This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | May 4


Tomorrow – Cinco de Mayo – is also Give Local Missoula Day. The Missoula Cultural Council and SPARK! – Arts Ignite Learning are both participating.  Click on this link to visit MCC’s Give local page.

And click here to visit SPARK!’s Give Local page.

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;  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 (pictured here).

Salsa Loca performs at the Top Hat tomorrow, May 5, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  The show begins at 8:00 p.m.

Picture11The 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 University of Montana School of Music presents the Student Recital Series with Chris Naro and Braden Mathews, May 4, at 7:30 p.m.; Marion Anderson, Piano, May 7, at 5:00 p.m.;  Turner Schoer, Piano, May 9, at 5:00 p.m.; Adam Sears, Piano, May 9, at 7:30 p.m.; Hillary Lester, Composition, May 10, at 7:30 p.m.  All events are at the UM Music Recital Hall.

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.

Picture12The 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 Celebrate Children’s Book Week, beginning Thursday, May 7, with After School Talk and Signing at 3:30 p.m. with Susan Adrian, author of Tunnel Vision, and Janet Fox, author of Faithful and Sirens.  On Friday, May 8, Words with Wings, the Missoula Writing Collaborative Student Reading series begins at 5:30 p.m.  On Saturday, May 9, Author and Illustrator Celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Papa Bean will be talking and drawing, and Kristi Knight will be celebrating her favorite author Brad Meltzer.  All events are 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.

“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 University of Montana School of Theatre & Dance presents Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter, continuing May 5-9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Masquer Theatre, PARTV Center, UM Campus.  Call 243-4488 for more information.

The Loft of Missoula presents Melody Anderson and her vocal students, May 8 at 7:30.

Picture1The Missoula Community Theatre is closing out the 2014-15 season with Shrek The Musical continuing May 6-10 and 13-17 at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts.  On 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.

YWCA Missoula and GUTS! present Lunafest, short films by, for and about Women, May 7 at the Wilma Theatre at 6:30 p.m.  Call 543-6691.

The 14th annual University of Montana Spring Thaw will take place from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 8, on the UM Oval. This year’s event will include an hour and a half of bluegrass music by the Lil’ Smokies at 3:30 p.m, plus a dunk tank featuring students and faculty from UM, a variety of carnival games, picture opportunities with Monte, a raffle, local food and more. Designed to celebrate spring and the end of the semester, Spring Thaw is free and open to the public.

The Missoula Community Chorus presents its Spring Concert, Songs of Stage and Screen, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Church. Tickets are $10 General Admission and available at Rockin’ Rudy’s and here. Call 493-9255 for more information.

Five Valleys Land Trust presents the 21st Annual Banquet and Auction, May 9, 5:30 p.m. University Center Ballroom, U of M, featuring dinner and live and silent auction. To purchase tickets, view auction items, menu and other details, visit here or call 549-0755.

Picture1Living Art of Montana presents the eleventh annual Light Show fundraising event Saturday, May 9 at the Hilton Garden Inn beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Call 549-5329 or visit here for reservations.

The Ed Norton Big Band plays the usual Second Sunday at the Missoula Winery, May 10, Mother’s Day, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

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.

Aikido Intro for Beginning Adults, one Saturday afternoon plus four basics classes starts Saturday, May 9 from 2:00-3:30 p.m., followed by four guided basics classes Monday and Wednesday, 5/11, 13, 18, 20, 5:30-6:45 p.m. Visit our website or call 549-8387.

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.

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.