This Week’s Arts & Culture Scene | Sept 7


The Missoula Art Museum presents continuing  Neil Chaput and Keith Graham: Montana’s One-Room Schools through September 19 (pictured here); Kathryn Schmidt: Seen In Broad Daylight through October 24, Terrain: Plateau Native Art & Poetry through February 27, 2016.  MAM is hosting several events for the Montana Book Festival September 10-12.

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.

Picture1Germanfest returns to Caras Park on September 13 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. This year’s event features S-Bahn, a Vancouver-based German band covering the Oktoberfest circuit in the Northwest.  Beer from Bayern Brewing, Brats from the Shack, pastries from Black Cat Bakery, plus a raffle, children’s activities, and information about Missoula’s sister city Neckargemuend.  Visit here for more information.

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.

Picture4The 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.

The Missoula Downtown Association presents the final Downtown Tonight event of the season Thursday evening from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Caras Park, featuring Tom Catmull’s Radio Static.

Award-winning author John Vaillant will visit the University of Montana this month to discuss his book, “The Tiger,” the 2015 selection for UM’s First-Year Reading Experience. Vaillant will speak about his book to the campus community at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 9, in the Dennison Theatre. The lecture is free and open to the public. He also will hold a special Q-and-A forum for first-year students at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, September 10, in the University Center Theater.

The Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre Company is offering an 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.

Picture3The Montana Book Festival returns to Missoula September 10-12 with a new name, and organized by several local organizations and businesses including Fact and Fiction, Shakespeare and Co., Barnes and Noble, Missoula Public Library, and several others. and features more than 200 speakers at 20 venues throughout Downtown and at the University of Montana.  For more about this celebration of the written word, visit here.

The Montana Book Festival and Radius Gallery present Tin Types: A Photo-Collaboration at Radius, September 11 at 5:00 p.m. Bitterroot photographer Barbara Michelman and former Missoula writer Charles Finn will discuss the work, and give a reading, which they’ve entitled “Tin Types: A Photo-Poetic Collaboration”. Merging the two art forms they captured their inspiration, and this event will enable them to explain the evolution of their collaborative project.

The Montana Book Festival and Tell Us Something present Storyteller Celebration: Tell Us Something and Stephen Graham Jones, September 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Dennison Theatre, featuring storytellers Chris LaTray, Karen McNenny, Susan Maruca, Josh Slotnick. At 8:00 p.m., Stephen Graham Jones is conversation with Theodore Van Alst and Sterling HolyWhiteMountain.

The Gallery of Visual Arts at the University of Montana presents School of Art Faculty Exhibition and lectures with a lecture by Valerie Hedquist entitled “What’s Next? Pinkie, of Course,” September 10 at 5:10 p.m. in the UM Social Science Building Room 356.  Call 243-2813 for more information.

The University of Montana Department of Music presents the Montana/Idaho Clarinet Festival September 11-12. Visit here for more information.

Opportunity Resources presents Autumn Fest September 12 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Opportunity Ranch in Frenchtown.  For more information, call 329-1786.

The 14th Annual University Community Ice Cream Social to welcome all new and returning University of Montana students to campus and Missoula’s neighborhoods is set for Sunday, September 13. The free event will run from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the 400 block of University Avenue. The street party will feature live music from the hillbilly jazz band Barnaby Wilde and appearances by UM Mascot Monte and city and UM leaders. Participants can mingle with neighbors, browse informational tables and enjoy delicious, locally crafted Big Dipper ice cream. Sorbet also will be available.

City Club Missoula presents a lunch and discussion featuring MCPS Superintendent Mark Thane on September 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel. Visit here for reservations and more information.

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.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre presents Little Red and the Hoods. This delightful tale of Little Red Riding Hood, told with modern lessons includes plenty of audience participation and fun. Tickets are on sale now for Saturday, September 19 at 10:00 a.m. and also an adapted performance for people living on the autism spectrum on Thursday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m.  For more, visit here.

Missoula Public Library’s World-Wide Cinema, the monthly films screened in their original language, features God’s Slave, the story of Ahmed (a physician), trained since childhood as an Islamic terrorist now assigned to execute a suicide bomb at a synagogue, and David, the cold-blooded Israeli special agent who will stop at nothing to prevent the attack. Neither though is defined solely by his extremist views. With time running out, David zeroes in on Ahmed as a suspect, his investigation culminating in violent, if unexpected consequences. From Uruguay, Argentina, and Venezuela, God’s Slave is in Spanish with English subtitles and runs 90 minutes. The film is directed by Joel Novoa, who Variety magazine named as one of its top 10 Latin American filmmakers. Join us for a screening and brief discussion (optional) on Friday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Large Meeting Room. Lower level doors will be open from 6:45-7:15.

Living Art of Montana presents Creativity for Life drop-in Saturday workshop on September 12. An Expressive arts workshop that takes place 2 Saturdays per month year-round for people facing illness or loss including care providers and family members. No charge, registration not required, all materials provided. Workshops run 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. at the Living Art studio. Topic/Facilitator to be announced.

Ruby Jewel Jamboree presents Dale Ann Bradley September 13 at Ruby’s Inn at 7:00 p.m.  In 2007 Dale Ann took home her first IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year Award. She also took this honor with her from the Grand Ole Opry House and in 2008-2009 from The Ryman Auditorium. This is the final show of this year’s series.

SPARK! – 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.

Tell Us Something presents Oldest Trick in the Book, September 15, 6:00 p.m. at the Top Hat Lounge.  Join us for a night of true personal stories shared without notes and based upon the theme: Oldest Trick in the Book. Eight storytellers are on the roster.

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 Antonio 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.

The University of Montana students looking for volunteer opportunities can explore their options during the Fall Volunteer Fair on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 15-16. Hosted by UM’s Office for Civic Engagement and the student group Volunteers In Action, the fair will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. both days in the University Center Atrium. Students and community members can learn about numerous volunteer opportunities available in the Missoula area from nearly 30 community agencies, which will have the chance to recruit new volunteers. The Office for Civic Engagement also will provide information about several of its programs during the fair.  For more information, contact Colleen Kane, director, UM Office for Civic Engagement, 243-5531.

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.