This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | June 15



For more information about arts events in the Missoula area, visit our website

MCC presents The Last Best Solstice Riverfront Gallery and Artist Showcase on June 21 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at Bess Reed Park, behind the Holiday Inn Downtown and Brooks and Browns Restaurant.  Over 30 local artists will be creating work through the day, and will have work for sale. Visit here to learn more.

New Year’s Eve is only seven months away! Applications for First Night Missoula are available hereThe application deadline has been extended to July 15. All artists of any medium are encouraged to apply. Call 541-0860 for more information

Picture12The Montana Museum of Art & Culture presents Human Condition: The Art of Ben Steele and Hometown: Images of Missoula from the MMAC Permanent Collection in the Paxson and Meloy Galleries, now through September 12.

The Missoula Art Museum presents Theo Ellsworth: Thought Clouds through June 26;  Renée Brown: Profusion through June 20;  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; American Abstract Artists (pictured here) through August 29.

The Downtown Dance Collective is celebrating its 7th Birthday with its first ever fundraising event. Click here to go to the IndieGoGo Campaign to find out more.

Fact and Fiction presents Craig Johnson reading and signing Dry Bones, 7:00 p.m. June 16; Dorothy Patent and Boll Munoz signing Call of the Osprey, from 10:30 a.m. to Noon on June 20;  Keith McCafferty reading and signing Crazy Mountain Kiss,  7:00 p.m. on June 23; and Philip Burgess, reading and signing Henry’s Cows, 7:00 p.m. on June 25.  All events at F&F Downtown.

There is some great Jazz in Missoula this week.  On Thursday, June 18 at the Plonk Wine Bar is the Craig Hall Quintet, with Craig Hall, guitar; Rob Tapper, trombone; Johan Eriksson, saxophone; Josh Tower, bass, Eric Pers, drum set. Music starts at 8:00 p.m.  Free and Open to the Public.  On June 20, the Missoula Winery presents “Swingin’ on Home with David Morgenroth”, with David Morgenroth, piano; Rob Tapper, trombone; Johan Eriksson, saxophone; Josh Tower, bass, and Eric Pers, drum set. Music starts at 8:00 p.m. $15 for adults with glass of wine, $8 for students.

Shakespeare and Co. presents Marian Palaia, reading and signing The Given World at7:00 p.m. on June 18; Craig Lancaster, reading and signing The Fallow Season of Hugo Hunter, 7:00 p.m. on June 25; and Jill Koren reading and signing The Work of the Body, 1:00 p.m. on June 27.

Picture13Light Our Bridges Missoula is lighting up the Madison Street walkway on the summer solstice! The white LED lights have been installed on the Madison Street pedestrian bridge, and the public is invited to join the LOB committee when they “flip the switch” for the first time on Sunday, June 21. Meet on the longest day of the year at 10:00 p.m. underneath the Madison Street Bridge near the John H. Toole Riverfront Park on the south side of the river. A brief ceremony will begin at 10:15 p.m. After the countdown the bridge lights will be switched on at precisely 10:30 p.m. The best view of the lighting will be along the nearby riverfront trail. A group of local citizens formed the Light Our Bridges Missoula committee in December 2012 to raise money to light Missoula’s two pedestrian bridges. After raising $195,000 in two years, they illuminated the Van Buren Street footbridge in November 2014.

Zootown Arts Community Center (ZACC) and SPARK! Any Given Child Missoula present The Missoula Monster Project, with an exhibit scheduled for opening on September 11 at Southgate Mall and ZACC.  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.  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, from 5:30 to 8:30 at the ZACC.  Proceeds from the show go to help sponsor arts programming for MCPS students. Artist submissions can be made here. For more information, call Joanna Smetanka at 241-2945.

Picture10Radius Gallery presents Scapes; Land, Sea Mind, an exhibit featuring 80 artworks and 61 artists,now through August 8.  Call 541-7070 for more information.

Stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle will perform two shows Tuesday, June 16, at the University of Montana’s Dennison Theatre. Performances will be at 7:00 and 9:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.  Tickets are on sale here, at the Adams Center Box Office and all GrizTix locations. Tickets also may be purchased by calling 243-4051 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets cost $57, plus applicable fees. For more information call Chanelle Paakkonen, UM productions marketing coordinator, at 243-4719 or here.

