As part of an effort to give a voice to veterans issues, a UM play will include stories from former military members currently on campus. Veterans who have returned to UM following their service were paired with applied theater students, who interviewed them. Short audio monologues pulled from the interviews will be at listening stations outside the performances of “Welcome Home Jenny Sutter,” a UM production that opens April 28. Read more about the project and the play.
TripAdvisor’s travel blog Travel Pod has named the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at the UM an Editor’s Choice pick in its list of best museums in the United States. MMAC is the only museum or cultural entity in Montana to make the list. With a collection of nearly 11,000 pieces of art and antiquity, 2015 marks the organization’s 120th anniversary. Read the full Editor’s Choice list here.
At first, Alli Bargelski worried the sound design class she is taking online at UM would leave her feeling adrift. The BFA student in Media Arts doesn't feel that way anymore. The sophomore with a focus in filmmaking is inspired by the contemporary content the faculty present, and she is pleased to be virtually immersed with other students. Bargelski isn't alone in her review of the program. Read more about the online media arts degree in the Missoulian.
Darko Butorac is establishing himself as one of the world’s most exciting young conductors. He currently serves as the music director of both the Tallahassee and Missoula Symphony Orchestras. In his recent TEDxUMontana talk, Butorac explores “The Language of Conducting.”
The Missoula Cultural Council handed out its annual awards this week and three of the honors went to UM employees. William Marcus, director of UM’s Broadcast Media Center and Montana Public Radio/Montana PBS, received the council’s cultural achievement award; dance artist and instructor Karen Kaufmann was named arts educator; UM arts dean and opera singer Stephen Kalm earned the individual artist award. Read more about this year’s winners and their contributions to Missoula’s vibrant arts and culture community.
The UM production of “Pippin,” should feel fresh to audience members enchanted by the original 1972 Broadway musical or the recent revival, both of which won a shelf of Tony Awards. Director Hillary Sea Bard deliberately avoided looking at video or images of the production, in either the first incarnation shaped by Bob Fosse, the legendary director and choreographer, or the new Cirque du Soleil-inspired one. Read more about the musical, which opens March 17.
Rene Haynes has lived in Los Angeles for decades now, and she still makes it back to Montana to visit. Sometimes she heads to Great Falls, where the C.M. Russell High School graduate still has family. Sometimes she travels the state's seven Indian reservations to seek out talent for Hollywood film projects. The former UM student has become renowned as a casting director specializing in Native American and First Nations roles. Read more about Haynes in the Missoulian.
Walking the ancient streets of Babylon allowed Tommy Livoti to find his path in life. In 2003, the Missoula native and UM grad was a Marine Corps platoon commander in Iraq. Livoti saw a water-treatment system and military headquarters built upon archeological treasure troves. It all felt so wrong. It was then that Livoti became powerfully interested in protecting cultural properties during warfare. Read more how Livoti is combining his military and archeology background into one.
UM staff member Tim Daniel, who turned a hobby into a second career as a comics writer, will soon see his creation adapted into a live-action television show. The Missoula writer's title, “Enormous,” will be developed by Fox Television Studios and New Regency Television, and producer Adrian Askarieh's Prime Universe Films. The story is set in Arizona shortly after an apocalyptic environmental disaster. Read more about Daniel’s success.
Several UM students recently traveled to Nashville to attend Pollstar Live! 2015, the premier conference and trade show for the concert industry. The students from UM’s Entertainment Management program were right in the middle of the action, meeting with industry professionals, hearing from UM alumni who work in the business, and attending expert panels and, of course, visiting some of Nashville’s renowned music venues. Read more on UM’s Entertainment Management blog.
It's understandable if you're unaware of the hidden planetarium beneath the Native American Center. The project has been in the works since 2013, but the astronomy department has kept it pretty quiet, preferring to introduce it to the public gradually. The lack of fanfare has nothing to do with its quality, however. Though the domed room housing it is not enormous, the equipment's capabilities are stellar. The Montana Kaimin reports on UM’s planetarium.
TEDxUMontana returns for a second year, and the theme of this year’s event is language. Tickets are now on sale. The event will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, in the Dennison Theater. Learn more and purchase tickets at http://www.umt.edu/tedx.
Missoula schoolchildren became flames and trees Tuesday during “Fire Speaks the Land,” an interactive dance performance at UM that taught students about fire science. CoMotion Dance Project used the presentation to launch its fourth season performing for and with students all across western Montana. Through the production, students learned how fire burns in different types of forests and how it impacts the landscape. Learn more about the CoMotion Dance Project in the Missoulian.
In the University Center Gallery, 365 small self-portraits are arranged in rows on the north wall. They start on May 6, 2013, when Jace Laakso, an artist who works in information technology at UM, thought of a simple solution to a common problem. He got a "great haircut." But every time he gets a haircut, he says he wants the same one as last time. So he took a picture. Then he decided to take one every day. Read more about Laakso’s exhibit.
“What was your first concert? It’s a great question—a surefire conversation starter in pretty much any setting. Mine happened to be Pearl Jam, who played an intimate show for about 1,200 lucky fans at the University Theatre here at UM on June 16, 1993,” writes Montanan magazine editor John Heaney. As one of only a handful of student-run concert production organizations in the country, UM Productions is responsible for providing many of those moments. Read more and view concert posters here.
Every year, filmmakers from across the world apply to have their films screened at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. This year, four filmmakers under 30 from the festival’s home city made the cut. Three of them are current or future UM students. Local magazine Corridor talked with each of them about their movies, how they got started in documentary filmmaking, and the direction of their careers.
