past events

 

september 15, 2019

MAGIC SHOW BY BUTTE MAGIC

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this was your chance to see the spectacle of a lifetime! Magic, juggling, feats of strength, and more! Behold, as the performers of Butte Magic performed in a death-defying, jaw dropping, and plain ol' puzzling show!

PAST APPEARANCES ON EHAHC STAGE:

7/29/18 7/30/17    7/24/16


SEPTEMBER, 14, 2019

Old Fashioned (fund) Raising Barn Dance

The Elling House Arts and Humanities Center is renovating a barn on the property to be increase the space available for artist/performers quarters, workshop space, children’s programs, etc. The EHAHC sponsored dinner and barn dance as a fund raiser to help pay for these renovations.


AUGUST 30, 2019

WILLSON & MCKEE CONCERT

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Kim McKee received 15 years of classical training before turning to traditional Irish and Scottish music, 28 years ago! She moves effortlessly between her instruments and her pallate includes hammered and mountain dulcimer, folk harp, accordion, guitar and bodhran, and she never passes up an opportunity to teach a Ceili dance! Ken Willson is the pulsing folk drive, with an engaging tenor voice and tasteful guitar and bouzouki foundations to the unique material. A weaver of wit and tales, he can also spin a fine Ceili swing on the dance floor!

Collecting experiences, stories and humor from 20 years of touring together, this pair has focused on educational programming, concert venues, college campuses, master classes, workshops, cultural events and festivals, and they have fine tuned their stage performances to be anything but predictable, traditional, or expected.

PAST APPEARANCES ON EHAHC STAGE:

8/25/18 8/11/17    8/15/15     8/23/13     8/25/12     8/12/11     8/13/10     8/14/09


August 11, 2019

2019 Linderman Lecture Series: The Social City:  Virginia City’s Social and Cultural Life Lecture Series: And a Good Time Was Had By All

The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, sponsored their sixth Linderman Series history programs.  The general theme of the Linderman Series talks in 2019 was he cultural and social life of 19th Century and early 20th Century Virginia City.

Mark Weber presented an overview of the social life and cultural fabric of the Alder Gulch in the mid-1860’s. From the churches to the saloons, participants learned of the role of the many social options which made Virginia City known as “The Social City.

Mark is a long-time historian, teacher and business owner in Madison County.  For several years, he operated the Elling Gold Exchange and the Creamery, and beautifully restored the buildings which housed those businesses.  Mark was also a leading force in forming the Virginia City Preservation Alliance which led to the Bovey properties in Virginia and Nevada cities being saved under the care of the Montana Heritage Commission.


August 9, 2019

Montana Raptor Conservation Center Program

This program will provided an overview of what makes raptors unique in the bird world, the raptors of Montana, and the importance of raptors to our ecosystem. This is a hands-on opportunity to explore and experience raptor characteristics and adaptations though bio-facts (animal artifacts).

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August 8, 2019

Dancing the night away in the “social city Presented by Janet Allestad, 2019 Linderman Lecture Series: The Social City: Virginia City’s Social and Cultural Life Lecture Series

The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, sponsored their sixth Linderman Series history programs. The general theme of the Linderman Series talks in 2019 are cultural and social life of 19th Century and early 20th Century Virginia City.

In this presentation Janet Allestad provided a brief history of dances, balls, soirees and hops that contributed to Virginia City, Montana Territory being nicknamed the “social city” of the west during the mid 1860’s. Excerpts from Montana Post articles, diaries and written historical materials provided a sense of what it might have been like to live and enjoy being in a town teeming with gold seekers, merchants and families bringing their traditions from the “states”

Janet Allestad grew up in West Virginia near the Mason-Dixon line, which was used to divide the new state from Virginia at the beginning of the Civil War; hence, the beginnings of an avid interest in history. She attended West Virginia University obtaining a BS and a Master’s Degree in Ed.

After a varied career, Janet moved to Virginia City and became immersed in the history and life style of the area. During this time, she became involved in local and state organizations such as the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, Historic Preservation Advisory Committee for Virginia City, Montana Historical Society, Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society, and the Bannack Association.

Janet served as chairman of the VCPA’s Grand Victorian balls in Virginia City for a number of years before residing with her brother in Alto, NM for health reasons. In New Mexico, Janet volunteers at Fort Stanton Historic Site and Lincoln Historic Site, continuing her involvement with history of the west


Friday, July 25, 2019

Plein Air Artist Reception

Local artists showed their art painted “en plein air” at a May workshop. This reception gave the public an opportunity to meet the artists, Ray Campo, Cindy Owings, Dale Tuckee, and Joyce Pearson, and review and discuss their depictions of Virginia City.

According to artistsnetwork.com, plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. The practice goes back for centuries but was truly made into an art form by the French Impressionists. Their desire to paint light and its changing, ephemeral qualities, coupled with the creation of transportable paint tubes and the box easel—the precursor to the plein air easels of today—allowed artists the freedom to paint “en plein air,” which is the French expression for “in the open air.”


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Multitudes, A One Man Show about Walt Whitman

“Multitudes” is a one-man show about Walt Whitman, who is considered the first to write American Poetry divorced from the conventions of Europe. As such he is seen as the father of American poetry. The play, “Multitudes,” addresses death, sexuality, slavery, the Civil War and Whitman’s poetic vision of democratic ideals.

Kim Nuzzo, a resident actor with Zephyr Stage in Fruita, Colorado, performs the role of Walt Whitman. Kim is a visual artist, published poet and an actor. He has performed many roles for Hudson Reed Ensemble, starred in the film Bumps Jackson: The Last American Ski Bum, and played King Hamlet in the Thunder River Theater Company’s production of Hamlet .

Valerie is the Executive Artistic Director of Zephyr Stage. She has written several plays, most recently co-writing and performing in Thunder River Theatre Company's Passionate Collaborators: George Burns & Gracie Allen with Lon Winston.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

With Our Heart and Hands: Some Glories and Some Threads: Reception for Artists Cindy Owings and Alicia Otis

Textile Creator Cindy Owings and Gatherer-Painter Alicia Otis celebrated 40-years of friendship and their love of each other and their love of “making” in an exhibit of their work at the Elling House.

Cindy Owings lives in the Madison Valley in McAllister. She works in her straw bale studio every day making textile expressions of whatever is in her head at the time. She works in several mediums: thread, fabric, watercolors, beads, yarn, and paper. Her work reflects her experiences while traveling to remote places around the world and strolling her garden. The knitted/decorated figures she presents in the show represent women from eight countries, women with whom she worked or met along the way. Each has a stitched bead face of a flower from each woman’s home country representing the idea that most people view ‘women’s work’ as being produced by anonymous, unnamed women, mothers, daughters, aunts, and grandmothers. Cindy says of these figurines, “I wanted to help the viewer appreciate the beauty of women’s work through the work of my own eyes and hands.”

