ZACC Mini Benefit Show

Join Zootown Arts Community Center at their prestigious gala event, the fourth annual Mini Benefit Show, on Saturday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m.  This year’s Mini Show is taking place at The Wilma and to celebrate the historic theater, the theme this year is the 1920s/Chapel of the Dove. This event brings together Missoula’s creative community to celebrate all things mini. Enjoy artworks measuring 12″ square in live and silent auctions and fight to the last bid for your favorite artwork and miniature dessert by local restaurants and bakeries. There will be a catered dinner,  live music, presentations by the ZACC. Prices are $60 for a single seat and $440 for a table of eight and will go up the week of the Mini Show, so purchase your tickets early. On Friday, March 11 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., get a sneak peak of the artwork by attending the art opening. For more information, visit ZootownArts.org/mini_tickets.

UM Education Professor Recognized by NAECTE

Julie Bullard, professor of early childhood education at UM, received a revered Teacher Educator Award from the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators, which annually recognizes two teacher educators from across the country who demonstrate meritorious leadership and professionalism in early childhood teacher education. “I feel extremely honored to have received this award from my early childhood teacher educator colleagues,” she said. Bullard has been an influential member of the early childhood education community for more than 30 years, and she continues to influence and assist colleagues and early childhood professionals every day. Her most recent publication, “Creating Environments for Children: Birth to Age Eight,” serves as the gold standard in the instruction and development of early childhood education settings across the country and internationally, having been translated in to various languages. “The early childhood years form the building blocks for all later development and learning,” Bullard said. “I am happy to be part of a profession dedicated to helping all young children and their families thrive. It is so exciting to see emerging national and state initiatives dedicated to serving our youngest populations.”

Wilderness Tango

Tango Missoula is hosting a special Wilderness Tango night to support the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation, a local wilderness and river stewardship non-profit. Learn about BOTH wilderness and tango during this green-themed, dance-filled evening that includes a beginning tango lesson for those new to tango, a short demonstration by local dancers following the lesson, a raffle for SBFC merchandise and mixers. Wear something green to support wilderness! Event starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 13 at the Downtown Dance Collective, 121 W. Main., with the all-levels dance lesson. The milonga (social dancing) will go from 9 p.m. to midnight. Cost is $10 per person ($8 for students). Proceeds go to support the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation. Visit TangoMissoula.com for more information.

Give It the Old College Tri

Women’s triathlon is considered an NCAA emerging sport. Black Hills State University was one of only a handful of schools nationwide that hosted a varsity women’s triathlon program during the 2015-16 school year. The program is looking for young women with swimming, biking, running, and/or triathlon backgrounds who would like to join in this adventure. Collegiate triathlon consists of a 750-meter open water swim, a 20-kilometer bike, and a five-kilometer run. The university offers scholarships for its competitors along with full gear, equipment, and uniforms. Black Hills State University is the perfect training home for triathletes. Located in the beautiful black hills of South Dakota, there is a plethora of running and cycling trails to take advantage of and the athletic building, the Donald E. Young Center, houses a six-lane, 25-meter pool and a great strength-training facility. If you’re interested in competing in triathlon at the college level, please contact Director of Triathlon Colleen Mischke at colleen.mischke@BHSU.edu or 605.642.6259 or fill out the recruit information form at BHSUAthletics.com.

The Last Best Dream: Surrealism Here & Now

Radius Gallery, 114 E. Main, has assembled a truly remarkable collection of artists for its first themed exhibit of 2016. The Last Best Dream: Surrealism Here & Now features 2-D and 3-D works by Deighton Abrams, Crista Ann Ames, Bayla Arietta, Adrian Arleo, Courtney Blazon, Eric S. Carlson, Susan R. Carlson, Monte Dolack, Theo Ellsworth, Jennifer French, Stephanie J. Frostad, Stephen Glueckert, Lillian Nelson, James G. Todd Jr., and Cathy Weber. Come see how this eclectic cross-section of Montana artists respond to and remain influenced by the legacy of surrealism—a stylistic and philosophical approach to art formalized nearly 100 years ago that looks to the unconscious mind as the wellspring of creativity, with imagery that is characteristically uncanny, paradoxical and outlandish. This show runs through April 16. For more information, visit RadiusGallery.com.

