Here’s a quick guide to some upcoming arts and cultural events happening around Missoula in the coming week.
Welch Festival comedy night
(Friday, July 22)
Revival Comedy’s show at the ZACC will give the stage to Indigenous stand-up to raise money for the first James Welch Native Lit Festival. The event, coming up July 28-30, is the first of its kind in the U.S., featuring all Native writers and panels, including award-winning writers such as Louise Erdrich, Tommy Orange, David Treuer and more. (See below for more information.)
The comedy night line–up includes “our favorite native *comedy* writers,” including: Adrian Jawort, Thomas McClure, Charlie Mulluk, Andy Nemec, Lenny Peppers, Ferd Po, Mars Sandoval, Sarah Ann Sandoval and Austin Valley.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30. The cover is $10.
Two kinds of modern Americana at Free Cycles
(Saturday, July 23)
Head to the bike shop for some rustic sounds to match the DIY backdrop. The Barncat Country Band is a honky-tonk duo, made up of Jamie Drysdale (guitar) and David McMeekin (mandolin), plus Peter Curche (fiddle) and Adin Kloetzel (piano). The Recession Special is a Missoula group that looks back to the protest origins of folk and old-time music. Songwriter Tyson Gerhardt is a punk spirit with an acoustic guitar, aided by local violin/fiddle staple Geoffrey Taylor.
Barncat plays at 7 p.m., and Recessions Special at 8:30.
Admission is $10, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The show runs from 7-10 p.m.
Solo puppet comedy
(Sunday, July 24)
Playdoh presents “The Cave of Despocito,” promising a new generation of anti-capitalist puppetry. (Look up the Bread and Puppet Theater if you think that’s a joke.) A project from multi-faceted artist Zach Kolo, this touring version under the name “Playdoh” will offer up an “an alternative version of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave,” according to their site.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30. Tickets are $15.
James Welch Native Lit Festival
(Thursday-Saturday, July 28-30)
The inaugural James Welch Native Lit Festival will bring acclaimed and up-and-coming Indigenous writers from around the U.S. and Canada to Missoula, Montana, for three days of events.
The festival, the first of its kind in the country with all-Native writers, pays tribute to Welch (Blackfeet/Gros Ventre), who called Montana and Missoula home and wrote works like “Winter in the Blood” that broke ground for subsequent generations of writers in form and content.
The line-up includes award-winning authors such as Louise Erdrich, Tommy Orange, David Treuer and many more. The panelists will talk about Welch, his legacy and their own work, with the public invited to listen in.
The festival runs Thursday-Saturday, July 28-30, with talks, panels and workshops at the Wilma and the Missoula Public Library. (Check the schedule at jameswelchfestival.org.)