Alicia Otis lives outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has been an artist all of her life, working in a variety of mediums from time to time. She finds exploring different materials and subject matter fun and stimulating to her particular creative process, and when walking her dog, Jack, always keeps an eye out for the flotsam-jetsam desert treasures to take home and make into Migrating Glory Bundles. She adds ribbons, beads, and snippets of fiber optic cable wires, feathers and seeds and whatever else suites the piece as it grows. When assembled and hung on the wall the bundles look as if they could be flying.

 Alicia and Cindy are buttonhole cousins, related through long-ago marriage. They have been friends for over forty years, going away, and late in life, rekindling their friendship. Cindy lives in Montana and visits New Mexico where Alicia lives and visits Montana periodically.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Every Brilliant Thing

The Elling House Arts and Humanities Center sponsored the Grandstreet Theatre’s “Every Brilliant” as a part of its tour of Montana from June 6th through August 3rd thanks to a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, who have prioritized suicide prevention efforts throughout the state. With their help, Grandstreet Theatre was able to share this beautiful show and its life-affirming message with all of Montana.

Written by award-winning British playwright Duncan Macmillan with UK comedian Jonny Donahoe and alternately starring Helena native Rosie Seitz Ayers and Ryan Eggensperger, this powerful one-actor show explores mental health, families and the ways we love in a hilarious and uplifting production for both adults and teenagers.

Every Brilliant Thing playwright Duncan Macmillan said he aimed to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness by creating new ways to discuss it openly – and by making people laugh. Duncan states:

“I don’t think I’ve laughed as much making a piece of work as I have with this show, and yet we had quite a seriousness of purpose. We wanted to talk about depression in a way that was accurate and which didn’t alienate an audience. Considering how common depression is, it’s surprising how much stigma there still is around it, how reluctant people are to discuss it. We kept reminding ourselves of the aims of the piece – to make people feel OK to talk and think about depression, to talk about it responsibly and accurately, and to provide a few tools with which to think and talk about it. That sounds quite worthy now I say it out loud, but we mean it.”

Grandstreet Managing Director Kal Poole says: "There are many folks who deal with mental health issues across the state and unfortunately we have the highest rate of suicide per capita in the nation. The beauty of Every Brilliant Thing is that it takes the same impulse that people have toward spiraling downward and changes the direction. This show encourages spiraling up and becoming obsessed with gratitude and beauty in everyday moments. We have a feeling that that message will resonate with audiences throughout Montana."


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Doc Losee

Justin Lubke, Ennis Native, and acclaimed documentary film maker presented his a documentary on Doc Losee, physician and energizing force in bringing a hospital to the Madison Valley.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Ireland in Montana: The Fenian Brotherhood Presented by Gary Forney

2019 Linderman Lecture Series: The Social City:  Virginia City’s Social and Cultural Life Lecture Series

The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, sponsored their sixth Linderman Series history programs.  The general theme of the Linderman Series talks in 2019 is the cultural and social life of 19th Century and early 20th Century Virginia City.

The Linderman presentations are usually held, as was this one, in the beautifully restored cabin of Frank Bird Linderman, on the grounds of the historic Robber’s Roost near Laurin, MT. This presentation examined the history of what was the first, and largest, fraternal organization established in Alder Gulch. This Irish heritage group organized popular dances, founded the first library, and just may have played a role in the invasion of Canada.

Gary Forney is a retired college administrator and local historian. He has been a full-time resident of the Ennis area since 1999, and since then has authored four books, written numerous articles, and made many presentations on the early territorial period of Montana.


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Paul Boruff

Music has been with Paul Boruff his entire life. He just can't help hearing it and playing it and singing it. One of the things that makes Paul unique is his voice and amazing range, however it is his ability to “click” with audiences that sets him apart from other entertainers. As the attendees at this event will attest, Mr. Boruff is more than an accomplished singer and instrumentalist; he brings to the stage warmth and charisma that you will remembers long after the performance is over.

Paul Boruff a native of Phoenix, Arizona enjoys performing for people of all ages. At the age of five or six, he was captured on home movies singing Elvis Presley songs, and doing his best to entertain. Paul began playing the guitar at about the age of ten. The music he was exposed to was quite varied and was rich in diversity: Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Hank Williams, Eddie Arnold, Chet Atkins, Bob Dylan, Nat King Cole and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Paul’s father was the primary music influence in those early years, and his music was mostly country with a mixture of thirties and forties classics thrown in.

During Paul's four years with the United States Navy he performed in the Admiral's Band, out of Memphis, Tennessee. The style was "Big Band.” The Navy gave him opportunity to travel and to experience music of many other cultures.

Paul has traveled and performed all over the world from London to Dover, from Zurich to Gdańsk and from Amsterdam to Paris. In the United States he performs from Alaska to Florida and California to New York.

Paul's acoustic style includes all the influences of his past. His forte is vocals and his singing has been described as "each word is an event." Making music comes as easily to him as breathing; his expansive repertoire transcends the barriers of age and cultural differences. Whether it is an original interpretation of an old standard or a tune of his own creation, Paul sings from the heart and plays from his soul.


June 28, 2019

GROWLING OLD MEN CONCERT

The Elling House Arts and Humanities Center welcomed “Growling Old Men” for yet another of the wonderful concerts. It proved to be a full evening, not only in the music played but in the number who came to appreciate it. Someone counted around 62 attendees, to be exact!

Ben Winship (mandolins & vocals) and John Lowell (guitar & vocals) are both veterans of the Northern Rockies acoustic music world. Together the duo presented a tight yet relaxed set of original and traditional bluegrass songs, ballads and tunes. Their CDs are truly a joint effort with the lead singing, songwriting and picking duties shared throughout. Influenced equally by the music of the Appalachian hills and the western plains, their music is at once simple and powerful - furthermore, it reflects the genuine sense of fun these two guys get from playing together.  The duo blends each artist’s individual talents as musician, songwriter, and vocalist in a repertoire of original and traditional bluegrass tunes and folk ballads, played on guitar and mandolin.  Growling Old Men have performed on A Prairie Home Companion and Garrison Keillor has said, "I've been hearing about these young men for a long time but they do not come around American centers of population to advance their careers.  They have isolated themselves out here in Montana and Victor, Idaho on account of their lifelong obsession with fishing.  Not so old, not so growly, a real fine bluegrass duo.  They're great."

The evening program included a blend of well-rehearsed material and few new songs hot off the press – Ben and John like to keep it fresh with an edge of improvisational risk taking.  They strive to contrast simplicity with complexity - all with good tone and a warm sense of humor.