Last fall, UM student Rebecca Collins completed 12 credits of independent study on the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage in southern France and northern Spain. Equipped with knowledge from her interdisciplinary studies on pilgrimage history, European pilgrimage literature and nature writing, she walked the Camino de Santiago herself and do nature writing of her own. In this Global Leadership Initiative blog post, Collins reflects on her journey.
The University of Montana’s Global Leadership Initiative is a four-year fellowship that provides students unique experiences through a community. GLI enriches academic learning by combining practical experiences with classroom education. Learn more about UM's unique GLI program in this video.
A documentary created by UM students and recent alumni recently won an award at the International Fusion Doc Challenge, a five-day filmmaking competition. Director Tom Stagg, a recent UM alumnus, and co-director Brent Bluehouse, UM graduate student, worked with students Anne Bergman, Brian Rapaport, Tessla Hastings, Channing Nun and UM staff member Christian Gold Stagg created “GMOtional,” which won “Best use of Genres: Nature/Environmental.” Learn more about the competition here and watch the “GMOtional” trailer here.
When Greg Johnson decamped for Missoula from New York City in 1990, the Montana Repertory Theatre's national tour reached only three states. A quarter-century later, Johnson still leads the Rep, which has grown under his tenure into a professional troupe recognized across the U.S. "It's the largest national tour of straight plays in the country," he said. Read more about how Johnson has shaped the Rep in the Missoulian.
The independent film magazine MovieMaker recently named Missoula to its list of “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2015: Top Five Towns.” The article notes Montana’s dramatic landscapes, as well as the fact that Missoula is home to the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the International Wildlife Film Festival and the Montana Film Academy. The ranking also mentions students from UM’s School of Media Arts. Read more about what MovieMaker has to say about Missoula.
UM lost a member of the family last week when School of Media Arts Assistant Professor Dale Sherrard passed away. Dale is an immensely talented experimental composer, sonic sculptor and sound designer. In his memory, we share Dale’s talk on technology and sonic culture from last year’s TEDxUMontana event.
J.K. Simmons, a UM graduate, has been nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance in "Whiplash." In "Whiplash” Simmons plays a sadistic but brilliant jazz band instructor who pushes an ambitious student drummer to the edge of his talents and sanity. Simmons, who turned 60 this month, is the son of the late Pat and Don Simmons, longtime Missoula residents and important figures in the campus and city arts communities. Read more about Simmons’ nomination.
It's telling what they had to leave out. When the staff of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture was narrowing the Permanent Collection of more than 11,000-some objects down to 120 for a 120th anniversary exhibition, many masters from across centuries didn't make the cut. They wanted to represent the breadth and depth of the state museum's collection, as well as some of its idiosyncrasies. So some famous names didn't make it. Read more about the exhibition in the Missoulian.
Former Missoula resident and University of Montana alum J.K. Simmons has won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor for "Whiplash." In the film, Simmons plays a jazz band instructor who uses humiliation, fear and cruelty to motivate his students. Simmons is a UM graduate and native of Missoula. His parents are the late Don and Pat Simmons, longtime Missoula civic and arts leaders. Read more in the Missoulian.
“One of my favorite English professors at UM likes to tell us often, ‘the best stories take place during the moments from which the main character realizes that, nothing will ever be the same again.’ I think it’s exactly this wisdom, when applied to real life, which makes a semester abroad so profoundly meaningful. Every moment since I left Missoula has been part of the constant realization that, indeed, nothing will ever be the same again.” Read student Joel Gabriel Kempff’s blog post.
The world-famous clarinet player who lent his name to the University of Montana’s premier jazz festival and transformed the international genre through his unique bebop style passed away Wednesday. Buddy DeFranco died at his home in Panama City, Florida. “He was one of the monumental figures in the history of jazz,” said Lance Boyd, the former UM music professor and band director who created the Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival. Read more about DeFranco’s legacy.
A saber-toothed cat snarls, ready to pounce from the front cover of “Animal Weapons,” a new book that’s getting a lot of notice from both the media and the science world. The artist and UM alumnus Helenan David Tuss teamed up with writer and UM Professor Doug Emlen to illustrate the animal kingdom’s amazing array of extreme weaponry. Read more about how Tuss met Emlen while earning his bachelor’s degree in science and a minor in art from UM.
Education changes lives and those lives change the world. At the University of Montana, we see it daily. Our students come from every conceivable background and embrace challenge, grow as individuals and, ultimately, thrive.
Three UM School of Art students take viewers inside their artistic process, offering a glimpse into some of their recent works. Hear from Jason Bohman, drawing; Gustav Hamilton, ceramic sculpture; and Joanna Nasvik, drawing, performance, and art education; about how they approach their art and what it means to them in this video.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM, known as MOLLI, has received a $1 million grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation. A $950,000 endowment gift and $50,000 in operating funds will provide current and ongoing support for the continued growth of MOLLI. The program is a resource for adults age 50 and older who enjoy learning, connecting socially with others and having a relationship with UM. Read more about the recent Osher grant.
The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana promotes better understanding of Asia, U.S. relations with Asia, and ethics in public affairs in the spirit of Sen. Mike Mansfield and his wife, Maureen. This video, shown to the Montana University System Board of Regents on Nov. 20, 2014, highlights the impact of the Mansfield Center across the state of Montana and beyond.
UM’s new "fabrication lab," or "FabLab," as they've dubbed it, is stocked with two 3-D printers, 3-D scanners, 3-D pens, a vinyl cutter, an oversized printer, and soon a laser engraving machine. School of Art Director Brad Allen is effusive about the potential for using the equipment, the province of industrial designers and forward-thinking hobbyists and tinkerers, in the context of fine art. Read more about the new “FabLab.”
