This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | April 20


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 38th International Wildlife Film Festival continues through April 25 at the Roxy Theater.   For the full schedule of films, visit here.

Picture6The 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 and MOLLI present a Special MOLLI Class: An Insider’s Guide to the Montana Museum of Art & Culture: 120 Artworks for 120 Years with Brandon Reintjes, MMAC Curator of Art on Mondays, April 27, May 4 and May 11, 3:00-4:30 p.m. Preregistration with MOLLI required.  Call 243-2905.
Recently, TripAdvisor’s travel blog Travel Pod has named the MMAC an Editor’s Choice pick in its list of best museums in the United States. The only museum or cultural entity in Montana to make the list, MMAC joins institutions across the United States including the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Picture5The Missoula Art Museum presents   Theo Ellsworth: Thought Clouds through June 26;  Renée Brown: Profusion through June 20;  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 (pictured here).

On April 10th, at the 102nd annual Montana Library Association conference held in Bozeman, Missoula Public Library received a 2015 Excellent Library Service Award (ELSA) from the Montana State Library (MSL) Commission.  The awards were announced by Commission Chair Colet Bartow.
The ELSA recognizes libraries for achieving excellence in serving their communities in areas including collection development, information access, policies, planning and evaluation, fiscal management, board accomplishments, continuing education for staff and trustees, and outreach to the community.  The ELSA requirements are adapted from Montana’s current Public Library Standards, which serves as a measuring tool for libraries in the state.

Picture4Jazzoula 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.

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 UM Opera Theater, April 23 and 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the UM Music Recital Hall; Student Recital Series with Ian Velikoff, Guitar, April 25, at 2:00 p.m. at the UM Music Recital Hall; Student Recital Series with Megan Meadows, Piano, April 26, at 3:00 p.m. at the UM Music Recital Hall; Student Recital Series with Benjamin Fox, Tenor, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the UM Music Recital Hall; and the Composers’ Showcase, April 27, at 2:10 and 7:30 p.m. at the UM Music Recital Hall.

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

Picture3Beyond the Divide, the documentary film about Missoula’s legendary Peace Sign, is an official selection of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Film Festival, screening Sunday and Tuesday in Minneapolis. the film also screened at the Peace on Earth Film Festival in Chicago where it won Best Feature Documentary.

Fact and Fiction presents Matt Kepnes with a presentation and signing of How to Travel and The World on $50 a Day, 7:00 p.m. on April 22; Robert Rustad, reading and signing True Love’s Kisses: Disney Romance from Snow White to Frozen, 7:00 p.m. on April 24; Jon Axline with a presentation and signing of Taming Big Sky Country: The History of Montana Transportation from Trails to Interstate, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. on April 25. All events are at F&F Downtown.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Melissa Kwasny reading from her new book of poems Pictograph, 7:00 p.m. on April 20; UM MFA alum Jeremy Pataky reading from his debut book of poetry Overwinter, 7:00 p.m. on April 21; and Alexandra Teague reading from her second book of poems The Wise and Foolish Builders, 7:30 p.m. on April 24.

Faculty, students and researchers from around the world will gather to participate in the 13th annual Central and Southwest Asia Conference at the University of Montana on Wednesday through Friday, April 22-24.  The conference, hosted by the Central & Southwest Asian Studies Center at UM, will feature several panels and presentations on the history, culture, politics and religions of China, the Middle East, and Central and Southwest Asia. Speakers include Paris-based author Liliane Messika, who will deliver a keynote presentation about the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine; Chinese scholars Yang Yang and Qian Xuming, who will speak about the relationship between China and the Middle East; and Robert Greene, UM’s own distinguished expert on Russia, who will discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine in his keynote presentation. The Rocky Mountain Ballet will perform several times during the conference before the sessions begin, adding a musical and artistic dimension to the event.  All events will be held in the University Center Theater and are free and open to the public.  To learn more, visit here.

The University of Montana and the Missoula community will celebrate progress toward sustainability with Earth Week events, now through April 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.

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 Radius Gallery presents “Everyone in me is a Bird”: New Works by Courtney Blazon and Susan Carlson, April 22 – May 2, with a public opening on April 24 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.  For more about this opening, visit here

Teresa Waldorf and Rosie Ayers, and friends are at it again, with the new production of Parallel Lives by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy, with live performances Nightly, April 23-25 at The Crystal Theatre. Tickets $15. Doors at 6:45 p.m., Show at 7:30 p.m.

Picture2The 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 University of Montana School of Theatre & Dance presents Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter, April 28-May 2 and May 5-9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Masquer Theatre, PARTV Center, U of M Campus.  Call 243-4488 for more information.

The Jeanette Rankin Peace Center Coordinating Council and Missoula Peace Quilters present the 2015 Peacemaker award to Kathi and Glenn “Woody” Wood April 26 at 1:00 p.m. at Christ the King Church, 1400 Gerald. The community is invited to join us as we honor this very special couple, our 29th Peacemakers and celebrate their lifetime of commitment to a better and more peaceful, connected world.  The event is free and open to the public.

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).

Tangled Tones presents Summer Camps 2015, for various ages and interests. Summer of Rock and Digital Recording Camp.

Visit here for more information.


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.