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Secrets of the Virginia City Masonic Lodge Presented by Bill Bennett

The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, is sponsoring their sixth Linderman Series history programs.  The general theme of the Linderman Series talks in 2019 is the cultural and social life of 19th Century and early 20th Century Virginia City.

All except one of the Linderman presentations will be held in the beautifully restored cabin of Frank Bird Linderman, on the grounds of the historic Robber’s Roost near Laurin, MT.  However this, the first program this year, “‘Secrets’ of the Virginia City Masonic Lodge,” was held held at the Virginia City Masonic Temple. It explored the history of Montana’s first chartered Masonic Lodge, some of its colorful members, and perhaps, some of the “secrets” of Lodge No. 1.

The Presenter, Lyman Bennett, known to friends as “Bill,” was born in Butte because there was no hospital in Virginia City. He is a fourth generation Montanan (his great grandfather arriving in Virginia City in 1870) and a third generation attorney; his grandfather being the longest serving judge in Madison County.

Bill graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Mathematics, and from the University of Montana School of Law. He practiced law in Bozeman until 2012, when he and his wife, Bonnie, moved back to Virginia City where he maintains his practice. Bill is an active member of the Virginia City Masonic Lodge No. 1, and serves on the Board of Directors (and past President) of the Virginia City Preservation Alliance.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Mike Dowling Concert

Mike Dowling’s most recent appearance at the Elling House was standing room only. And the standers and sitters were not disappointed. Mike came through with his usual Piedmont style of acoustic blues.

When the late, great Vassar Clements heard Mike Dowling play guitar back in 1975 he did the sensible thing. He hired him. Mike was the guitarist in Vassar's first touring band and can be heard on his Grammy-nominated "Nashville Jam". Clements called him simply, "One of the finest guitarists there is, anywhere. "Echoing that sentiment is an ever-growing chorus of music critics, guitar students, and acoustic music fans from throughout the world.

Mike can't be pigeonholed as a blues player, or even as a finger stylist. He's far too versatile for that. From bottleneck blues to vintage jazz and much more in between, Mike's musicality, depth, and mastery of the instrument translates fluently to flattop, archtop, and resonator guitars alike.

Mike grew up in central Wisconsin and early in his career in the midwest caught the ear of jazz violin great Joe Venuti and mandolinist Jethro Burns. In the 1970's, in addition to touring with Clements, he worked and recorded with Burns and Venuti in Chicago and in between jobs took time off to move to California when he had the opportunity to study with the late, great George Barnes. Barnes had been "the" session guy for many years, recording with everyone from Big Bill Broonzy to Tony Bennett. "I was very fortunate to be able to spend some time with him", Mike says. " He was so tasteful, so rhythmic. He set the bar very high for me and he continues to be an inspiration."


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Community Photography Show

The Elling House Arts and Humanities Center hosted a show of photographs by community members.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Plein Air Demonstration and Painting Exercise, with Ray Campeau

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Ray Campeau opened the Virginia City Plein Air painting workshop with a demonstration at the Elling House. Artists then dispersed to the great outdoors—and the “Great City of Virginia”—to paint and sketch. Paintings created as a result of this exercise may be included (artist’s option) in an exhibit, opening with an artist’s reception July 26.

Ray Campeau is a product of the Butte’s Catholic Schools and, in his words, “the colorful, notorious streets of Butte.” After a tour of duty in the Navy he returned to Montana and in 1954 and earned a BA in Applied Art at Montana State College, and later a Masters Degree in Art from MSU.



June 2, 2019

Bozeman Symphony Far Afield Program: Bel Canto

The Elling House Arts and Humanities Center was pleased to have another Bozeman Symphony Far Afield program, and to have our small auditorium ring with the voices of the Bel Canto Ensemble.

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The Far Afield program, established in 1992, takes Bozeman Symphony chamber ensembles to rural communities to present free performances and share their musical perspectives. Far Afield enables the audience to see, hear and feel the music being created live instead of through the media of television or radio.

The Bel Canto ensemble is comprised of eight women from the Bozeman Symphonic Choir, accompanied by Alison Todd. With the versatility of voice and numerous personnel combinations this group offers a wide variety of repertoire, from Baroque and Popular Favorites.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Favorite Friends, Famous Poems

The Elling House Arts Humanities Center hosted their annual special event of readings by some of our favorite friends. Each friend was invited to read his/her favorite famous poem.


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May 11, 2019

Ennis Junior Fiddlers Spring Recital

The Ennis Junior Fiddlers came to the Elling House for their Spring Recital. The theme of the evening, was 'Bluegrass.' Proceeds for this event help students attend Montana Fiddle Camp this June.


May 19, 2019

Painting Workshop


Local Ennis artist and EHAHC board member, Cathy Toot, will host a painting workshop  at the historic Elling House. Cathy will guide workshop participants through creating an original piece of art.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Book Reading by Roger Dunsmore

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Former EHAHC board member, Roger Dunsmore's read poems new book of poems, On the Chinese Wall: New & Selected Poems, 1966-2018, which was recently released by Drumlummon Institute in Helena, Montana. Dunsmore’s poetry is informed by the lyric past of ancient Greece and the visionary traditions of ancient America as expressed by the Lakota visionary and Catholic, Nickolaus Black Elk. His book include a poem for a loose ram, a poem for a woman kissing all the icons in the Byzantine Museum in Athens, a poem for a Montana trapper whose pet wolverine loved Oreo Cookies, a poem about wildness for the convicts at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge.

Roger is a very knowledgeable and entertaining reader and the Elling House audience enjoyed hearing this “outcropping of the Great Subculture which reaches back beyond the stone-age cave paintings of Europe and before the time of Jonah in the belly of the whale.”


Saturday April 27

The Thompson-Hickman Library Drama Club Presented “Dooby Doo Moo!”

The EHAHC was pleased to host the Thompson-Hickman Library Drama Club, which is open to Madison County children ages 4-12. The Library Drama Club performed their 1st ever production, a musical play based Doreen Cronin’s Children’s Book entitled Dooby Dooby Moo. 


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Montana’s Poet Laureate, Lowell Jaeger

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An audience at Jaeger's readings, can expect humor, serious reflection, and an examination of the "human condition" in all its marvelous complexity. His enjoyment of interacting with audiences was apparent, asking them for comments and for interpretation of poems he read.

Lowell Jaeger (Montana Poet Laureate 2017-2019) is founding editor of Many Voices Press and recently edited New Poets of the American West, an anthology of poets from eleven western states.  Lowell has taught writing classes at numerous conferences and workshops and is currently Professor of English/Creative Writing at Flathead Valley Community College (Kalispell, Montana), where he also serves as Humanities Division Chair.  He is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, winner of the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize, and recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council. Lowell was awarded the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award for his work in promoting civil civic discourse.  He is the author of eight collections of poems, the most recent of which are Or Maybe I Drift Off Alone (Shabda Press 2016) and Earth-blood & Star-shine (Shabda Press 2018)

Additional financial support for this program was provided by Humanities Montana and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Sunday, April 14th event

Furs and Skulls and Porcupines...Oh My!