He marched across the field of Washington-Grizzly Stadium with 35 pounds of silver-plated brass wrapped around his torso. Stepping with the heavy instrument was no easy feat for Noah Lopez, the UM freshman who once thought he'd never be able to stand up again after losing his leg four years ago as a result of a senseless act of violence. Today he’s marching forward. Read his story in the Montana Kaimin.
UM’s School of Music Opera Theater and Symphony recently brought home a first-place prize for their production of “The Legend of Orpheus,” which was performed in February. UM submitted its opera production to the National Opera Association’s annual competition. Through the competition, the NOA seeks to encourage and reward creative, high quality opera productions in professional companies and college programs across the U.S. Read more about UM’s winning opera entry.
A video from the Montana Kaimin introduces two of artists whose work was selected for the 20th Annual Juried UM Student Art Exhibition. The exhibition is on display until Dec. 5 at the Gallery of Visual Arts on the first floor of the Social Science Building.
UM music Professor Steven Hesla knew he had to get Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe to Missoula. He saw the acclaimed classical piano duo perform at the Music Teachers National Association conference in March 2013. They gave seven encores, all greeted by standing ovations. This week Roe and Anderson come to town to teach a masterclass, play for 1,500 fifth-graders and perform for the public. Read more about the duo’s trip to Missoula.
On a cold April night in 1933, hundreds of university students worked themselves into a fervor tossing books that challenged the German spirit onto a roiling bonfire. The book burning is depicted in a new display at the UM library. On loan from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the national exhibit sheds light on the fervor that fueled the rise of Nazi Germany. Read more about the “Fighting the Fires of Hate” exhibit.
UM alumna and longtime supporter Nancy O’Connor passed away Nov. 10 at her home in Malibu, Calif., at the age of 84. O’Connor was the daughter of Ralph and Hulda Miller Fields, who were also UM alums. Nancy married actor Carroll O’Connor in 1951. Over the years, Nancy served on several UM boards and the couple gave generously to UM. In 1999 the University renamed the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West to honor their contributions. Read more about Nancy’s life in the Missoulian.
A self-proclaimed “man of many hats,” Udo Fluck lives up to that title both literally and metaphorically. Nestled in a corner of UM’s International Center, Fluck’s office boasts just a few of the many hats he uses to teach students about different cultures. His other “hats” come in the form of his ever-shifting role as director of UM’s Global Gateway program, which works to instill global competence in the community. Read more about Fluck’s work in the Montanan online.
The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at UM is now hosting an exhibition produced by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum that explores how the German book burnings of 1933 became a potent symbol in America’s battle against Nazism and why they continue to resonate with the public to this day. The exhibition, titled “Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings,” will be on display through Tuesday, Dec. 16. Learn more about the exhibition.
Tim O’Brien was stuck writing another book when he took a break in the late 1980s and penned “The Things They Carried,” a story that explores meaning in three simple words: “This is true.” That opening line in a mid-story chapter questions everything the famed author learned in the Vietnam War about guilt, fear and loss. O’Brien met with a group of freshmen at UM on Tuesday. Read more about his visit.
Nationally celebrated fabric artist and Missoula native Amanda Browder is displaying her large-scale fabric soft sculptures during an exhibition at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at UM. Because of weather concerns, the outdoor works of Browder’s “End of the Infinite” exhibition will hang only at select times until January. But that’s okay—the fleetingness of the exhibitions have always been a part of Browder’s process. Read more about her art in the Missoula Independent.
The UM Fencing Club held a free workshop last week, and a couple of dozen novices showed up to learn the basics of the sport. There are 15 dues-paying members, but the club always welcomes – and hopes to attract – newcomers. Club members say the sport is as much about the mental workout as the physical one. Read more about one of UM’s many student groups.
“The Ploughmen,” is technically Kim Zupan’s debut novel, but the years beg to differ. The 62-year-old has spent the past quarter-century working as a carpenter to support his writing. Before he started teaching at Missoula College, which freed up his summers, he would save money to take months off to do nothing but write. Now he’s on sabbatical, ready to take his novel on the road. Read more about Zupan’s journey.
Despite the loss of the University's Blackfoot language classes, students may still have a chance to learn Native languages. A proposed Native languages student club is working on getting recognition as a student group from ASUM. The group has 18 Native and non-Native students tentatively signed on. Jesse Desrosier, a sophomore from the Blackfeet tribe, said he always wanted to organize a Native languages club. Read more about the proposed language club.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM, known as MOLLI, has surpassed its all-time enrollment high this fall. There are 930 individuals registered for courses, and MOLLI membership grew to 737 members – an all-time high for the fall semester. MOLLI offers noncredit academic short courses to individuals who are age 50 and older. The courses are academic in nature and traditionally taught by UM faculty, emeritus faculty and professionals from the community. Read more about MOLLI.
Brandon Reintjes, curator of art for UM’s Montana Museum of Art and Culture, helped install a 45-foot-long fabric sculpture titled “Rapunzel” on the Missoula Mercantile building in the downtown area. The piece is by New York artist and Missoula native Amanda Browder. The installation was only up for a few hours on Friday, Oct. 3. Read more in the Missoulian.
The primal appeal of tools unites two shows at UM’s Gallery of Visual Arts. Stephen Glueckert built machines that generate the drawings themselves in his exhibit, “We Use Them to Do Things.” The Missoula Art Museum curator has been assembling mark-making machines for years. The other exhibit, “Re/Creation” features Chad Steve’s ceramic pieces, which strike a balance between hyper-realism and fancy. Steve is an artist-in-residence at the Clay Studio of Missoula. Read more about the exhibits.
