Arts & Culture

  • 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.
  • Ernest Hemingway’s Adventures in Montana

    By Chris Warren
    Hemingway’s time in the Yellowstone High Country began on July 13, 1930, when he first crossed the Clark’s Fork and settled onto the L—T Ranch ten miles outside of Cooke City, Montana. The ranch was owned by Olive and Lawrence Nordquist; the “L” and “T” stood for the first and last letters in the latter’s name.
  • 7 Most Important Indian Battles in Montana History

    By Walter Fleming
    Major Eugene Baker of the Second Cavalry was sent to punish the Piegan (Blackfeet) village of Mountain Chief who was thought to be harboring the murders of Malcolm Clarke, prominent Montana rancher. Instead, the Calvary mistakenly attacked the village of Heavy Runner, known to be peaceful.
  • Butte’s Dimple Knees Sex Scandal

    By © 2018 by John Kuglin
    Beverly Snodgrass owned two of Butte’s leading houses of prostitution. In 1968, the talkative madam, her affections scorned by an official she called “Dimple Knees,” who stole her heart and then her money, decided to tell her story to a newspaper reporter.
  • Pam Little: The Fine Art of Bending & Blending Reality

    Funnily enough, I started the "After Humans" series in the fall of 2019, before 2020 dropped the hammer on us. I had photos of Lake Hotel in Yellowstone and The Stanley Hotel outside Rocky Mountain National Park where I wanted to add wildlife, which made me think, what would the buildings look like after humans left, and the landscape and animals took them back? It's been a fun challenge to "deconstruct" the hotels' interiors and exteriors and imagine where the buffalo, birds, etc. would roam.
  • Montana in 30 Years: Rural Libraries

    As Montana continues to see growth in its population, rural libraries will need to grow as well. Many libraries that are currently considered “rural” may well be urban. Conversely, if populations within Montana gravitate toward larger urban centers, some rural libraries may find themselves losing service populations. 
  • Montanan You Should Know: Dr. Gretchen Minton

    Montanans should pay attention to Shakespeare because he was a huge hit with the mountain men, miners, women’s reading groups, and so many others in Montana’s history, and he continues to delight people across our region with wonderful performances by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks.
  • Wild West Words: Wool, Lodge, and Explore

    By Chrysti the Wordsmith
    Imagine investigating unknown territory without map or guide. As the point person, you make the first astounding discovery. A hundred-foot waterfall. A herd of tiny striped ungulates gathered around a lake. You call to your companions: wow, look at this!
  • Wild West Words: Hike, Nocturnal and Flammulated

    By Chrysti the Wordsmith
    Hike, it seems, has been very difficult to trace, with no apparent Latin, French, or Germanic ancestry. The Oxford English Dictionary tentatively suggests that hike may be related to another dialectal British word, hoick, meaning “to haul or turn out; to
  • Annie McCoy: Serenity in the Wild

    I look for paintings everywhere.  I see something interesting and try to imagine how I could make a painting from that I see.  I approach every painting from one of two aspects… are there interesting patterns of light and dark, or is there an interesting
  • The Wreck

    By Maria Anderson
    On the day of the wreck, Kate endures the early-morning conversation by fixating on stuff she wouldn’t normally notice: wind blowing the grass so that each piece of it snags the morning light; tiny birds going cheeseburger,
  • Montana's Indie Bookstores

    By Joseph Shelton
    According to a 2013 study by Publisher's Weekly, Montana has the highest rate of bookstores per capita of all 50 states -- one bookstore for every 15,705 people.  While we at Distinctly Montana don't want to gloat about the perceived superiority of our state, we do invite you to consider the plight of those poor New Jerseyites, who have to suffer through their lives with only one bookstore for every 40,851 people.