Is that a Porcupine he is cuddling there!? Jim DeBoer of Sheridan, a retired Montana Game Warden, told us during his presentation on the fur-bearing animals of our area on. And, yes, it was. The participants, in a hands-on experience, learned a bit about the furs, skulls and behavior of these common, but not often seen, critters. Jim also shared a short video on porcupines will also be shown.

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Saturday March 30, 2019

Montana Notable Women

Local Montana women presented on women of Montana.

The actress Myrna Loy was presented and discussed by Christina Koch. Ms. Loy was born in Helena in 1905 and spent her early childhood in Radersburg, MT. She appeared in many silent films and continued to appear in “talkies” into the 1980s.

Christina Koch is the Assistant Librarian at Thompson-Hickman Madison County Library where she has worked for the last 8 years. Originally from Denver, Christina is happy to call Virginia City home. She worked tirelessly for five years, making the dream of building an addition onto the Thompson-Hickman Madison County Library in Virginia City a reality, that compliments the original structure. During the summer months, Christina can also be found running the Virginia City Opera House with her husband, Bill Koch.

Dr. Kristin Ruppel, Associate Professor of Native American Studies at Montana State University is making her mark on Women's History now with history in the making  to be told as the years go by. Ruppel is author of Unearthing Indian Land, a comprehensive examination of the consequences of more than a century of questionable public policies. Her profile was spoken to by Pat Bradley of Twin Bridges.

Pat Bradly and her husband Rand have lived in Twin Bridges for 29 years.  She is a retired Justice of the Peace, having served in Roosevelt County and as a substitute judged for Madison County.  Pat served ten years on the board of the Thompson Hickman Library and counts as a great pride the building of the addition to that historic building. She also served ten years as a Twin Bridges Library Board and is currently a Madison County Planning Board member.

She is an appreciative fan and helpmate of the Elling House's superb contributions to Virginia City and Madison County and their wonderful Arts and Humanities offerings.

Dr. Mollie Atwater, who worked against the grain of 19th century ideas of womanhood to become a physician, was presented and discussed by Clair Leonard. Dr. Atwater had difficulties finding work as a doctor in a time when women in professions were not accepted. She eventually found work as a physician in the mining town of Bannack Montana.

Claire Leonard is a member of the Elling House Arts and Humanities Center. Most of her adult years were spent working as a pediatric geneticist at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the University of Utah and the University of New Mexico. Now retired, she enjoys doing activities that support a vibrant lifestyle in a rural community. She has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations from the American Society of Human Genetics to the Border Area Mental Health Center in Silver City, New Mexico.

In retirement, Claire has been active in advocacy for individuals challenged by mental illness and is a member of the Madison County Mental Health Local Advisory Council. Claire's interest in the EHAHC programs began when she attended the Splendid Feast in 2008. When she moved to Virginia City, she began helping at EHAHC events and is committed to supporting and expanding programs and the unique venue that Elling House provides.

FEBRUARY 2, 2019

Montana Raptor Conservation Center program

The MRCC’s Great horned owl, Bu

The MRCC’s Great horned owl, Bu

This program provided an overview of what makes raptors unique in the bird world, the raptors of Montana, and the importance of raptors to our ecosystem. This was a hands-on opportunity to explore and experience raptor characteristics and adaptations though bio-facts (animal artifacts). Three of the MRCC avian ambassadors were in attendance for an up close look at these amazing birds.


January 26, 2019

The Lucky Valentines concert

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The Lucky Valentines are Montana native songwriters Shaun and Jamie Carrier. Their music has been described as "stirring" Americana,  "straight from the heart." Married on February 14, 2010 they have been playing music for the whole of their life together. Crafting songs rooted in honest, raw emotion and blending sounds from alt-country, rock-n-roll, indie, and folk; they span themes of joy and pain in the face of life's trials. They borrow inspiration from their own experience, observation, and the beautiful, lonesome landscape and history of north-central Montana. Their 2016 independent release "Lion in the Garden" is a collection of songs that explore betrayal, loss, and joy. The Lucky Valentines have a set list with over 2 hours of original music, both upbeat and slow tunes. The two use guitars, vocals and violin to create a unique, yet familiar sound.

Past appearances on EHAHC stage:

8/3/2018


DECEMBER 8, 2018

An evening with Willson & McKee (POTLUCK, CONCERT, JAM SESSION)

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Our beloved Willson & McKee returned! This time with an evening full of community, music and participation! Ken & Kim switched it up, just a bit! They invited all to join them for a casual potluck, to sit and enjoy a concert followed by a fun-filled jam session! All who attended had a great night!


November 10, 2018

Baroque Montana Music concert

The Mystical Violin and Courteous Lute: 17th Century Sonatas

In an age of extravagant opulence abreast a constant threat of disease and war appear stained-glass visions, of shadow and light.

In an age of extravagant opulence abreast a constant threat of disease and war appear stained-glass visions, of shadow and light.

This program spun historic tales and sublime tunes including Greensleeves, the metric shifting Pandolfi Romanesca, and the Brade Chorale Variations - the earliest piece written for violin in England. 

Baroque Music Montana specializes in chamber music inspired by history. The musician roster rotates based on desired instrumentation for repertoire. Concerts are in intimate spaces, for which the music was originally intended, and often on period instruments. Using historical instruments and referencing original manuscripts, iconography, and historical writing fuels our commitment to the music and inspires fresh interpretation. Rather than recreating something old, our aim is to make each performance of this day, of this space, existing because of these musicians and this audience.

Baroque Music Montana performs works by celebrated composers of the Baroque, as well as many pieces rarely or not heard since the eighteenth century. Some manuscripts are readily available in digital archives, and some require a great deal of sleuthing to unearth.

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The Baroque Period in music was from 1600-1750, beginning with the dawn of opera in northern Italy and concluding with the death of Bach. The purpose of the music was to move the passions, an idea known as Affeckt. Stylistic conventions of musical forms, ornamentation, and pitch, to name a few, varied greatly from region to region and decade to decade throughout Europe.

This event was sponsored by the Montana Chamber Music Society. The concert at the EHAHC featured Carrie Krause on baroque violin and John Lenti on theorbo.


November 10, 2018

Ornament Making Workshop

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The Elling House invited all to assist the Elling Elves in creating our unique handmade ornaments. These ornaments are given to the guests at the Splendid Feast. Each participant was provided lunch and was also able to take one of the wonderful ornaments home to adorn their own tree. Thank you to all who attended!


October 27, 2018

Felting Workshop by BJ Radell

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This class was open to all skill levels – even beginners and first-timers. Participants created both a snowperson and stick horse.