Elizabeth Dove has been cutting up dictionaries for years, searching for meaning. Now, the Missoula artist and UM professor is showing off the product of her process. The Missoula Art Museum will have an exhibition of Dove’s work starting on Tuesday and running through the end of January next year. The exhibition will feature a portion of her series called “Corpus of the Unknowable.” Read more about Dove’s art and her upcoming exhibit.
For the second year in a row, Livability.com has ranked Missoula among the “Top 100 Best Places to Live.” Missoula ranks No. 8 on the 2015 list, which was released Sept. 15. "Nearby mountain ranges, three rivers and more than 400 acres of city parkland make Missoula an outdoor lover's dream come true," the article reads. "Home to the University of Montana, Missoula’s breweries, coffee houses, cafes and restaurants create a unique, cool vibe." Read more about what Livability.com has to say about Missoula.
University of Montana President Royce Engstrom delivered the annual State of the University Address on Aug. 22, 2014, in which he outlined institutional priorities for the coming year and introduced new faculty members and administrators. Watch the address and see other UM videos on UM's YouTube channel.
Fall semester began Aug. 25 with a flurry of activity on campus and all over Missoula. The Peers Connection Network in the Office for Student Success captured some of excitement this week and the many adventures that lie ahead for UM students in this video.
Since its inception in 1895, the Montana Museum of Art & Culture has built up an inventory of natural history artifacts, fine art from around the world, early Western art, antiques and textiles, experimental installation pieces and a variety of work from UM students. MMAC’s 11,000 pieces make it the largest collection devoted to fine art in the state. But as the collection has grown, the space for it has not. The Missoula Independent reports.
From the moment she arrived at the University of Montana in 2010, Helena native Mara Menahan has been making the most of her UM experience. She enrolled in the Davidson Honors College, biked across Bhutan, attended UN climate change negotiations in Warsaw, won Udall and Truman scholarships and was named a Newman Civic Fellow. Now that she’s preparing to graduate in December, Menahan reflects on what made her time at UM so successful.
According to a “Smart Rating” developed by FindTheBest, Montana has the best overall colleges in the U.S. FindTheBest used a weighted average of rankings from U.S. News & World Report and Forbes, along with data from the National Center for Education Statistics, to determine each state’s smart rating. Click here to see a map of how FindTheBest ranked each state.
It bodes well for business when the boss is pleased. And after Tuesday night’s record-breaking concert in Missoula, Paul McCartney was pleased indeed. Crews spent Wednesday morning completing work to tear down the stage and rigging where McCartney dazzled 25,000 fans in Washington-Grizzly Stadium the night before. By 11 a.m., all traces of the high-energy, three-hour concert were gone, though the memories lingered. Read more about what people are saying after the historic show.
Over the weekend, in celebration of his first Minneapolis show in nearly a decade, the governor of Minnesota declared Aug. 2 as Paul McCartney Day. Not to be outdone, the University of Montana and the City of Missoula commemorated the Aug. 5 show at Washington-Grizzly Stadium by renaming the iconic Mount Sentinel to Mount McCartney. Somewhere, Ringo Starr is stirring his tea, fighting to keep his smile from cracking into a frown of unfathomable disdain. Read more about Mount McCartney.
Summer theater season is in full swing and more than 50 UM students, alumni and faculty from the School of Music and School of Theatre & Dance are working in theaters around Montana and Idaho as actors, designers, musical directors, writers and technicians. Many of these companies have productions running through Labor Day. Find out where you can catch the talented members of the UMArts family in action this season.
UM received unprecedented private support in fiscal year 2014, with donations totaling $53.7 million. This is a $16.3 million increase over the previous record, set in 2008. In July 2013, the UM Foundation set out to raise an extra $45 million for students over a three-year period. After one year, the “Investing in Student Success” initiative has received $22 million. Read more about how alumni and friends and joining the UM Foundation to invest in student success.
UM student Steve Page of Boston recently is the inaugural artisan designer for Boston-based retail shop HUDSON. On July 15 interior designer Jill Goldberg announced the launch of a new annual program called HUDSON Discovers, which showcases emerging artisan-designers from across the country in the retail shop as well as online. Nineteen-year-old Page is the first artist to be featured. He studies business at UM. Read more about Page’s art and the program.
In recent weeks the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS, has emerged as a major insurgency. Evidence now suggests they are using illicit antiquity trafficking to fund their growth and arm their members. Such profiteering fits well with a longstanding pattern in the region, says Thomas Livoti, a Ph.D. student at UM who is studying the impact of counterinsurgencies on archaeological sites. Read more about Livoti’s work in this National Geographic article.
Chris Hahn sat down at the upright piano outside Higgins Plaza, and played part of a Chopin etude on the Kurtzmann manufactured in 1910. Across the street, a couple people cheered at the brief but spontaneous concert, the first live music on the instrument in its new home in downtown Missoula. Thus began the Downtown Piano Project, an idea that Hahn helped bring to fruition. Read more about Missoula’s Downtown Piano Project.
This February, Provost Perry Brown announced UM’s new Brain Initiative. UM already is known for the bench research it conducts through the Montana Neuroscience Institute, a collaboration with St. Patrick Hospital, and the National Institutes of Health-funded Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience. But this new project would consolidate brain research from across the University. Read more about the Brain Initiative in the spring issue of the Montanan, UM’s award-winning magazine.
After more than three decades as Montana Public Radio News Director, Sally Mauk retires on May 30. She's logged hundreds of hours of interviews, on-the-scene fire coverage, long, frantic election nights and news-poor holidays. She sat down with MTPR General Manager William Marcus to reflect on her career. And even though the tables were turned, she still asked the first question. Listen to the interview here.