5K Diploma Dash

Lace up your sneaks and run in the 5K Diploma Dash, a fundraising event for University of Montana Staff Senate scholarships. Each year, the Staff Senate issues more than $3,000 in scholarships to dependents of UM staff. Each paying participant will receive a race tech shirt and has the option of being chip-timed. Children age 10 and younger are free; however, they will not receive a shirt and must be accompanied by a registered adult. The event will be Saturday, March 26 at 9 a.m. and starts at the Van Buren Street footbridge. To register and for more information, go to UMT.edu/staffsenate.

Rendezvous for Hunters and Anglers

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA), a nonprofit organization that seeks to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing through public education and advocacy, will be having its fifth annual national Rendezvous on April 1-3 in downtown Missoula at the Holiday Inn Downtown, 200 S. Pattee. The event, which attracts backcountry sportsmen and -women from across the country, features workshops, panel discussions, a banquet and the Backcountry Brewfest. This year’s keynote speaker is Steven Rinella, the host of MeatEater, a nonfiction outdoors hunting television series on The Sportsman Channel. Attendees will also hear from BHA leaders and local and legislative luminaries, and see the premiere of Clay Hayes’ latest bow hunting film Ascent. For more information, a full schedule of events, and tickets, go to Rendezvous2016.com.

Pharmacy Student Awarded Scholarship

For the next two and half years, Shelby Cole, a first-year pharmacy student from Malta, Montana, will be studying the hardest-working cell in the human immune system after being awarded an Undergraduate Diversity Student supplement by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Cole is Gros Ventre and Little Shell. The funding comes as an administrative supplement to UM Professor David Shepherd’s five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health, through which his team studies dendritic cells, which play a pivotal role in immune system interactions. The team’s goal is to develop drugs that help control immune functions—whether limiting chronic inflammation, curing autoimmune diseases, combating an infectious disease or blocking the detrimental effects of different environmental pollutants. “I’ll be doing my own project while also contributing as a member of the lab,” Cole said. “I’m very excited to make new discoveries especially if they lead to new ways to help people with immune-related diseases. I just really love doing research. It’s extremely rewarding, even the tedious parts.” The grant will fund Cole to work in the laboratory part time during the academic semester and then full time during winter and summer breaks. It also will provide her with incidental money that will help offset the costs of traveling to conferences to present her research to other scientists in the field, and allow her to attend a week-long intensive immunology crash course in California this summer. The award requires the university to provide mentorship for Cole—which is being provided by Shepherd and UM’s Native American Center of Excellence—and outreach opportunities that will hopefully offer Cole the chance to visit schools and share her research with people across Montana, including Native communities. “To me she is just a hardworking, curious student,” Shepherd said, “but there really is a bonus if, at some point, she can be a role model and open the eyes of children from under-served communities to the exciting possibilities that exist in research and at UM—that’s all the better.”

Trading Eights: The Faces of Jazz

Nawakum Press published a new art book—Trading Eights: The Faces of Jazz—featuring eight woodblock-engraved portraits by artist James G. Todd Jr. Todd, who taught art and humanities at the University of Montana for 30 years, is an innovator in the field of wood engraving, and each portrait in Trading Eights was printed from his original blocks. Accompanying these penetrating engravings are words from jazz pianist and writer Ted Gioia and poetry from Dana Gioia, poet and former Chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts. From an edition of just 55 books, fewer than 20 remain, each signed by the author, poet, and artist. Once sold out, no more books will be printed; each is a truly collectable artwork in its own right. Feast on more details in the publisher’s prospectus on NawakumPress.com. Copies of Trading Eights, The Faces of Jazz can be purchased through Radius Gallery at a discounted price. Send an email to Lisa.Simon@RadiusGallery.com for more details and if you’re interested in purchasing individual hand-pulled prints of Todd’s jazz icons. There are more than 20 portraits in all, including Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and other greats. These are remarkably elegant and evocative engravings by a true master of the form.