Author and naturalist Jack Nisbet will discuss his newest work, Ancient Places: People and Landscape in the Emerging Northwest, illustrated with a slide presentation, at Missoula Public Library’s large meeting room on Wednesday, June 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  For more information, call 721-BOOK (2665) or visit here.

A Carousel for Missoula is continuing a yearlong celebration of its 20th anniversary with a Gala Dinner and Auction on June 18, beginning at 6:00 p.m., at the Ranch Club barn. John Floridis will entertain throughout the evening, which will include a no-host cocktail hour and dinner, as well as silent and live auctions.  Tickets are available from Carousel board members or at the Carousel. Cost is $100 for a single ticket or $175 for two. Seating is limited; to ensure a spot at the table, please call 549-8382 as soon as possible.
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 hereApplication deadline is today, June 15, 2014.  

The Missoula Writing Collaborative presents the Words with Wings summer camp. This week long intensive writing program is perfect for young writers ages 8-14 and will run July 23-17 and July 20-24. For more information or to register visit here
Tangled Tones presents Summer Camps 2015, for various ages and interests. Summer of Rock and Digital Recording Camp.  Visit here for more information.

Picture14The 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 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.

Turning the Wheel Missoula announces a Turning the Wheel Summer Workshop: The Body Now with Alana Shaw and Music by Jesse Manno, July 6-12 on hundreds of acres of stunning forest landscape on Whidbey Institute on Whidbey Island, WA.  To register and to lean more, visit here.

FlamencoFlamenco Montana presents a workshop on Sevillanas, the dance of Sevilla and Andalusia, June 19-21 a the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre, 2704 Brooks. Call 396-4007 or visit the website

The first MCT Summer Day Camp is next week with Jack and the Beanstalk, June 22-28, for grades 1-12.  Registration is just $180/child and includes two (2) complimentary tickets to a performance. Camps run Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with performances on Saturday or Sunday.  Call 728-1911 for more information on this great adventure! But wait….there’s more!  Discounted tuition is available by registering early for the next two camps. The Frog Prince (July 6-12) is $160 if registered by June 22nd and Rumpelstiltskin (July 20-26) is $160 if registered by July 6th.  After the deadline, the tuition per camp is $180/child.  Also new:  MCT is now providing the option of aftercare for your kids M-F from 4:00-5:30 p.m. (cost is an additional $30).  Call 728-7529 (PLAY) for further information or visit the MCT Box Office.  Also visit the website.

Montana Repertory Theatre’s Missoula COLONY 20 is celebrating Twenty years of supporting writers for stage and screen, from June 25-July 1. For two decades, noted playwrights from Broadway, screenwriters and television writers from Hollywood, and recipients of Emmys, Tonys, and Pulitzer Prizes have come to Missoula to work with local writers out of the glare of urban pressure and to enjoy the beauty of the Missoula summer. Hundreds of plays have been read and cultivated; a generation of new writers has benefitted from the generosity and skill of the guest writers. This summer we are celebrating this phenomenon as we look back with thanks and at the same time move forward, continuing our commitment to creating the next generation of writers for stage and screen in the unparalleled beauty of the inland Pacific Northwest. Visit here for more information.

The Big Sky Branch of Missoula Public Library invites the public to enter the “Who is Your Hero?” art show to illustrate this year’s Summer Reading theme. Entries will be received at the Big Sky Branch at 3100 South Ave. West during June, with an artists’ reception on Wednesday, July 1 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  All ages are invited to submit, and all mediums are accepted.   Pieces should be accompanied by a short description of the hero depicted, and why the artist chose their subject.  The “Who is Your Hero?” will also be exhibited at the downtown library later in the summer. For open hours, or to find out more about the “Who is Your Hero” art show, visit here or call the Big Sky Branch at 406-728-2400, ext. 8605.

The 13th Annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is now accepting submissions for the February 19-28, 2016 event. Early Bird registration due July 1,  and regular registration is September 1.  Visit here for more information.



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.