This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | Aug 31



Germanfest returns to Caras Park on September 13 from 2-6 p.m. This year’s event features S-Bahn, a Vancouver-based German band covering the Oktoberfest circuit in the Northwest.  Germanfest is sponsored by MCC and celebrates our sister-city partnership with Neckargemuend.  Visit here for more information.

The Missoula Art Museum presents continuing exhibits American Abstract Artists through August 29; Montana Triennial: 2015 through September 4 (pictured here); Neil Chaput and Keith Graham: Montana’s One-Room Schools through September 19; Kathryn Schmidt: Seen In Broad Daylight through October 24.

The 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.  MMAC presents a Film Screening:

Never the Same, Thursday, September 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Masquer Theatre in the UM PARTV Center. More than 20 years in the making, this innovative documentary depicts the experience of American prisoners of war held by the Japanese during World War II.  Conversation after the screening with filmmaker Jan Thompson and special guest Loretta Swit.  There will be a Meet & Greet Party from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the lobby of the MCT Center for the Performing Arts.  Tickets to the party are $25 each and may be reserved by calling 243-2019.

Picture1The Montana Repertory Theatre presents Growing Up in Wonderland: Alice’s Coming of Age Story by Jillian Campana, Friday and Saturday, September 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Masquer Theatre in the PARTV Center on the UM campus.  Call 243-4581 or visit here.

First Friday Gallery Night is this week, September 4, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at venues throughout Missoula.  Visit here later this week for the most up to date listings of events and gallery openings.

The Missoula Downtown Association presents Downtown Tonight Thursday evenings 5:30-8:30 p.m. through mid-September at Caras Park.  This week features Red Elvises.

The Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre Company is offering an exciting opportunity to audition for the Moscow Ballet production of the nutcracker. Auditions will be held at the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre on September 12 at noon. Register here.

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks returns to the UM Oval tonight, August 31, with The Taming of the Shrew at 6:00 p.m., and September 1 features Cyrano de Bergerac, also at 6:00 p.m.  Rain venue is the Dennison Theatre.

Fact and Fiction presents Martin Clark reading and signing The Jezebel Remedy, 7:00 p.m. on September 2 at F&F Downtown.

The Montana Book Festival    occurs in Missoula September 10-12, featuring 200 speakers at venues throughout Downtown and at the University of Montana.  For more about this celebration of the written word, visit here.

The Missoula Community Theatre will prove that Shakespeare is for everyone with a NEW performing arts class for Grades 6-12.  Register now for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, September 14 – October 9th, with performances on Saturday, October 10th.  Register online at here or call 728-7529.

SPARK featuredSPARK! – Arts Ignite Learning is currently seeking individual artists and arts organizations to apply for our 2015-2016 teaching artist directory who: work in any visual, movement, theatre, music, or literary discipline; have previous experience teaching K-8 students in a classroom setting; are passionate about arts integration; delight in collaboration. Organizations applying must be not-for-profit in nature.  SPARK! is a community wide partnership working to expand arts programming in Missoula County Public Schools. We facilitate and foster connections between district schools and local arts organizations, helping to ensure access to the arts for all MCPS students.  SPARK! is a national partner in the  Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child Initiative.  Learn more about our approach to arts education and what it means to be a SPARK! teaching artist at this information session.  For more information, call Chris at 531-1981.

Radius Gallery presents Compositions, a group show bringing together the artworks of five diverse and dynamic artists. The artists include:Chris Maynard, Barbara Michelman and Charles Finn, Eric S. Carlson, Darcy Chenoweth.  This group runs from now through September 12.

Ridin’ for Hope, a new exhibition by Ruth Schwarz McDonald will be on display at The Artists’ Shop (127 N. Higgins Ave.) through today. The exhibition features works made with dye on silk featuring images from the recent benefit for the Head, Heal, Hope Foundation supporting a Montana child currently suffering from a life-threatening illness. Proceeds from sales will benefit this cause.

Edda Glass and Max Hatt have been making some serious noise in the NPR music world since leaving Montana a few years ago. Known best in Missoula for their work with Rio, a Brazilian jazz group, the duo will join forces with acclaimed bass virtuoso Clipper Anderson for a double bill evening with the John Floridis Trio, Tuesday, September 8 at the Crystal Theatre in Missoula at 7:00 p.m. Tickets available here and Rockin’ Rudy’s. $10 advance/$12-20 door.

The Missoula Symphony Association and the Top Hat Lounge present Quartetto Gelato in a Cabaret Series Concert on Tuesday September 8 at 7:30 p.m. with dinner seating starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets and more information available online.
Picture4Flamenco Montana presents their fourth annual Flamenco Montana Festival featuring a host of classes for all experience levels in dance, guitar, and canto (songs).
Carlos Lomas, Vicente Griego, and Hidalgo Paz will lead classes and present a concert happening September 16 at 7:30 pm at the First United Methodist Church. Classes will be held at Rocky Mountain Ballet Theater September 17 through 20.

Percussionists Wanted – Desire, Not Experience, Sought After. Have you ever wanted to learn to play percussion using a variety of hand and stick drums, Tibetan bowls and bells, and smaller percussion instruments?  A special introduction to this largely improvisational music is being planned.  You do not have to have musical experience or the instruments themselves. A small group will be formed to participate in an afternoon and evening session at the Missoula Public library on September 29 as part of Missoula Public Library Senior Citizen week.  Quiet Drum & Percussion blends worldwide percussion instruments, softer drums and voice for a meditative musical evening. Flutes, violin, udu, harps, Tibetan bowls and bells, and smaller percussion instruments make up the musical mix. Largely improvisational. All musical talent and experience levels welcome. Please contact John or Susan Hancock at 721-2789 or e-mail here.

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.