This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | May 18


The 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.

The University of Montana School of Music presents the Student Recital Series, with Stephanie Quist, Piano, May 18 at 3:00 p.m. and Damian Garvey, Piano, May 24, at 3:00 p.m. Both events are at the UM Music Recital Hall.

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

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.

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

The Drum Brothers present a free screening of Drum Brothers on 11th and Grant at the Roxy Theater on Tuesday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m., with a reception at 6:00 p.m. This public screening will precede the airing of the episode on Montana PBS which will be on Thursday, May 21 at 7:00 pm.

Fact and Fiction presents Kate Shanley with a discussion and signing of Mapping Indigenous Presence, 7:00 p.m. on May 18; Amy Pennington, with a Cooking demo and signing of Fresh Pantry, 11:45 a.m. on May 20; and Carson Ellis, with a presentation and signing of Home, 3:30 p.m. on May 24.  All events are at F&F Downtown.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Michael Hodges reading from his new book The Puller, 7:00 p.m. on May 28; and Courtney Blazon unveiling her mural on the wall of our bookstore’s new annex, 6:00 p.m. on May 29.


Transforming Our Visual World: Highlights from the History of Photography,” an evening with Dr. Herbert Swick, at the Masquer Theatre, UM PARTV Center. May 21, 7PM.

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 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.

“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.

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.

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.

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 Missoula Symphony Association presents the 3rd Annual Symphony Soiree and 60th Celebration, June 14, at 5:30 p.m. at the Florence Lobby, 111 North Higgins Ave. Red carpet arrival with photos, 5 course gourmet dinner with paired wines and live musical performances by members of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra. To purchase tickets please contact the Symphony Office 721-3194 or visit the website.


The Dana Gallery presents the 4th annual national juried exhibition Icons of the West now through June 26.

The Dana Gallery presents the 4th annual national juried exhibition Icons of the West now through June 26.  Call 721-3154 or e-mail here for more information.

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.

The Clay Studio of Missoula presents Summer Camps for Kids and Teens.  Clay Camps for Ages 5-8, Ages 9-13, an All Ages July Camp, plus a Teen Throwing Intensive.  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.