This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | June 22


Now that the longest day of the year has come and gone, it’s time to think about New Year’s Eve!  Applications for First Night Missoula are available here.  The application deadline has been extended to July 15. All artists of any medium are encouraged to apply. Call 541-0860 for more information.

The Top Hat presents a screening of A River Runs Through It, with co-Producers Annick Smith and William Kittredge speaking after the screening. Thursday June 25, 6:30 pm – Free

The Missoula Downtown Association presents the 15th annual Garden City River Rod Run. On Friday June 26, downtown and near the Higgins St. Bridge there will be the parade of cars from around the Northwest. The festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. and the parade at 9:00 p.m.. On Saturday June 27 Garden City River Rod Run will have the cars on display from 11:00-4:00 at Caras Park. Call 543-4238.

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.

Fact and Fiction presents  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 through July it’s time to Find Waldo Missoula! Grab a passport and look for Waldo in 25 Downtown businesses. When you find him, enter drawing for books. All events at F&F Downtown.

Shakespeare and Co. presents 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, joined by Natalie Peeterse, reading from her chapbook Black Birds: Blue Horse, 1:00 p.m. on June 27.

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.

EdenEspinosa_by_RayGarcia1On Wednesday, July 1, Broadway comes to the MCT Center for the Performing Arts as MCT’s Next Step Prep presents Eden Espinosa – Live in Concert.  Ms. Espinosa is best known for her portrayal on Broadway in Wicked, as “Elphaba,” the green-hued witch.  In addition to that, she originated the role of “Brooklyn” in the Broadway production, Brooklyn the Musical, and was featured as “Maureen” in the closing production of Rent.  Eden will be in Missoula as a visiting guest artist for MCT’s Next Step Prep-a summer high school musical theatre program.  Tickets are available now here, or Call 728-7529 or stop in at the MCT Box Office.  Seating is general admission and tickets are $25/person.

Zootown Arts Community Center is teaming up with Tell Us Something this summer to offer a week long storytelling workshop for youths aged 10-15, June 29-July 3 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.  Students will learn about the many different kinds of storytelling and engage in a variety of fun and collaborative activities that build confidence and, strengthen listening and storytelling skills.  To sign up, visit the ZACC summer camp website here.

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.

Picture24The Missoula Art Museum presents Theo Ellsworth: Thought Clouds through June 26; 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 – Stephanie Frostad); American Abstract Artists through August 29.

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.

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.

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. This year’s theme is Exploring Conflict, with featuring guest playwrights Andy Bragen, Elizabeth Dement, and Francine Volpe. Visit here for more information.

Picture25Radius Gallery presents Scapes: Land, Sea, Mind, an exhibit featuring 80 artworks and 61 artists, now through August 8. Works were selected by three distinguished jurors: Jennifer Leutzinger, artist & owner of The Brink Gallery, Stephen Glueckert, artist & senior exhibitions curator at the Missoula Art Museum, and Barb Schwarz Karst, artist & retired art teacher.  Featured this week is the work of artist Karen McAlister Shimoda titled Urban Development; East of Main. Call 541-7070 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.

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.