BJ Radell was born and grew up in upstate NY along the Hudson River. She received a BFA degree in 2-dimensional design from the College of New Rochelle and spent several years living and teaching in Maine.

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Back in NY she and her husband owned a commercial construction company and BJ had a small fiber farm that kept her busy with llamas and a sheep. She began felting about 10 years ago and has since studied with artists at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina and the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne, New York. She has shown and sold her work at the New York State Sheep and Wool Show as well as in other juried and non-juried shows in the Hudson Valley area.


September 29, 2018

Paul Boruff concert

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Music has been with Paul Boruff his entire life. He just can't help hearing it and playing it and singing it. One of the things that makes Paul unique is his voice and amazing range, however it is his ability to “click” with audiences that sets him apart from other entertainers. Mr. Boruff is more than an accomplished singer and instrumentalist; he brings to the stage warmth and charisma that you will remembers long after the performance is over.

Paul Boruff a native of Phoenix, Arizona enjoys performing for people of all ages. At the age of five or six, he was captured on home movies singing Elvis Presley songs, and doing his best to entertain. Paul began playing the guitar at about the age of ten. The music he was exposed to was quite varied and was rich in diversity: Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Hank Williams, Eddie Arnold, Chet Atkins, Bob Dylan, Nat King Cole and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Paul’s father was the primary music influence in those early years, and his music was mostly country with a mixture of thirties and forties classics thrown in.

During Paul's four years with the United States Navy he performed in the Admiral's Band, out of Memphis, Tennessee. The style was "Big Band.” The Navy gave him opportunity to travel and to experience music of many other cultures.

Paul has traveled and performed all over the world from London to Dover, from Zurich to Gdańsk and from Amsterdam to Paris. In the United States he performs from Alaska to Florida and California to New York.

Paul's acoustic style includes all the influences of his past. His forte is vocals and his singing has been described as "each word is an event." Making music comes as easily to him as breathing; his expansive repertoire transcends the barriers of age and cultural differences. Whether it is an original interpretation of an old standard or a tune of his own creation, Paul sings from the heart and plays from his soul.


SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

Bozeman Symphony Far Afield program featuring Bobcat Brass

photo credit: Adrian Sanchez Gonzales-MSU

photo credit: Adrian Sanchez Gonzales-MSU

The Far Afield program, established in 1992, takes Bozeman Symphony chamber ensembles to rural communities to present free performances and share their musical perspectives.  Far Afield enables the audience to see, hear and feel the music being created live instead of through the media of television or radio.

The Bobcat Brass Trio, Sarah Stoneback (trumpet), Mike Nelson (horn), and Jeannie Little (trombone), are three of the principal brass musicians in the Bozeman Symphony. They are also the trumpet, horn and trombone professors at the Montana State University School of Music. This newly formed chamber ensemble presented a wide range of repertoire, from new music to the classics, works written specifically for the unique trio instrumentation, as well as works adapted from other settings. These consummate musicians bring to brass trio music a fantastic and innovative perspective in performance. But, equally important to the Bobcat Brass Trio are their outreach educational performances, where they emphasize music as a lifestyle. With each presentation, the trio entertained, educated and inspired.


SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

Artist reception for Paul Tunkis

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In 2011 Paul Tunkis revived his interest in painting and drawing after 27 years of living in Montana. Combining his artistic skills with his years of experience as a hunting and fishing guide in Montana and the West, Paul paints Montana’s landscape and wildlife in his chosen media of transparent watercolor and graphite pencil on Arches cotton hot press paper.

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Paul grew up on a ranch in Northern California. After studying art and architecture at the University of Oregon, Paul went on to study drawing and painting at Leighton Studios in San Francisco, California with Thomas Leighton & Marjorie Lester Leighton. Thomas Leighton was an expatriate Englishmen trained at England’s Royal Academy of Arts. He taught for more than 25 years in art schools and colleges in Canada and the U.S. Marjorie Lester Leighton was an illustrator for National Geographic and other international publications.


September 9, 2018

Notable historic Montana Millionaires lecture series at the Linderman Cabin, Laurin, MT

William Boyce Thompson: From Copper Mines to Arboretums, the Virginia City Born Magnate

presented by Christina Koch

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The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, sponsored their fifth series of history programs in 2018.  Once again, the programs were held in the beautifully restored cabin of Frank Bird Linderman; on the grounds of the historic Robber’s Roost near Laurin, MT.  The general theme of the 2018 series focused upon historic Montana millionaires.

Born in Virginia City, Montana on May 13, 1869, William Boyce Thompson, revolutionized Western American mining and influenced the mining business from Canada to Africa.  He used his immense wealth to help the world in many philanthropic endeavors, ranging from his work with the American Red Cross in Russia, to spending millions of dollars promoting the study and exploration of science at various Universities, to creating an arboretum state park in Arizona, to building a library in his hometown of Virginia City, Montana.  This presentation will focus on the highlights of William Boyce Thompson’s dense life and the legacy he left behind.

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Christina Koch is the Assistant Librarian at Thompson-Hickman Madison County Library where she has worked for the last 8 years.  Originally from Denver, Christina is happy to call Virginia City home.  She worked tirelessly for five years, making the dream of building an addition onto the Thompson-Hickman Madison County Library in Virginia City a reality, that compliments the original structure.  During the summer months, Christina can also be found running the Virginia City Opera House with her husband, Bill Koch.


August 25, 2018

artist reception for jean james

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Jean began her art career in her early 20's studying watercolor with the late Hilton Leech. In 1981, she took a stained glass class and fell in love with the medium. After years of designing and fabricating glass, she has now returned to her painting by firing traditional glass paint on glass and by working in the ancient art of egg tempera.
Raised on a ranch and married to rancher, Sandy James Jean has a passion for Montana History, Geology and the landscape of her native state. "I love the miracle of art production when raw materials, such as sand, minerals and organic matter are combined to make a visual representation of an idea. My subject matter may be varied, but it is always rooted in a concept that speaks to movement or change.


august 16, 2018

Notable historic Montana Millionaires lecture series at the Linderman Cabin, Laurin, MT

William Andrews Clark:  A Most Disgusting Creature

presented by Gary FOrney

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The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, sponsored their fifth series of history programs in 2018.  Once again, the programs were held in the beautifully restored cabin of Frank Bird Linderman; on the grounds of the historic Robber’s Roost near Laurin, MT.  The general theme of the 2018 series focused upon historic Montana millionaires.

William Andrews Clark (1839-1925) arrived in the Montana Territory with little more than the clothes on his back and his “library” of three books…and a hard and ruthless ambition to succeed.  By the time he left Montana he was one of the richest men in the world, and is still ranked as one of the 50 richest Americans of all time.  He was also arguably one of the most despised.  This program will profile Mr. Clark’s phenomenal rise in riches and power—economically and politically.