Twenty-two years after its inception, Camas, a magazine published twice a year by the Environmental Studies Program at UM, has stayed true to the its environmental roots, connecting people to place while exposing the relationships that flow between. The inaugural edition from 1992 remains on file in the office and includes the works of Dave Thomas, Karin Schalm and Leslie Ryan. The magazine has changed over the years in voice and style. Read more about Camas.
Almost three years after he first wrote the script, Mathew Miller and his filmmaking partner Brandon Woodard have the finish line in sight for their first feature film, “Subterranea.” “Subterranea” is a film adaptation a 1997 concept album of the same name from the British progressive rock band I.Q. The pre-production work for the film was also the basis of Miller and Woodard’s MFA thesis project in the Media Arts program at UM. Read more about the UM grads’ film.
A unique perspective and five long days of work are paying off for a UM graduate student and three alumni. The filmmaking team Wheelhouse Missoula – comprising current and former UM School of Media Arts students – recently won the prestigious PBS P.O.V. Award and the Best Experimental Film Award at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto for their short documentary “20/Nothing.” Read more about the film and the award.
The Payne Family Native American Center at UM recently was featured in a new book titled “New Architecture on Indigenous Lands.” In the book, authors Joy Monice Malnar and Frank Vodvarka take readers on a virtual tour of Native building projects in Canada and the Western and Midwestern United States. They categorize UM’s Payne Family Native American Center as “a remarkable example of a building that is responsive to tribal traditions, technologically advanced and ‘green.’” Read more about “New Architecture on Indigenous Lands.”
When he’s out for a bike ride in the Rattlesnake or taking a day trip around the Missoula area, Gary Batzloff might come upon on interesting spot on the landscape. He marks these areas with a GPS device, either a Garmin, or his watch. Back in the studio, the ceramics and sculpture technician at UM’s Art Annex has turned the geolocation data into his latest series of work, called “Mountaintop/Riverbottom.” Read more about Batzloff's art.
If the walrus skin, seal whiskers and whale bone don’t have a story to tell in their own innate right, then the artistic spin placed on the indigenous items by a handful of Alaskan Native artists certainly do. From the “Mighty Elder” carved by Susie Silook to the mixed media of Da-ka-xeen Mehner, the new exhibit at the Montana Museum of Art and Culture begs questions of race, identity and the power of place. Read more about the MMAC exhibit.
Students and fans at Montana’s two universities are used to competing against each other in athletic events, but now they will get a chance to go head to head on the big screen. The Audience Awards, a Missoula-based startup social networking service for filmmakers and enthusiasts, is now accepting submissions for the upcoming Cat vs. Griz Student Filmmaker Competition, sponsored by the Montana Film Office and UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad. Read more about the film competition.
UM student Rebecca Collins recently named the winner of the inaugural Phi Beta Kappa Association of Western Montana Essay Contest. Her essay, titled “Reflecting the Active World,” exposes her love of connecting her studies and self-reflection to action while at UM. In the fall, she plans to complete 12 credits of independent study on the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage in southern France and northern Spain. Read more about Collins’ essay and her plans.
A vocal scholarship brought Neal Lewing to the UM School of Music in 1970. But as he entered his junior year, Lewing interrupted his education before he had a chance to perform his senior recital, a rite of passage for UM music students. Now, roughly 40 years later, the prolific musician, producer and arts educator will return to UM to perform his senior recital as a benefit concert. Read more about Lewing’s upcoming performance.
A California couple with a love for Montana and art has committed a significant portion of their estate to the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at UM. The gift will come from alumna Suzanne Moore Crocker ’64 and her husband, Bruce, of Palo Alto, Calif. Their bequest will establish the Suzanne and Bruce Crocker Distinguished Director Fund. Read more about the Crockers’ generous gift.
Rock icon Paul McCartney will perform Tuesday, Aug. 5, at UM’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, May 9 online and at all GrizTix locations. The concert is a continuation of McCartney’s acclaimed Out There tour, which visited 23 cities across South America, Europe, North America and Japan in 2013. The tour currently is scheduled to hit 19 U.S. cities in 2014. Read more about McCartney’s concert at UM.
Stephen Kalm, dean of UM’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, took to the stage on April 22 in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, where he performed in the Harry Partch opera “The Wayward” as part of an inventive series titled “collected stories: hero” by Carnegie composer-in-residence David Lang. A New York Times music critic was in the audience that night and his review hails Kalm as a “dynamic performer.” Read the NYT review here.
Stephen Kalm, dean of UM’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, was in New York City last week preparing for an April 22 performance at Carnegie Hall. Kalm will perform in the Harry Partch opera “The Wayward” as part of an inventive series titled “collected stories: hero,” which is curated by Carnegie composer-in-residence David Lang. Read more about Kalm’s debut in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall.
Students in Missoula and afar now can take advantage of UM’s first Bachelor of Arts degree that can be earned fully online. Beginning autumn semester 2014, the UM School of Media Arts will launch its online bachelor’s degree in integrated digital media. The program will allow students to tap their creative potential through the study and artistic application of emerging digital technologies. Read more about UM's exciting new media arts degree.
Spring came warmly to the UM campus Tuesday when Barbara Ballas made her way into the belfry rising over Main Hall. Ballas is the latest musician serving as carilloneur – roughly translated as “the player of the bells.” She is filling in for Nancy Cooper, whose tenure reaches back to 1992, or 21 graduating classes. Read more about UM’s carilloneur.
