Around Town 5

Big Sky News

The Missoula Education Foundation awarded Big Sky High School teacher Tom Andres the 2015 Exceptional Educator Award. All award selections were made by the MEF Student Board, which is comprised of high school students from across the school district. Andres was born and raised in Missoula, is a Big Sky graduate, and a part of the Agriculture Center staff. Over the last eight years, Andres has continued the Center’s tradition of excellence, bringing science to life for students across Missoula County Public Schools. Congrats to Mr. Andres!

Also getting a shout-out is Big Sky sophomore Betta Lyon-Delsordo for being the 2015 Recipient of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Scholarship. This spring, she will attend the State Leadership Seminar. Great work, Betta!

Always Get 10% Off

Montana Ace Hardware believes our veterans should be remembered every day—not just once or twice a year. The hardware retailer, through its Veterans Club, offers an everyday 10 percent discount on all regular-priced items to all active duty and retired military personnel. It’s free and easy to sign up. The discount is available at Montana Ace Trempers, Eastgate, Ronan, Polson, and Kalispell as well as Montana Ace Fancy Plants and Montana Ace Power Pros. For more information, visit

$25K for UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a leader in advancing education and entrepreneurship, awarded the University of Montana’s Blackstone LaunchPad a $25,000 grant to further understand women’s participation in pre-entrepreneurial stages. Blackstone LaunchPad aims to help UM students and alumni jump-start their own businesses by nurturing young entrepreneurs and providing them the skills and network necessary to succeed. They will use the one-year grant to better understand why female students may choose not to engage and to foster better participation by women in entrepreneurial programs. For more information visit

UM Student a Hearst Award Finalist

Until spring semester 2015, University of Montana senior Kolby KickingWoman had not written a long-form feature during his time at the School of Journalism, focusing instead on short stories mostly about sports. Six months later, his first long-form story tied for 17th place in the Feature Writing competition of the Hearst Journalism Awards, the most prestigious student journalism awards nationally. The story KickingWoman wrote was for the spring 2015 Native News project, a class that sends teams of journalism students—a writer paired with a photographer—out to each of Montana’s American Indian reservations. Reporting from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, KickingWoman and his partner, photographer Celia Talbot Tobin, told the stories of tribal members navigating questions of sexual and gender identity. One storyline followed a transgender teen attending her first prom. “I had a lot of fun doing that story,” KickingWoman said. He is pleased to have won an award for a piece where he found both the subject matter and the length of the writing to be a challenge. “It was kind of outside my comfort zone.” To read KickingWoman’s story, view Tobin’s photos and learn more about the Native News project, visit

Documentary Film Fest Time!

Travel the globe at the 13th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (BSDFF), the largest cinema event in Montana and the premiere venue for non-fiction film in the American West. The festival draws an audience of 20,000 and receives over 1,400 film entries from every corner of the globe. BSDFF offers a unique setting for filmmakers to premiere new work and for audiences to see innovative new films as well as classics in the genre. BSDFF hosts over 100 visiting artists, and screens an average of 140 nonfiction films annually at the historic Wilma Theater, The Top Hat, The Roxy Theater, and Crystal Theater in downtown Missoula. This year’s event is February 19-28. More information is available at

Explore Cretaceous

A life-sized cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull, on loan from the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center, has taken up residence in Missoula at the Montana Natural History Museum, 120 Hickory St. The exhibit, which runs through May 30, also has a collection of Cretaceous flora and fauna fossils from the UM Paleontology Center. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for children ages 4-18, and free for kiddos 4 and younger. Visit for more information.

Frame Studio

Art Attic Framing and Design, 123 South Ave. W., locally owned in Missoula since 1968, is a professional full-service framing studio specializing in quality workmanship and design. For more than 45 years, the Art Attic has covered the whole spectrum of framing, conservation memory, shadow box framing, mirrors, fabric, hand wraps, mats and liners. They do residential on-site picture hanging and commercial framing and installation as well as oil painting restoration. For more information visit

Buddy DeFranco 
Jazz Festival

The 36th annual UM Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival will kick off March 17 and will feature young musicians performing each day as well as professionals giving sessions on jazz improvisations along with master classes on various instruments. Each evening the “Best Section High School Big Band,” high school soloists, the UM Jazz Ensemble I, and special guest artists will perform in the Dennison Theatre and UM Music Building. All seating must be reserved in advance. Adult tickets are $18 per night, or $30 for both evenings, and $10, or $15, respectively, for students/seniors. For more information, schedules and performances, visit