Gary Forney is a retired college administrator and local historian.  He has been a full-time resident of the Ennis area since 1999, and since then has authored four books, written numerous articles, and made many presentations on the early territorial period of Montana.


august 9, 2018

Pluck and Stamina:  The Life of Pioneer Photographer Evelyn Cameron

(portrayal by Mary Jane Bradbury)

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Evelyn Flower Cameron traded a life of English wealth and privilege for a tiny homestead cabin in the austere, rugged badlands of eastern Montana.  She soon learned the art of glass-plate photography as a way to support the Cameron’s struggling pioneer homestead.  For the rest of her life, she rode horseback many miles, carrying her camera around her waist and her wooden tripod in a gun scabbard, documenting expansive and beautiful Western landscapes along with the homesteaders, sheepherders, ranch families and immigrants who lived there.  Evelyn produced some of the first photographs of North American birds, and was an early proponent of prairie and wildlife conservation.  Historic interpreter Mary Jane Bradbury brings Evelyn to life through living history as well as a look at some of her outstanding photographs.


July 26, 2018

"Sacred Dog: the Journey" by Thomas Savage book reading

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The Lakota word, Sunka Wakan, means horse. The English translation is Sacred Dog. This story is about the epic life of one such sacred dog whose fight for survival in the brutal high deserts of Nevada leads him on an unbelievable journey. Live the incredible experiences of Son of Banshee, as he leads his herd of wild mustangs through the unforgiving wilds of Nevada. At every turn, his life is a battle against not only the brutal land in which he and his herd lives, but a relentless struggle also to elude the capture of man. Though his life is one of constant strife, the stallion finds freedom in the darkness of night. In his dream world, he is the warhorse of the great Sioux war chief, Talking Bear. Their passage creates a bond between them that is timeless.

Author bio:

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I am Tom Savage.  I have lived nearly all my years in the rugged mountains of southwestern Montana.  In rural homes near the towering mountains that form the Continental Divide, my love for the wildness of nature was born. By my father’s strong example and under his watchful eye, I took my first tentative steps as a young boy on the path that I walk still today. My growing hunger to understand the sometimes mysterious ways of nature grew in to a journey of untold miles walking my beloved mountains along the great divide.  I grew to appreciate the great force at work in these wild and unchanged places.  My chosen path in life has led me to a beautiful earth-based spirituality.  Native American friends I came to know along the way, generously shared their most revered ceremonies with me.  Knowledge learned from these ceremonies, I realized after much introspection, has given me the words to write this, and other stories.


July 19, 2018

Notable historic Montana Millionaires lecture series at the Linderman Cabin, Laurin, MT

Andrew Jackson Davis - Montana's First Millionaire

presented by Jim Jarvis

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The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, sponsored their fifth series of history programs in 2018.  Once again, the programs were held in the beautifully restored cabin of Frank Bird Linderman; on the grounds of the historic Robber’s Roost near Laurin, MT.  The general theme of the 2018 series focused upon historic Montana millionaires.

A.J. Davis (1819-1890), a successful banker, was a lesser known contemporary of Butte's notorious copper kings.  This presentation will explore the life and legacy of this important figure in Montana history. 

James (Jim) R. Jarvis has worked in the historic preservation field for the past 18 years, serving as the preservation officers for the City-County of Butte-Silver Bow and the Town of Virginia City, Montana.  In these roles, he administered local historic preservation programs for these National Historic Landmark communities, including design review of new development within historic districts, restoration and rehabilitation of various publicly owned historic properties, and general historical research and interpretation. Currently, he works as an independent consultant, providing community development planning, project management, and fund raising services for various communities and projects.

Special research interests include the study of Montana’s frontier settlements, their origins and often colorful inhabitants. Jim has contributed to several publications and conferences on these subjects.

Jim resides in Virginia City, Montana with his wife Sheri, a professional multi-media artist and native of Glasgow, Montana.   He can be reached at historysmith@mail.com.


JULY 11, 2018

"Hollowtop Smoke Signals" by Art Kehler book reading

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Author of more than two hundred essays, Kehler writes from his home in the small, rural town of Harrison, Montana. His essays, both humorous and poignant, have been published in regional newspapers and journals, online magazines, and nationally recognized literary magazines.

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This book of humorous essays takes you down home to the ‘tri-cities’ of Harrison, Pony and Norris, Montana, (combined populations of 382), and the charms, challenges, and various misadventures of living in such a rustic but beautiful place, nestled on the northeastern fringe of the Tobacco Root Mountains. In an age of political controversy, chaos, and negative news, author Art Kehler gives us a refreshing look at small town antics and a chance to laugh at ourselves as we relate to our shared human condition. This compilation of more than 80 humorous anecdotes from real life, poke fun at the wildlife, the residents, the tourists, the weather, and most of all, the author himself. Many of the essays have appeared in various periodicals, and have drawn much praise from readers. Art’s essays include a harrowing tale of a climb to the top of Hollowtop Mountain, for which the book is named. From rattlesnake hunting to elk bugling, to bench sitting, to helpful suggestions for coping with a one-sided town and its frequent four-legged visitors, there is much to a reader can either relate to, laugh at, or both. Readers have called it hilarious, and compared it to that of James Thurber, Mark Twain, Garrison Keilor, and other humorists as he writes about his experiences in the tri-cities of Pony, Harrison, and Norris, Montana, whose combined population is fewer than 500 people. Are his true stories slightly embellished? You be the judge as you treat yourself to some health-producing belly laughs by reading his book and hearing him speak. Stop worrying and relax with the best medicine you can find: laughter.


JUne 22, 2018

GROWLING OLD MEN CONCERT

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The Elling House Arts and Humanities Center presented “Growling Old Men” in concert. Ben Winship (mandolins & vocals) and John Lowell (guitar & vocals) are both veterans of the Northern Rockies acoustic music world. Together the duo presents a tight yet relaxed set of original and traditional bluegrass songs, ballads and tunes. Their CDs are truly a joint effort with the lead singing, songwriting and picking duties shared throughout. Influenced equally by the music of the Appalachian hills and the western plains, their music is at once simple and powerful - furthermore, it reflects the genuine sense of fun these two guys get from playing together.  The duo blends each artist’s individual talents as musician, songwriter, and vocalist in a repertoire of original and traditional bluegrass tunes and folk ballads, played on guitar and mandolin.  Growling Old Men have performed on A Prairie Home Companion and Garrison Keillor has said, "I've been hearing about these young men for a long time but they do not come around American centers of population to advance their careers.  They have isolated themselves out here in Montana and Victor, Idaho on account of their lifelong obsession with fishing.  Not so old, not so growly, a real fine bluegrass duo.  They're great."