UM alumna Maggie Carey writes and directs comedies, and her work has shown on movie screens around the world. Her work features some of the world’s best young comedians giving their twisted takes on scenes that Carey created from the perspective she developed growing up in Idaho. The former Griz soccer player talks about her time at UM, her successful career and what’s next.
Six Montana sports professionals departed for China March 30 for a three-week sports diplomacy exchange. The trip is part of a grant to UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center through the SportsUnited Division of the U.S. Department of State. The Mansfield Center project uses sports as a means to support underserved populations in China, including ethnic minorities and youth with disabilities. Read more about the sports diplomacy exchange.
Campus Compact recently honored UM student Mara Menahan as a Newman Civic Fellow. Menahan, a senior from Helena, is one of eight Montana students recognized this year. The recognition honors student leaders committed to creating lasting change in communities throughout the country. Menahan is double majoring in environmental studies and geography with minors in climate change studies and wilderness studies. Read more about Menahan’s fellowship.
Beth Lo came to Montana for adventure, and set about establishing a prolific career. She’s a ceramic artist who’s won praise around the globe. She’s a UM professor, heading a department once led by her mentor, pioneering ceramicist Rudy Autio. As she accepted her Individual Artist Award on Tuesday at the Missoula Cultural Council’s annual awards luncheon, she credited the environment here and the people she found for helping her. Read more about the MCC awards.
UM’s Diversity Advisory Council recently presented 23 students with this year’s DAC Student Achievement Awards, which honor student leadership in promoting campus diversity. The keynote speaker at the March 18 ceremony was UM music Professor Steven Hesla, who delivered a powerful speech about growing up as a gay person and how his gift for music became a refuge and safe zone for his sexuality. Read his speech in its entirety in this Montanan online-only feature.
Hundreds of families, foundations and businesses have stepped up to the plate to help the Flathead Lake Biological Station meet a $1 million fundraising challenge. With more than $560,000 in donations in the past two years, FLBS is more than halfway to its goal of matching a grant for the Flathead Lake Monitoring Program. Read more about the FLBS fundraising challenge.
Before you can tell someone’s story, you have to listen. This seemingly simple act is the basis of a recently published play researched, devised and performed by UM drama students. The play, “Listen/Éist,” started with six students in UM Assistant Professor Bernadette Sweeney’s documentary theater course during autumn 2011. Read more about the “Listen/Eist” play in Vision, UM's magazine on research and creative scholarship.
Janisse Ray, Kittredge Visiting Writer in Environmental Studies, glances around the room, takes a breath and begins. She talks with a slight southern drawl, her Georgia roots apparent with each passing word. Her audience of 45 watches, completely immersed in her poems. It’s a Thursday night at UM’s FLAT studio, and the crowd is gathered for the weekly Wild Mercy reading. Read more about the Wild Mercy reading series.
Back in 2002, in an attempt to build a bridge between UM students and neighboring homeowners, a small group of locals pulled together an informal ice cream social. The gathering proved effective, likely due to the dedication of a couple fondly referred to as Missoula’s grandparents: Pat and Don Simmons. Missoula mourned Don Simmons’ death in July 2012. Earlier this month Pat also passed away, marking an end to a local era. Read more about their legacy.
On Nov. 3, 1914, women won the right to vote in Montana. Over the past 100 years women in Montana have continued to fight for reform and equality. A new online exhibit hosted by UM’s Mansfield Library features photographs and documents from well-known early 20th century suffragists Jeannette Rankin and Ella J. Knowles Haskell, along with information on contemporary activists and politicians. Visit the online exhibit.
He’s been on Conan. He’s opened for Daniel Tosh. On Wednesday night, he’ll perform in front of a hometown crowd at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival at Missoula’s historic Wilma Theatre. He’s Chris Fairbanks, an up-and-coming comedian and artist who is also a 1998 graduate of UM. In advance of his Missoula show, Fairbanks discusses appearing on Conan, his favorite UM class and skateboarding. Read the Montanan Web exclusive with Fairbanks.
Committed to offering the highest-quality art, the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at UM will host a traveling exhibition titled “The Japanese Woodblock Print: An Extension of the Impermanent.” This exhibition will be complemented by works from the MMAC Permanent Collection and two Japanese Friendship Dolls. The exhibition will be on view Feb. 20-April 19 in the Meloy and Paxson galleries in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center. Read more about the latest MMAC exhibit.
UM student Arielle Nachtigal is having an extraordinary school year. As a senior in vocal performance at the UM School of Music, she recently advanced to the National Finals of the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition. Nachtigal was also the winner of the Coeur D’Alene Symphony Young Artist Competition. And her singing has captured the attention of opera professionals across the U.S. Read Nachtigal’s story here.
During February, the Mansfield Library at UM will feature an exhibit celebrating African-American History Month, which focuses on the achievements of African-Americans and the integral role they played in U.S. history. Exhibit displays, located throughout the main level of the library, will focus specifically on the African-American history of Missoula and UM. Read more
The Montana Arts Council recently announced 10 Montana artists as winners of the 2013 Artist's Innovation Award, including six individuals who teach at UM or earned degrees here . Five visual artists, three writers, and two performing artists were selected from a field of applicants. The award recognizes Montana artists who demonstrate innovation in their work as well as originality and dedication in their creative pursuits. Read more
The Montana Museum of Art & Culture and the University of Montana are prominently featured on this week’s A&E Television Network’s episode of “Shipping Wars.” The show premiered on Christmas Eve and will re-air at 4 p.m. MST Saturday, Dec. 28. The show highlights “The Plastic Whale Project,” a public art piece that MMAC presented to the Missoula community on Oct. 17, for one afternoon only. Read more
The 2014 issue of the Montana Journalism Review arrived hot off the presses in mid-December. The student-produced magazine covers media-related topics and features works of journalism from around Montana, as well as incorporating multimedia elements online and through social media. The Montana Journalism Review also is available online.
