This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | June 29


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 hereThe application deadline has been extended to July 15. All artists of any medium are encouraged to apply. Call 541-0860 for more information.

Destination Missoula and the Missoula TBID are proud to announce their 12th Annual Partnership and Tourism Awards Celebration, Tuesday, June 30, 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the University Center North Ballroom.  The Missoula community is invited to come celebrate our 12 year anniversary, new Board of Directors, and to help honor those outstanding tourism partners that have made it all happen! Ticket prices are $36 per person (including gratuity) and can be purchased online here or by calling 532-3250.

Picture11The Missoula City Band presents free concerts in Bonner Park beginning at 8:00 p.m. each Wednesday.  This week features A Patriotic Prelude and the Sweet Adelines.  The City Band will also perform at Southgate Mall on July 4 at 9:30 p.m., just before the fireworks!

Two Montana Public Radio programs recently won “EB” awards from the Montana Broadcasters Association on June 13 in Big Sky.  “Musician’s Spotlight” hosted by John Floridis won Best Radio Non-Commercial Program of the Year for John’s interview with Marc Cohn. “Lets Draw: The Velveteen Rabbit”, a “Pea Green Boat” radio play, was awarded runner up for Best Non-Commercial Program of the Year. It was presented by Annie Garde and Mark Metcalf, and produced by Beth Anne Austein. The “EB Awards” are named in memory of Montana broadcast pioneer Ed Craney. The “EBs” recognize excellence in local news, production, promotion and public service.

The Missoula Art Museum presents 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 through August 29.  On June 30, MAM honors longtime museum curator Steve Glueckert (pictured) who is retiring after 24 years at the museum, from 5;00-8:00 p.m., featuring music by the Big Sky Mudflaps. 


MAM honors longtime museum curator, Stebvew Glueckert who is retiring after 24 years at MAM. June 30, 5pm-8pm.

The Missoula Downtown Association presents Out to Lunch on Wednesdays 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and Downtown Tonight Thursday evenings 5:30-8:30 p.m. through the summer at Caras Park.  This week features Milton Menesco & the Big Fiasco on Wednesday and Ted Ness & the Rusty Nails on Thursday.  All events are free.

The Missoula Community Theatre season goes on sale this Wednesday, July 1 – from season packages to single ticket purchases.  Don’t miss Sweeney Todd, The Sound of Music, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and Mary Poppins. MCT is theatre FOR the community BY the community, so plan now for your friends and family to enjoy live theatre all season.  Visit here for more information.

Picture10The 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 Find Waldo Missoula throughout July. Grab a passport and look for Waldo in 25 Downtown businesses. When you find him, enter drawing for books. On   July 7, William “Gatz” Hjortsberg will be reading and signing Manana at 7:00 p.m. at F&F Downtown.

Shakespeare and Co. presents John Burgess reading by Land… at 7:00 p.m. on June 29; and Skylar Browning and Jeremy Watterson reading from their new book Montana Baseball History, 7:00 p.m. on July 8.

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.

Radius Gallery presents Scapes: Land, Sea, Mind, an exhibit featuring 80 artworks and 61 artists, now through August 8. Works were selected by three 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 Jean Albus entitled “Broken Beauty”.  Jean uses photographic imagery against a backdrop of the Montana landscape. She has participated in numerous shows in the region, and has exhibited in galleries and Museums across Montana.  You can find her Best of Show (1 of only 3 given by the 3 jurors for the exhibit) at the galelry, open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.   Call 541-7070 for more information.

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.

The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula presents the 39th annual 4th of July Celebration this Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with the Pancake Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.  Call 728-3476 for more information.

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
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, continuing through 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.

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.

Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre is announces that its student Katy Clay has received a full scholarship to attend Conservatory Sunrise Studios in Vienna, Austria from September 2015 to July 2016.  Ms. Clay participated in a cultural exchange with Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre and the Vienna Conservatory in summer of 2014 and was chosen by the directors in Vienna and by RMBT Artistic Director Charlene Campbell Carey to receive this scholarship based upon her talent.

Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre directors and seven students leave July 4 for five weeks at the Goh Ballet Academy in Vancouver, BC.  RMBT Artistic Director Charlene Campbell Carey will be teaching for the Goh Academy’s International Summer Intensive along with Mr. Gregor Hatala from the Vienna State Opera Ballet and Li Chunhua from the Beijing Dance Academy.  RMBT music director Karen Carreno will accompany classes for the summer intensive.  RMBT dancers who range in age from  11 – 16 are:  Ruby Jenni, Ellie Jenni, Jacqsyn Dieziger, Callie Street, Molly Rowe, Lucy Sirrs and Anna Horejsi.  The RMBT contingent returns to Missoula on August 9 and brings Mr. Gregor Hatala with them for the RMBT International Summer Workshop August 17 – 21.

Celebrate your love of the outdoors with Five Valleys Land Trust. In celebration of Open Lands month, Five Valleys Land Trust is throwing a good old-fashioned hoedown on Wednesday, July 8 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Marshall Mountain, 5250 Marshall Road.  Join us for live music by Cold Hard Cash, food from Missoula’s best food trucks, beer from Big Sky Brewing Company and children’s activities provided by the Montana Natural History Center and Big Sky Bouncers. Call 549-0755 or e-mail

Summer Aikido Intro for Beginning Adults starts Saturday, July 11 from 2:00-3:30, followed by four guided basics classes Monday and Wednesday, 7/13, 15, 20, 23, 5:30-6:45. Pre-registration is required. Visit Aikido Missoula, call 549-8387, or come by 208 E. Main, Located on the 2nd floor of the historic Union Hall Building to watch a class and get started.

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.