The evening program, ideally suited for an intimate venue such as the Elling House, included a blend of well-rehearsed material and few new songs hot off the press – Ben and John like to keep it fresh with an edge of improvisational risk taking.  They strive to contrast simplicity with complexity - all with good tone and a warm sense of humor. 

PAST APPEARANCES ON EHAHC STAGE:

7/16/17     7/30/16     7/31/15     7/25/14     8/2/13     7/8/12     10/15/10


JUNE 14, 2018

Notable historic Montana Millionaires lecture series at the Linderman Cabin, Laurin, MT

The Life & Times of Henry Elling

presented by Amy Grice

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The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, sponsored their fifth series of history programs in 2018.  Once again, the programs were held in the beautifully restored cabin of Frank Bird Linderman; on the grounds of the historic Robber’s Roost near Laurin, MT.  The general theme of the 2018 series focused upon historic Montana millionaires.

Henry Elling (1842-1900) was a banker in Virginia City, Montana, with extensive mercantile, mining, and ranching interests.  Orphaned at the age of 15, Elling made his way from Germany to the United States with great hope…and little knowledge of English. After a few years in Missouri, where he learned the mercantile business—and English—he began his westward trek; arriving in Virginia City, Montana, in the summer of 1864. During the next 36 years, Henry was extraordinarily successful with his wide ranging investments which included banking, mining, ranching, and properties. By the time of his death, Henry was well established as one of the wealthiest men in Montana. Join us as we learn more of the life journey of this man who lived the “American Dream” from one his ancestors.

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Amy practiced as an equine veterinarian for 25 years, and served as the managing partner of her equine referral practice in upstate New York until 2015, when she opened a business consulting firm, and moved her residence to Virginia City.
 
Amy is the daughter of the late Mary and George Grice, who retired to Virginia City in 2001. She grew up in Connecticut, received her BA in Biology from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and then completed her veterinary education at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. She earned her MBA with a concentration in Ethical Leadership from Marist College School of Management in 2014.
 
Dr. Grice has strong family ties to Virginia City and the Elling House. Henry and Mary (Cooley) Elling were uncle and aunt of her great Aunt Mary Anna Elling, who was raised in the Elling House in Virginia City for a number of years in the 1880’s. In turn, Mary Anna Elling raised Dr. Grice’s grandmother, Anne Case Drummond, sharing with her many stories of her time in Montana.
 
After many years of being a summer visitor, Amy is thrilled to finally be a fulltime resident. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Montana’s back country on her horse.
 
In addition to serving as treasurer to the Elling House Arts & Humanities Center, the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Amy is a Virginia City city council member. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

In Good Faith Documentary Sneak Preview

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IN GOOD FAITH is a documentary that centers around the work of Dr. Orlan Svingen, professor of history at Washington State University (WSU), and his ongoing work with the Mixed Bands of Shoshone, Bannock and Sheepeater Indians at the Fort Hall reservation in Pocatello, Idaho. Through his decades of work with Indian tribes across the U.S., Dr. Svingen has developed strong relationships at Fort Hall and forged the creation of Indian history field schools that are conducted in Central Idaho and Southwestern Montana. Since 2010, Dr. Svingen and his students have researched The Virginia City Treaty of 1868, negotiated and signed almost 150 years ago by Chief Tendoy. It was signed, in good faith, by the US government and tribal members, but never ratified. Though never ratified, the US took all that was promised to them and, in return, granted the tribe an Executive Order reservation, a far cry from the terms of the treaty. Dr. Svingen, researching National Archives microfilm, found the “Holy Grail.” It was the signed and sealed Cession Document that clearly laid out the parameters of the treaty and the boundaries of the lands the tribe was gave up - over 12,000 square miles of territory in Wyoming and Montana. With these findings, the Mixed Bands have started the legal process to right the wrong and proceed IN GOOD FAITH.

Project Highlights:

• Narrated by Forrest Goodluck, Native American actor seen in The Revenant.

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• Original music score by Emmy winning composers Jason Hausman (Hot Sake) and Fred Story (Concentrix Music & Sound Design)

• Featuring original artwork by Derek NoSun Brown (War Medicine Art)

• Post show Q&A with Dr. Svingen & the filmmakers, Beverly Penninger & Alyson Young


June 8, 2018

Mike Dowling concert

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When the late, great Vassar Clements heard Mike Dowling play guitar back in 1975 he did the sensible thing. He hired him. Mike was the guitarist in Vassar's first touring band and can be heard on his Grammy-nominated "Nashville Jam". Clements called him simply, "One of the finest guitarists there is, anywhere."Echoing that sentiment is an ever-growing chorus of music critics, guitar students, and acoustic music fans from throughout the world.

Mike digs deep into the musical bag of American roots guitar, favoring the melodic Piedmont style of acoustic blues masters like Mississippi John Hurt and slide great Tampa Red. But Mike can't be pigeonholed as a blues player, or even as a fingerstylist. He's far too versatile for that. From bottleneck blues to vintage jazz and much more in between, Mike's musicality, depth, and mastery of the instrument translates fluently to flattop, archtop, and resonator guitars alike.

Mike grew up in central Wisconsin and early in his career in the midwest caught the ear of jazz violin great Joe Venuti and mandolinist Jethro Burns. In the 1970's, in addition to touring with Clements, he worked and recorded with Burns and Venuti in Chicago and in between jobs took time off to move to California when he had the opportunity to study with the late, great George Barnes. Barnes had been "the" session guy for many years, recording with everyone from Big Bill Broonzy to Tony Bennett. "I was very fortunate to be able to spend some time with him", Mike says. " He was so tasteful, so rhythmic. He set the bar very high for me and he continues to be an inspiration."

PAST APPEARANCES ON EHAHC STAGE:

6/9/17     6/3/16     6/13/15     10/5/13     6/15/12     6/18/11     6/19/10


Friday, June 8, 2018

Artist-of-the-Month Reception

Ken Carlson

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Ken Carlson of Twin Bridges is a self-taught artist who has worked with many media. Early in his career he braided copper baskets, which were featured in the Washington Post and Connoisseur Magazine. Carlson's baskets are in the permanent collection of the American Craft Museum in New York City, the collection of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, as well as various corporate collections.  Carlson began his art career in 1974, and soon was showing his basketry in intricately braided copper or leather at, among others, the Philadelphia Museum of Art show, the Smithsonian show and the American Craft Council shows. One of his braided copper baskets is on permanent display at the White House. In 1995, Carlson decided that he needed a major change, and  for both creative and health reasons, returned to his first love, oil painting. His rich landscapes, featuring lush Montana streams, meadows and byways, are shown at outdoor shows in such resorts as Aspen, Sun Valley and Jackson Hole, but as he has grown older, he prefers to travel to go painting or fishing, so he typically leaves the showing and selling of his work to others.


sunday, May 20, 2018

Painting Workshop with Cathy Toot

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Local Ennis artist and EHAHC board member, Cathy Toot, hosted a painting workshop,  Participants spent a lovely Sunday afternoon in the historic Elling House creating an original piece of art! 