Shortly after the chimes struck noon Tuesday at Main Hall, a group of brave fundraisers stripped out of their winter wear, faced a crowd clad in parkas and gloves, and took a deep breath. Below them sat a pool of shimmering water, chilling rapidly in Missoula’s 16-degree temperatures. The event was the inaugural Kyi-Yo Native American Student Association’s Coldwater Grizzly Dip. Read more
Staging a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that’s never been performed in Montana before was a gambit in more ways than one for UM’s School of Theatre and Dance. Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches” runs about three hours in length, a daunting proposition for casual theater-goers. Even more so for the cast. Read more
The School of Art recently recognized UM alumnus and generous supporter Gilbert Millikan during the dedication ceremony for the new Gilbert Millikan Art Resource Center. The center provides students with access to books, journals, electronic media and other research materials for the study of art history and criticism and the visual arts. It is a testament to Millikan’s love of art and his legacy to UM. Read more
The Islanders Steel Band is bringing some “island flavor” to Christmas classics on Monday, in concert and on a new album. At the beginning of the semester, UM music Professor Robert Ledbetter and his students got to work arranging familiar tunes and carols for the least wintry of instruments, the steel drum. Read more
One Thursday afternoon in November, five homeschooled boys marched through the University Center, carrying boxes of paper bag mushrooms. They began working as individuals, excitedly planting mushrooms all over our designated area. Then, they started to work together. The result was a stunning transformation from a simple hill to a magical field of mushrooms, just outside the UC. Read more
On the last day of print publishing for the fall semester, the Montana Kaimin presents the final Campus Sessions of 2013. Treat you ears to the talents of Sierra Kamplain.
More UM students are studying abroad than ever before. Just over 300 students studied in other countries last year. University President Royce Engstrom set a goal to raise that number to 550 students by 2020. Reporter and broadcast journalism major Kyle Schmauch found out that studying abroad benefits both students and the University itself. Watch his report here.
I met Bill Allard in a bar. He wore a tan vest, a beige cowboy hat, and a point-and-shoot camera that hung from his neck, resting on his chest. I shook his hand, and he smiled at me like a friend he hadn’t seen in five years. We were at the Second Wind Reading Series at The Badlander, and my instructor, Robert Stubblefield, introduced us. Read the full essay here.
Chris Comer, a neuroscientist and dean of UM’s College of Arts and Sciences, shares what new research reveals about our brain and literary imagination during his TEDxUMontana talk in September.
More than 150 high school musicians from 54 regional schools will descend on Missoula this weekend to take part in the All-Star Wind Ensemble at UM. They will perform with the UM Marching Band before the Grizzly football game on Saturday and an afternoon concert Sunday. The School of Music also will conduct scholarship auditions throughout the weekend. Read more
Undergraduate dance student Morgan Mull-Osburn performs an original piece titled "Accumulation" to "Black Sands" by Bonobo during TEDxUMontana.
During TEDxUMontana, art history and criticism Professor Rafael Chacón explores what a DNA test reveals about his own family’s migration story, and shares his understanding of the broader cultural ramifications of genetic testing in our time.
Since 2001, the UM School of Art has held a Steamroller Print Project to produce Day of the Dead-themed prints for Missoula's annual Festival of the Dead parade. See how student Melissa Unger's elk print goes from concept to completion.
On Oct. 30 Montana Public Radio marked the 75th anniversary of the Orson Welles radio drama "War of the Worlds" by re-enacting the classic live on the air. They also performed a Montana adaptation of the play that was written by UM radio/television Professor Ray Ekness. Both versions are now available on the MTPR website. Read more
UM alumnus Art Almquist, pictured above in blue, was recently named one of People magazine’s six Teachers of the Year for 2013. Almquist graduated from UM in 1996 with a master’s in theatre and began teaching at Tucson Magnet High School in Tucson, Ariz., that same year. He’s built a cutting-edge theater program rarely seen at the high school level. Read more
Recently, UM saw an opportunity to further integrate its foreign students in the English Language Institute into the community by matching them with a host family. With a recent trial run a success, the university is now recruiting host families for the spring semester, when its homestay program launches its inaugural season. Read more
UM students and faculty conducting research on Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” have an exceptional new resource available through the Mansfield Library. The library recently acquired a detailed facsimile of the Ellesmere Manuscript, a beautiful, illuminated edition produced in the early 15th century. Read more
When Sean Brogan learned that he had won the Bill and Avis Mitchell Scholarship in Music, he was pleased, surprised and grateful for the help, which he says will prove significant. The UM senior is pursuing a double major in accounting and piano. He intends to work as an accountant by day and play music in his free time. Read more
The Fallen Soldier Memorial at the University of Montana is a solemn reminder of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The memorial, bearing the names of Montana soldiers who lost their lives in the recent wars, will be recognized as the official State Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans’ Memorial on Saturday, Oct. 26. Read more
In the dark theater, on a dimly lit stage, a 32-foot-long gray whale made of plastic bags looked so lifelike, it seemed to be gliding through the depths of the ocean. Hundreds of visitors came to see the one-day exhibit of “The Plastic Whale Project” at UM on Oct. 17. Read more
UM’s four student big bands are busy rehearsing for next week’s visit from James Miley, an award-winning pianist, composer and arranger. The musician from Willamette University arrives on Monday to work with students on improvisation, composition and arranging. The bands will perform with Miley at 7:30 Wednesday, Oct. 23. Read more
Livability.com recently named Missoula, home to the University of Montana, one of the top 100 best places to live. The ranking notes the city’s proximity to outdoor activities, as well as local restaurants and cultural attractions. Read more about what makes Missoula great here.
