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Missoula Cultural Council – Scope 11/19/03

Today is Wednesday, November 19, a day that in 1863 dawned bright and crisp in a small Pennsylvania hamlet, where a tall man with a sad face mounted a small horse and, long legs dangling and coat tails flopping, rode out to a new cemetery south of town. There, only four months earlier, 155,000 soldiers had fought a bloody battle that decided the fate of a nation. The sad-faced man listened to a famous orator deliver a two hour speech dedicating this battlefield burial ground where 51,112 casualties had been recorded. Then he spoke 272 words expressing his hope that the carnage that occurred there would insure that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Many newspapers — then as now blinded by a partisan political bias — ridiculed the speaker. The Chicago Times, for example, groaned that "The cheeks of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, and dishwatery utterances." The Harrisburg Patriot and Union sneered "We pass over the silly remarks of the President; for the credit of the Nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall no more be repeated or thought of." Those newspapers are long since buried. The names of Gettysburg and Lincoln remain enshrined in the world’s collective memory.

General Interest items

#1a – City and county residents will have a chance to review Missoula’s Comprehensive Master Park Plan tonight at an open house at 7 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall. A Citizens Advisory Committee, which included the Missoula Cultural Council, has been working with a planning and design consulting firm to develop a 15-year plan for the City of Missoula and a 3-mile area surrounding the City. The project includes the evaluation of existing facilities and services, and a needs assessment for future park acquisitions, projects, and recreation services. The Plan will identify future park sites, establish local standards, prioritize capital improvements, identify levels of service, and recommend funding and acquisition strategies. For more information, call Missoula Parks and Recreation at 721-PARK.

#1b – National Medal of Arts awards were presented to 10 recipients November 11 by President George W. Bush and Laura Bush in a ceremony at the White House. “These ten remarkable individuals represent decades of significant artistic achievements.” said Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Whether they embodied the grace and drama of great choreography, fired the imaginations of children, created unforgettable movies, or moved us with the passion of many voices, these inspiring people and institutions have made special contributions to the richness of our nation’s cultural life.” Honored were Austin City Limits, PBS television program, Austin, TX; Beverly Cleary, children’s book author, Carmel, CA; Rafe Esquith, arts educator, Los Angeles, CA; Suzanne Farrell, dancer/company director/educator, Morristown, NJ; Buddy Guy, blues musician, Orland Park, IL; Ron Howard, actor/director/writer/producer, Greenwich, CT; Mormon Tabernacle Choir, choral group, Salt Lake City, UT; Leonard Slatkin, symphony orchestra conductor, Washington, D.C.; George Strait, country singer, San Antonio, TX; Tommy Tune, dancer/actor/choreographer/director, New York, NY. For a complete list of past Medal of Arts recipients, visit http://www.arts.gov/honors/medals/medalists_year.html.

#1c – A "by invitation" silent auction of works by Missoula artist Allan B. Ramsey to benefit the Life’s End Institute will be held from 2 – 4 PM on Sunday, December 7th, at Art Missoula, 219 W. Broadway. RSVP by Nov. 28 at 728-1613. You can preview selected works at http://www.lifes-end.org/ramsey.ptml Get more information at 549-0422

#1d – The Missoula Cultural Council website has added a section where the works of local artists are featured on a rotating basis. Click on http://www.missoulacultural.org/links/index.html to see selected current works by Sheila Miles and Monte Dolack. The weekly SCOPE, both the Monday Calendar of Events edition and the Wednesday epistle are archived in the online MCC library along with other cultural resource materials.

