Montana Public Radio

Front Row Center

Mon, Wed, Fri at 3 p.m.

Montana Public Radio's on-air arts and culture magazine, bringing you news of upcoming performing arts and music around western Montana.

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String Orchestra of the Rockies presents "The Cascades Meet The Rockies," Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at the UM music recital hall.
String Orchestra of the Rockies

New artistic director and violin soloist for The String Orchestra of the Rockies Maria Larionoff joins us, along with outgoing artistic director and cellist Fern Glass Boyd, to preview the SOR's May 6 performance, "The Cascades Meet The Rockies."

"I'm thrilled, as is the whole orchestra and the board," Boyd says of Larionoff's arrival. "I know that our audiences will be also thrilled to have her be our new leader and bring more exciting and fantastic things ahead for the orchestra and the Missoula area."

Sally Kohn, Krista Tippett, Erick Erickson.
Krista Tippet Photo: Peter Beck

"Political modes of argument and debate have infiltrated all of our spheres," says "On Being" host Krista Tippett. "The way we take up any important subject, even in a community, even in a religious institution, it's very contentious. It's about turning issues into a debate between this extreme and that extreme, it's about competing answers. It's not about what are the questions before us that we all have a stake in. There are some simple things that we can do that are actually very hard because they feel so counter-intuitive because of the set of instincts and reflexes that we've worked up."

Krista Tippett joins us to talk about politics and civility and the upcoming "Repairing Public Discourse" event in Missoula Tuesday night.

Greg Johnson, who has served as artistic director of the Montana Repertory Theatre since 1990, joins Michael Marsolek to talk about the Rep's Opening Night Gala, and their 2018 tour with "On Golden Pond."

"It's a huge international global cultural exchange where the topic of the week is the role of the arts in human communication," says Charlene Campbell Carey, artistic director for the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre. She's describing Ballet Beyond Borders which is happening this week in Missoula. Listen in to learn more.

"There are no survivors of this war [WWI] at this time, so we need to be reminded of this particular history," says Barbara Koostra, the executive director of the Montana Museum of Art & Culture.

"We are honored to honor veterans and the history of our country and world with "Over There: Montanans in the Great War,"  Koostra says.

She joins UM Professor of Art History and Criticism Rafael Chacón for a look at the exhibition focusing on experiences of individuals from Montana during World War I.

Tatiana Gant and Cinda Holt from the Montana Arts Council talk about the Council's efforts to keep the arts strong in Montana.

"We're simply the conduit to getting really good work out of the rest of the state. We send resources and dollars everywhere we can," Holt says. "Happy to say we reach 46 out of the 56 ... counties in Montana."

Learn more on this episode of  "Front Row Center."

Montana Book Festival
Montana Book Festival

Karla Theilen the director of the Montana Book Festival preview's the upcoming festival in Missoula. Theilen says the festival has, "kept true to some of the traditions ... in celebrating Montana's celebrated literary figures, and ... moved to another level and introduced a little bit more diverse programming, not just in the types of authors, but also in the types of events we're putting on."

Listen in to learn more about the festival's 2017 offerings from Karla Theilen and "The Write Question" host Sarah Aronson.

Tom Bensen of Arts Missoula joins MTPR's Michael Marsolek with a report on the economic impact of non-profit arts organizations in Missoula County — a whopping $54 million according to a new report from Americans for the Arts.

"These are numbers that validate what people already know," Bensen says, "that the arts and culture organizations and people contribute a lot to our economy."

The 2017 Montana Folk Festival is July 7-9 in Butte, Montana. Tune in to Montana Public Radio to hear music live from the festival Friday and Saturday.
Courtesy photo

There's a lot going on in Butte this summer, from the Big Bang fireworks extravaganza to the Montana Folk Festival, and even a Folk Feast, which is part fundraiser and part art event.  George Everett, executive director of Main Street Uptown Butte joins MTPR's Michael Marsolek to give you a preview of the summer fun coming up in Butte.

The Travelin' McCourys at the 2014 Montana Folk Festival
Michael Marsolek

"I just think that Americans, now more than ever, need to be reminded of and celebrate, and just feel good about what great culture we have produced and continue to produce through these community based traditions," says Nick Spitzer, host of American Routes.

Spitzer will be back in the state for the Montana Folk Festival in Butte, July 7-9 where he'll join MTPR's Michael Marsolek and the MTPR crew broadcasting live from the festival. In this interview, Spitzer talks about how the Montana Folk Festival fits in to the larger mosaic of folk music in America.

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