Arts & Culture

  • Deborah McKenna: The Essence of Inspiration

    McKenna has this to say: "I have traveled the world widely, and I can say with absolute honesty that there is nowhere else in the world I'd rather live than Montana! Montana embodies my spirit, my breath, and my life. Most days I need look no further than out my window to be inspired."
  • Artist Carol Hartman's Heritage

    Montana's rich heritage is near and dear to my heart. My desire to learn about that history through the early inhabitants of the land leads to the opportunity to help tell the story of the growth of our society in the West. Reflecting upon the difficulties early peoples faced as they developed a civilization helps tell the story of 19th and 20th century America.
  • Wild West Words: Cast, Eddy, & River

    By Chrysti the Wordsmith
    Cast was first printed in an English document as long ago as 1230, borrowed from an Old Norse verb kasta, “to throw.” This original sense carries through in our modern phrases cast the first stone, cast a net, cast the dice.
  • Shin-Plasters and Brass Checks

    By Lyndel Meikle
    The mine’s employees were often paid in “shin-plasters” and “brass checks.” A shin plaster was a derogatory name for paper scrip. Often of absurdly low denominations, they had the reputation of being as worthless as any slip of paper the men used as padding in their socks to keep their boots from rubbing on their shins.
  • The Landscapes of Norman Maclean: Forest, Mountains, Water

    By Bryan Spellman
    Norman Maclean was not born in Montana, nor did he die here. His published work is slim, especially when compared to A.B. Guthrie or Ivan Doig. But I wager that if you asked people what piece of writing best exemplifies Montana, many would respond A River Runs Through It. 
  • Montana Baseball History

    By Skylar Browning & Jeremy Watterson
    Never mind that Frank James Burke — most often referred to as “Brownie and best known for standing just four feet, seven inches — started out as a mascot. Despite his small stature, the Marysville native ended up making a big impact on the national pastime.
  • Wild West Words: Hygiene, Ballistic, & Survey

    By Chrysti the Wordsmith
    But amidst the Olympian chaos and drama was a goddess who worked quietly on behalf of humanity: Hygiea, the Greek personification of good health. Hygiea learned the healing arts from her father, a powerful god of medicine.
  • Not Just C.M. Russell: Three Great Montana Western Artists To Know

    By Brian D'Ambrosio
    While Russell’s prominence and reputation are rewards well-deserved, a number of other brilliant Montana artists haven’t received nearly as much exposure or examination, including, perhaps most notably, Olaf Seltzer, Bill Stockton and John Louis Clarke.
  • Montanan You Should Know: Lauren Korn

    "My favorite kind of book to read is one that skirts genre in interesting ways. I received my M.A. in poetry, and I began studying writing seriously as an undergrad by writing non-fiction; but I find that the books and the writing that I’m drawn to most are those that refuse categorization."
  • If You Aint' Got a Cowboy Hat, You Ain't ****

    By Dan Vichorek
    When they let me out of high school I didn't have a hat. That was okay. John Kennedy showed you you didn't need a hat to be successful. Kennedy was the first president since Abe Lincoln who was never photographed in a cowboy hat or Indian war bonnet. He got elected anyway, and girls liked him too. So much for hats.
  • A Day in the Life of John Emeigh, Reporter at KXLF in Butte

    By John Emeigh
    I’ve worked for more than 20 years as a newspaper reporter, and the last seven years as a television news reporter for KXLF in Butte. It’s important to note that it takes a dedicated and talented team to put together the daily broadcasts. Each day we start from zero to produce what, at times, seems like a daily miracle. 
  • The Cowboy and the Lady: Montana's Biggest Movie Stars

    By Kari Bowles
    The Treasure State was the birthplace of two of the biggest movie stars of the golden age of American cinema: Gary Cooper and Myrna Loy. If readers don’t recognize the names, they would do well to look into them.
  • From Poker to Horseshoes

    By Bill Muhlenfeld
    If there is one place where Old West meets New it’s at the rodeo, where broncin’ buckaroos, flashy cowgirls and murderous bulls enjoy a few hours, all together in a large, penned arena. With so much ruckus it definitely (still) pays to have a bit of luck on your side so never, absolutely never, wear a yellow shirt while competing.
  • I Was An Extra on Yellowstone...

    By Cab Tran
    The Big Director gets on his chair with the camera attached to the hydraulic crane and yells, “Back to one!”, meaning everyone is at their starting position.  For me, it’s sitting in front of my keno machine, ready to repeatedly push a button.  “Masks off!” the Big Director yells.
  • Montana’s Vintage Neon Signs—an Endangered Species

    By Teresa Otto
    It started with a random photo of the Top Notch Lunch sign in Great Falls. Originally an ice cream parlor, the sign was added in 1938 when the place became a diner. As I sat in a booth near the back of the cafe, enjoying a sloppy joe that was too big to pick up, I knew this sign was just the beginning.