On the Literary Landscape

#2a – The national Letters About Literature contest wants kids in grades 4-12 to write a letter to an author — living or dead — explaining how that author’s book changed the reader’s view of the world or him or herself. In the past two years, Ledah Wilcox of Hellgate High and Jazlyn Langford of Billings won not only the Montana contest but the national competition. The deadline for this year’s competition is December 6. For full details, call 1-800-624-6001 or see the contest guidelines at http://www.loc.gov/letters and at http://www.montanabook.org/lal.htm

#2b – Former President Jimmy Carter has authored a variety of books — from fly-fishing to foreign affairs — and now has ventured into the fiction field with The Hornet’s Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War (Simon & Schuster. 465 pp. $27.) It’s a huge novel about the American Revolution as it played out in Georgia and Florida. "I wanted," he writes, "to present as accurate an account as possible of the complex and crucial interrelationships among colonists, British officials, and the Indian tribes during the twenty years that led to the war’s successful end in 1783."

#2c – “Virtual books" are now available online in increasing number as museums develop devices that allow one to reach into a museum display case, pluck out the rare book or manuscript inside, place it on your computer screen and turn the pages? Turning the Pages was developed by the British Library in 1998 as an interactive kiosks offering digitized versions of four of the library’s treasures, including the Lindisfarne Gospels, an eighth-century illuminated manuscript, and the Diamond Sutra, the world’s oldest dated printed book. The kiosks proved so popular that they’re now a permanent fixture. Six more manuscripts and books have been digitized and you can sample them in both broadband and 56K at http://www.bl.uk/collections/treasures/digitisation.html The American Museum of Modern Art offers other virtual art books at http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2002/russian/index.html

#2c – Montana Magazine will publish reviews of books, CDs, and films by Montana artists or with Montana topics and invites Montana musicians, writers, and filmmakers (film, video, and documentary) to send a copy of your works for possible review. Submit items for consideration, including information for ordering them, to: Editor, Montana Magazine, P.O. Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604.

The Art Scene

#3a – On Friday, November 21, The LED Sign Show will open at Goatsilk Gallery, 1909 Wyoming St. #5. This will be a live interactive art opening that will include the “mental presence” of people from all over the world. It can also be viewed via webcam from anywhere in the world as well. The LED sign is the invention of two artists/computer programmers from Manitoba. Beginning November 21, anyone from anywhere can broadcast messages live over the sign by typing them in at http://www.goatsilk.com As soon as messages appear on the sign, they are photographed and immediately placed back on line for all to see. There’ll be a reception for the LED sign inventor at Goatsilk on November 21 from 6-10 PM. For more info, call 728-9251 or e-mail

#3b – Call it public art, if you will. Stoverud’s Jewelers is bringing back the famous clock that marked its location at 107 N. Higgins. The ornate clock was knocked off its curbside post in a traffic mishap and is being replaced by a near replica. The official "unwrapping" event is on December 4 at 5:00 p.m. Mayor Kadas will be the “man of the hour,“ so to speak, and there will be entertainment and refreshments. Everyone is welcome to attend.

#3c – Robin Rogers of the Missoula School of Hot Glass will be demonstrating glass blowing throughout the holiday season at Art Missoula, 219 W. Broadway. Beginning Tuesday Nov. 25 – Dec 24, Robin will be showing how to make glass beads, small ornaments, sculpture and custom items. The demonstration schedule will be 10 AM-2 PM Tuesday-Saturday and 5 PM-7PM Friday and Saturday. Groups that would like to schedule a special time to watch, including school groups, are welcome. Call 549-0422 or 360-4055 for more information.

Musical Notes and Stage Cues

#4a – The Missoula Community Band is presenting a free concert this Sunday evening at the Missoula Children’s Theatre. Tom Cook will conduct the performance which starts at 7:00 p.m.

#4b – The Montana Performing Arts Consortium will stage its annual showcase in Missoula on February 6-7. Performances will take place in the Hellgate High School auditorium. An exhibit area will be set up in the cafeteria section there. For information contact Montana Arts at 585-9551 or

#4c – The Good News Diner Musical Variety Show will be on stage this Saturday at the Calvary Church Theater at 2023 S. Higgins. The free show starts at 7:00 PM. Call 728-2287 for complete info.