Learn more about UM's Creative Pulse is a four-week, summer graduate program designed for educators, education administrators and artists.
The Montana Museum of Art & Culture UM has assembled two exhibitions of modernist art by major artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibitions “Figurative Modernists: Picasso, Chagall and Other Masterpieces from a Private Collection” and “Modernist Prints” will be on display in the Meloy and Paxson galleries through Feb. 8. Read more
When dance performances leave the confines of an auditorium for the outside world, interesting and unexpected things happen. Such revelations came into sharp focus Sunday afternoon when the University of Montana School of Theatre and Dance held its annual UM Dancers on Location: A Site-Specific Dance Concert. Read more
This fall there are nearly 800 individuals registered for MOLLI courses, an all-time enrollment high, and membership also has grown to 637 members since the start of the fall term on Oct. 3. MOLLI is a resource for adults aged 50 and older who enjoy having a relationship with UM, connecting with others and learning for learning’s sake. Read more
For the second year in a row, UM has been ranked among the top 300 universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UM is ranked in the 276-300 level of the 2013-14 list – as it was last year – and is the only Montana university on the list. Read more
There’s a lot of learning going on in “Avenue Q,” a foul-mouthed Broadway musical – for the puppet characters and for UM’s student puppeteers who have been busy learning the art of puppetry from scratch. The Tony Award-winning parody of “Sesame Street” opens Oct. 1 and is presented by the UM schools of Music and Theatre and Dance. Read more
In honor of national Banned Books Week Sept. 23-27, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at UM is hosting a series of videos featuring UM faculty, administrators and staff sharing their favorite banned books. Today, Assistant Professor Annie Belcourt discusses "Looking for Alaska."
In honor of national Banned Books Week Sept. 23-27, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at UM is hosting a series of videos featuring UM faculty, administrators and staff sharing their favorite banned books.
The first TEDxUMontana event will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 19, in the Masquer Theatre of the Performing Arts and Radio/TV Center at UM. Tickets for TEDxUMontana are sold out, but you can still be part of the conversation at public viewing events. Find a listing of viewing locations here.
UM Professor Beth Lo was one of four American artists paid a commission of $3,000 to create a ceramic piece of art for a major Korean art exhibit. Lo’s work will be featured in the “Main Exhibition” of the Seventh Geonggi Internaitonal Ceramic Biennale 2013. She will travel to Korea Sept. 25 to attend the exhibition and to deliver a gallery talk on her work on Oct. 2. The 2013 exhibition theme is community, and Lo’s new work, "Breath," features mixed media, water, electricity and lighting. Read more
Independent publisher Tavern Books recently announced The Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series to honor the life and work of former University of Montana student and poet Greta Wrolstad. Wrolstad, a graduate student in the UM Creative Writing Program, passed away in 2005 at the age of 24. The Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series will champion exceptional literary works from young women poets through a book publication in The Living Library. Read more
The campus parking passes at the University of Montana feature a special touch this year, highlighting the artwork of a UM student. Angela Brooker, a sophomore in the UM School of Business Administration, won a contest last spring seeking student photography or illustrations for the 2013-14 parking pass. The Office of Public Safety sponsored the contest, asking students to create an image representing a positive experience at UM. Read more
The University of Montana will host TEDxUMontana at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Masquer Theatre of the Performing Arts and Radio/TV Center. The program will feature nine speakers, two TED Talks videos and two performances with a 30-minute intermission for interaction and discussion. TEDxUMontana is limited to 100 participants. People interested in attending the event can enter a ticket drawing at http://umt.edu/tedx. The drawing will take place Wednesday, Sept. 4. Tickets are $40 for the public and $20 for UM students. Read more
University of Montana President Royce C. Engstrom will outline institutional priorities for the upcoming academic year during his annual State of the University address at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23. The public and members of the media are invited to the event, which will be held in the Montana Theatre of UM’s Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center. Read more
With a stroke of a pen, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson on July 2, 1964. The act—one of the most important pieces of legislation passed in the twentieth century—prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. A pen Johnson used to sign the landmark bill has a somewhat surprising home: a box on a shelf on the fourth floor of UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. Read more
In celebration of the upcoming 120th anniversary of the Montana Museum of Art & Culture, MMAC published “The Art of the State: 120 Artworks for 120 Years.” The handbook presents 120 carefully selected pieces from the museum’s Permanent Collection, highlighting MMAC’s most significant resource and providing access to this unique and little-known treasure that belongs to all Montanans. Read more
Does making a ball move without touching it, dissecting a sheep brain, making slime or controlling an underwater robot sound fun? All of those pursuits – and more – will be possible at spectrUM’s new, soon-to-open downtown Missoula location. Families will be able to enjoy more of the best of what spectrUM has offered at its current location on the University of Montana campus, as well as new exhibits and activities made possible by the expanded space. Read more
The Montana Museum of Art & Culture at The University of Montana will display two new exhibits: “A Hundred Years Later: Julius Seyler Among the Blackfeet” and “Richard Buswell: Close to Home” in the Meloy and Paxson galleries in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center from May 2 to Aug. 3. Read more
The University Players will present their annual 10-Minute Play Festival at the University of Montana on Thursday and Friday, April 18-19. The festival starts at 7:30 p.m. both nights in the Montana Theatre of the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center. Admission is free, and everyone is invited to attend this theatrical affair. The University Players student group produces independent theater directed and designed by UM students.