hall.

Visions and Voices (an initiative from the Montana Repertory Theatre) presents Leveling Up by Deborah Zoe Laufer, April 17-19 at 7:30 p.m. with a Saturday Matinee at 2:00 p.m. at the Crystal Theatre, 515 South Higgins.  $15 General Public (at the door).  For more information, visit the website.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre will be at the Kids Camp Expo this Saturday from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Mismo Gymnastics.  Stop in to hear what MCT has in store this summer and sign up for the chance to win a FREE day camp for your child! Visit the website or call 728-7529 for more information!

The Clay Studio of Missoula presents POTSKETCH, the 2015 Gala fundraiser, Saturday, April 18, from 6:00-10:00 p.m.
at the University Center North Ballroom, University of Montana. For more information, call 543-0509.

Master of Fine Arts graduate students Crista Ann Ames and Tyler Nansen will present their thesis exhibitions now through April 23 in the Gallery of Visual Arts, located on the first floor of the Social Science Building at the University of Montana.

Turning the Wheel Missoula presents Tapestry Thursdays now through June 4.  A deep and playful dive into movement and community improvisation, at Headwaters Dance Studio. Registration required here. $10. per class, $80. for the session

The Downtown Dance Collective presents the Artist in Residence series with Laurel Sears in Refuge. Showtimes are Friday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 18 at  2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Call 541-7240.

Ceramic sculptor Esther Shimazu will demonstrate her techniques and give a lecture on her work Thursday, April 16, at the University of Montana. Both events are free and open to the public. Demonstrations will run from 10:00 a.m. to noon and from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Art Annex ceramics studio, located adjacent to the Grizzly Pool on the UM campus. The lecture will take place at 5:10 p.m. in Social Science Building Room 356. For more information call UM art Professor Beth Lo at 243-5893 or call the School of Art office at 243-4181.

Fact and Fiction presents Sarah Gerard reading and signing Binary Star, 7:00 p.m. on April 15; and Carrie La Seur reading and signing Home Place, 7:00 p.m. on April 16.  Both events are at F&F Downtown.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Jeremy Smith reading from his new book Epic Measures: One Doctor. Seven Billion Patients. 7:00 p.m. on April 16; and Joanna Klink reading from her new book of poetry Excerpts from a Secret Prophecy. 7:00 p.m. April 17.

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.

Picture19Montana Public Radio’s annual Pledge Week begins Saturday, April 11 and runs through the following Sunday, April 19. MTPR celebrates 50 years on the air this year. Visit the website to donate, offer a premium, or volunteer.

This month’s Third Thursday Slow Jam will happen this week on the April 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the Starving Artist Cafe, 3020 South Reserve Street. Tunes from the Celtic, Old Time and Contra Dance repertoire will be played at a tempo somewhat less than full speed so they will be easier to learn by ear. This jam is appropriate for players of all levels but it is not an instructional session. Tunes will not be taught, just played slow

The University of Montana and the Missoula community will celebrate progress toward sustainability with Earth Week events Saturday through Sunday, April 18-26.
For a complete list of Earth Week events at UM, visit here.  A schedule of events in Missoula and western Montana also is online at here.

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

Zootown Arts Community Center presents Super Power #3, Bringing the community together through art, April 18 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Come in and paint tiles for the new Poverello Building.  Paint one or more illustrations of what you consider home.

Jazzoula returns to St. Anthony Parish April 20-23.  Shows begin at 6:30 p.m. each evening.  Tickets are available at Rockin’ Rudy’s.  For the full schedule, visit the Jazzoula Facebook Page.

UM School of Theatre & Dance presents Dance in Concert April 22-25, nightly at 7:30 p.m. at the Montana Theatre, in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center, UM campus. For more information, call 243-4581 or visit the website.

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra presents, “Earth, Wind and Fire,” featuring R. Carlos Nakai, Native American flute soloist. The intensely spiritual and moving sounds of the Native American flute combine with the orchestra’s beauty and brilliance for our celebration of Earth Day, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. and April 26 at 3:00 p.m. at the UM Dennison Theatre. Visit the website or call 721-3194 for tickets and more information.

MCAT celebrates its 25th Anniversary April 22 from 4:00-8:00 p.m..  Walk down Memory Lane at this drop in event that includes food, drink  and cameo appearances by MCAT personalities.

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.