This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | May 11

By TOM BENSEN has recently named Missoula as one of the 17 Coolest Towns in America.  For more, visit here.

The University of Montana School of Music presents

Student Recital Series with Taylor Caprara and Leah Payne, Soprano, May 11 at 7:30 p.m.; Garion Holian, Viola, May 12 at 7:30 p.m.; Scott Koljonen, Piano, May 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Brookes Pennell, violin, and Clay Kellogg, horn, May 15 at 4:00 p.m.;  Jess Preis, piano, and Molly Trindle, oboe, May 15 at 7:30 p.m.; Stephanie Quist, Piano, May 18 at 3:00 p.m.  All these are at the UM Music Recital Hall.

Picture21New Zealand Day, honoring Missoula’s Sister-City partnership with Palmerston North, occurs on May 30, with a touch rugby clinic and pick-up game hosted by Missoula Youth Rugby at the Fort Missoula rugby pitch at 10:00 a.m., and the screening of the film “What We Do in the Shadows,” featuring Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords at the Roxy Theater at 7:00 p.m.  For more information, visit here.

The UM School of Media Arts presents the Spring Expo, an immersive event showcasing the top narrative and experimental movies, documentaries, animation, still image design, sound design, gaming, interactive art and research, on May 14 from 4:00-10:00 p.m. at the Roxy Theater.

The 2015 Elementary Art Show is at Southgate Mall from now through May 17, featuring works from many schools in our area.

The University of Montana BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition is on view at both the Gallery of Visual Arts and the University Center Gallery now through May 15.

The Clay Studio of Missoula presents the Woodfire Invitational Exhibition now through May 30.  Call 543-0509.

ArtsThe 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, May 21 at 7:00 p.m., MMAC presents “Transforming Our Visual World: Highlights from the History of Photography,” an evening with Dr. Herbert Swick, at the Masquer Theatre, UM PARTV Center.

The Zootown Arts Community Center (ZACC) and SPARK!- Arts Ignite Learning are teaming up to showcase the second annual Missoula Monster Project. Originally conceived by nine year-old Asa Smetanka, this show is a collaboration between children and adult artists, working together to create “monster art” based on monsters dreamed up by the children. Kindergarten classes from three Missoula County public schools (Lowell, Paxson, and Rattlesnake) will create original monster pieces to put on display at Southgate Mall from now through May 30. During that time, the organizers will assign
each local adult artist a child’s monster to interpret, using his/her own unique style and medium. The results will be displayed in a September 11 art show, featuring both the original child-drawn monsters and the artists’ own interpretations.  For more information, call Joanna Smetanka 241-2945.

May is Historic Preservation Month. Architectural Tours occur through the month.  All Historic Preservation Month events are free and open to the public. Accommodations can be made in advance for those requiring additional assistance to attend. For more information call lease contact Leslie Schwab, Historic Preservation Officer or call 552-6638

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

Fact and Fiction presents Frederick Swanson, reading and signing Where Roads will Never Reach, 7:00 p.m. on May 11 at F&F Downtown.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Rosalyn LaPier and David Beck reading from City Indian on Monday, May 11, at 7:00 p.m.; and Nikki Manning signing Historic Underground Missoula, May 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Picture1The 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 (pictured here);  The Andy Warhol Collection from Museum Of Art at Washington State University through August 15; John Thompson: A Celebration through August 29; Montana Triennial: 2015 through September 4.

“Buy a light” on one of Missoula’s pedestrian bridges in honor of a 2015 graduate! And with Mother’s Day this month, donating the cost of a light is a unique way to honor or remember your mother! The Light Our Bridges Missoula committee of local citizens raised funds to illuminate the two Missoula footbridges with LED white lights. With the Van Buren Street footbridge complete, work to install lights on the Madison Street walkway will begin soon. To participate in the “Light Our Way” fundraising campaign, donors can “buy a light” on either bridge for $25 each in honor or in memory of a loved one. To donate, visit the LOB website.

Emily Jay Vascimini and UM Dancers perform a BFA Dance Senior Show, We Carry the Ocean Inside Us, May 15, at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. Downtown Dance Collective.  Only $5.

Azar Lawrence and Benito Gonzalez will be performing two nights Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16 at Daly Jazz. They will be joined by Craig Hall (bass) and resident percussionist Caleb VanGelder.  RSVP  here.

The Missoula Community Theatre is closing out the 2014-15 season with Shrek The Musical continuing May 13-17 at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts.  This Tuesday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. there is a special adapted performance for people living on the autism spectrum.  Tickets for all performances are available at the website, by calling 728-7529 or at the MCT box office.

The BFA Dance Senior Show Rhythmic Motion is an evening length dance concert exploring the body as an instrument in movement by Arina Hunter, May 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Headwaters Dance Co. Studio.  $5 at the door.  Call 503-713-7961.

Picture2The Dana Gallery presents the 4th annual national juried exhibition Icons of the West May 15 – June 26.  There is an Opening Reception May 15 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the gallery. The evening will include an introduction from Mayor John Engen with an awards ceremony to follow along with live music and refreshments.  Call 721-3154 or e-mail here for more information.

A Carousel for Missoula presents the first ever Kids’ Day Track Meet, Saturday, May 23, from 8:30-9:30 a.m.  There is room for up to 50 kids, from pre-school through 5th grade, to gather in the grassy field to the west of Dragon Hollow for some unique and fun challenges. Participants will compete within their own age group. Following the Track Meet, all competitors will lead a parade along the Clark Fork river path to the Caras Park pavilion stage for a brief welcome to the Carousel’s 20th annual Kids’ Day, and will then lead the crowd back to the Carousel. The Carousel will give free rides from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and there will be a selection of special vendors and exciting activities to add to the festivities. Please call 549-8382 for more information.

High School students in Western Montana are invited to enter MCAT’s 15th Annual Western Montana High School Film Festival. The Festival will award $1200 in prizes and there are twelve categories to enter. Entries can be 4 minutes on length or shorter and must be submitted by May 15 at 5:00 p.m. For more information, entry methods, categories and background on the judges, visit the MCAT Website and click on High School Film Festival. Or Call MCAT at 542-6228. There will be an awards screening for the Festival on Thursday, May 28 at The Roxy Theatre at 7:00 p.m.

The Rocky Mountainaires and the Five Valley Chorus present the Barbershop Harmony Festival May 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the UM Recital Hall. The event includes singers from Montana, Idaho and Eastern Washington.  For more information, call 531-2142 or email here.

Food, fun and lots of meat will be featured at the second annual Carnivores Classic at the Montana Food Festival. The classic, a benefit for the Missoula College Culinary Arts Program, will take place Friday and Saturday, May 29-30, at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.  Tickets to the event cost $25 for adults and $8 for kids 5-12, and include the asado buffet, live music, on-stage culinary demonstrations, the “Griz-Bobcat Throw-Down Barbeque Contest” and awards. The winner of the Kansas City Barbecue Society also will be crowned at this sanctioned event. For more information about the event or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 243-7815 or e-mail here.

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.