#4d – Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, expects to unveil an online music store this month after finalizing deals with the five major music companies. There’s be a digital music store on its Walmart.com site. The competition is heating up as RealNetworks also announces that is online radio network will offer unlimited access to over 400,000 songs for just 79¢ per song. Best Buy will also offer songs to download. Stay tuned.

The Creative Community

#6a – The second Missoula “Creative Clusters” Roundtable will be held on Friday, December 12, in the Conference Room at the Missoula Childrens’ Theatre. The session will begin at 2:00 PM. The Missoula Cultural Council is collaborating with the Montana Associated Technology Roundtables in putting into action the cluster concepts that were adopted as a strategy for economic development in Montana. Part of that in the Missoula initiative is directed toward “branding” this community as a place where creativity thrives, particularly in the cultural sectors. The Missoula Cultural Council and WMQ Strategic Studio are creating a video/DVD that will promote the image of Missoula as a creative community. You can see a preview in either 56K dialup or broadband DSL format at http://www.wmqstudio.com/mcc.html

#6b – Richard Florida brought his economic gospel of The Rise of the Creative Class to Toledo OH last Friday and suggested that a change in convictions and attitudes is the key to making that city a great community. About 800 people attended a gathering to kickoff a Toledo arts and culture plan. He said the city has a wide range of cultural assets but that it will require political will and collective leadership to make the city the kind of place that will prosper through present and future economic changes. That may mean stifling "the squelchers" — like bureaucrats and out-of-touch administrators — who quash creative ideas behind closed doors. A city arts plan that was distributed as part of Florida’s presentation calls for making the arts and creative people key players in city economic development by holding a major arts event each year, developing a marketing strategy for the arts, increasing space for arts and arts groups, and setting up an arts Web site. You can view the start of that program at http://www.toledoarts.com

#6c – The British may be preoccupied with George W. Bush just now, but they have been developing the Creative Cluster concept for quite a while. You can take a look at what they’ve been doing at http://www.creativeclusters.co.uk Note the emphasis on A Sense of Place: Cultural Tourism and Cultural Industry.

The Cultural Environment

#7a – The North Carolina Golden LEAF (Long-term Economic Advancement Foundation,) created in 1999, has received $277,713,240 in payments as a result of the settlement of litigation brought by North Carolina and 45 other states against manufacturers of tobacco products. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded $31 million in grants and is ready to dish out another $7.37 million in 55 grants to nonprofit organizations and government agencies. The North Carolina Arts Council won $250,000 for its Agri-Cultural Tourism proposal. That agency is one part of the NC Department of Cultural Resources whose mission is to enrich the cultural, educational, and economic well-being of North Carolina’s citizens and visitors.

Academic notes

#9a – Converge Online, is a digital magazine with feature articles and news about education policy and technology. You can read it at http://www.centerdigitaled.com/converge/

Media and Web Watch

#10a – Headwater News is published online by the Missoula-based O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West. It currently features a report by the Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources, also based in here, which examines the West’s 285 daily newspapers for their coverage of environment matters. Only nine of them — none in Montana — get a passing grade. (The report notes that the typical annual profit margin of Western daily papers is 20 to 30 percent.) The Matching the Scenery report can be read online at http://www.IJNR.org Here’s a quote: “In other words, it is helpful to see sprawl land development also as culture and that some 50 years of the sprawl culture is homogenizing the entire United States… Unless sprawl land development is tamed, the West will lose a lot of its environmental uniqueness, charm, and culture." That’s the opinion of Joel Hirschhorn, author of the forthcoming Sprawl Kills — Better Living in Healthy Places.

#10b – Denver Post popular-music writer G. Brown resigned recently after his editors determined he had used language from other media reports under his byline without attribution to those publications.

Finally, here are two literary license plates that reveal the identities of the cars’ Missoula owners: 10S MA and QT P2D (Question: is that second moniker misspelled?)

MARK at MCC

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