Friday, May 18, 2018

Ridge to Ridge: The Watershed Approach

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The lifeblood of our area is our land and our water, and the way it is managed is a topic of extraordinary priority.  By working with community members and partners, an unique approach is used to protect the high quality resources that we have, and restore areas where problems might exist. The local Watershed Coordinator, Sunni Heikes-Knapton, shared stories about pistols, leeches, and homemade cookies (and how each of them are featured in her job).  

Photo by Emily Numrich.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Me and Martha: Intimate Reflections of Dora DuFran about the Real Life of Calamity Jane 

(portrayal by Mary Jane Bradbury)

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The name Calamity Jane brings to mind an iconic character of the American West. Accounts of Calamity-whose real name was Martha Canary-are legion and she has achieved mythical status in the lore of the frontier. She lived and traveled throughout Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas from 1867 to 1903, during some of the West's wildest days. The voracious Victorian press sensationalized her activities, and as a flamboyant character in popular dime novels, Calamity Jane's legend grew until the person behind the character all but disappeared. 

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Who better to give us insights about the real story than madam Dora DuFran, a Black Hills pioneer, entrepreneur and close friend of Calamity's. Ms. DuFran built a successful red light business during the rambunctious early days of the western frontier in Deadwood, South Dakota, and has a unique perspective about how wild it really was. Ms. DuFran knows better than anyone the life of Martha Canary and Calamity Jane, two quite different women, one legendary, one all but forgotten.

Additional financial support was provided by Humanities Montana and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Favorite Friends, Famous Poems

"Next to being a great poet, is the power of understanding one;” H.W Longfellow.  

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The Elling House Arts Humanities Center hosted our annual special event of readings by some of our favorite friends.  Each friend was invited to read his/her favorite famous poem.  Our favorite friends for the 2018 event were Creed Allen, Pattie Henry, Sophia Perea, Allyson Adams, Karl Marcus, Angela Mueller, Chris Harris, Amy Grice and Dave Walker.


saturday, April 21, 2018

A Reading with Montana's Poet Laureate, Lowell Jaeger

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At Jaeger's readings, expect humor, expect serious reflection, expect to examine the "human condition" in all its marvelous complexity. He enjoys interacting with audiences. He enjoys sharing the stage with other Montana poets. In between reading from his own work, he enjoys reciting from memory the poems of Robert Frost, Donald Hall, Richard Wilbur, and others. Let's light up the evening with the splendid magic of the spoken word!

Lowell Jaeger (Montana Poet Laureate 2017-2019) is founding editor of Many Voices Press and recently edited New Poets of the American West, an anthology of poets from eleven western states.  Lowell has taught writing classes at numerous conferences and workshops and is currently Professor of English/Creative Writing at Flathead Valley Community College (Kalispell, Montana), where he also serves as Humanities Division Chair.  He is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, winner of the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize, and recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council. Lowell was awarded the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award for his work in promoting civil civic discourse.  He is the author of eight collections of poems, the most recent of which are Or Maybe I Drift Off Alone (Shabda Press 2016) and Earth-blood & Star-shine (Shabda Press 2018)

Additional financial support was provided by Humanities Montana and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


sunday, April 15, 2018

Painting Workshop with Cathy Toot

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Local Ennis artist and EHAHC board member, Cathy Toot, hosted a painting workshop,  Participants spent a lovely Sunday afternoon in the historic Elling House creating an original piece of art!  This event sold out! 


March 10, 2018

“Climbing Mountains in Skirts” presents Dorothy Eck, Martha Edgerton Rolfe Plassman and Mildred Walker

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In recognition of March as Women’s History Month, this program profiles three women who courageously made their mark upon Montana history:

Dorothy Eck 1924-2017 (social activist and long-time MT legislator)

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Martha Edgerton Rolfe Plassman 1850-1936 (first woman editor/publisher of a MT newspaper)

Mildred Walker 1905-1998 (author of several books, including Winter Wheat which was a One Book Montana selection).

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Presenting the stories of these women were Doris Fischer of Sheridan, MT, Erin Leonard of Virginia City, MT and Ann White of McAllister, MT. 


DECEMBER 10, 2017

"Wintertide" by Willson & McKee 

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Long-time EHAHC friends, Ken Willson & Kim McKee returned for the...  well, they've been sharing music in Virginia City and the Elling House countless times over the past 18 years!  This visit was a bit different than their summer concerts.  Ken & Kim celebrated the "Wintertide" with a mixture of traditional Celtic, and new-veau seasonal songs and tunes, old favorites and a 'settling in by the fire' feel for the winter season. The historic Elling House offered a spectacular setting for this holiday event, walls decked with natural trimmings and decorations handmade by local volunteers.


november 11, 2017

Ornament Making workshop

The Elling House invited all to assist the Elling Elves in creating our unique handmade ornaments. These ornaments are given to the guests at the Splendid Feast. Each participant was provided lunch and was also able to take one of the wonderful ornaments home to adorn their own tree. Thank you to all who attended!

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October 7, 2017

Felt United - felting workshop

The EHAHC celebrated the annual International Day of Felt – “Felt United”.  The goal of Felt United is to connect felt makers around the world to help raise awareness of felt and the properties of wool and other fibers.  Felt is mans oldest known textile, made from natural fibers, water, soap and agitation.  This process has produced non-woven fabrics for shelter, personal warmth, and creative expression.  A group participated in the global event and created a whimsical felted angel.  Fiber artist Elizabeth “BJ” Raddel joined others to let imaginations flow.  To learn more you can visit Felt United at www.feltunited.com.


September 16, 2017

Bozeman Symphony Far Afield program featuring Absaroka Winds

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The Far Afield program, established in 1992, takes Bozeman Symphony chamber ensembles to rural communities to present free performances and share their musical perspectives.  Far Afield enables the audience to see, hear and feel the music being created live instead of through the media of television or radio.

Absaroka Winds is an ensemble made up of four professional woodwind players and educators who perform on flute, oboe, English horn, and bassoon. The group’s repertoire is far ranging, consisting of traditional woodwind quartets, and music in a variety of styles arranged especially for this unique ensemble.

The members of Absaroka Winds are: Patricia Gates, flute; Sandra Stimson, oboe; Beth Antonopulos, oboe and English horn, and Paul Gates, bassoon.


September 16, 2017

Artist of the Month reception

~ Barbara Swan, fine art photographer

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Art is the window to the creative soul.  It makes us think; it makes us feel; it makes us respond; whether it be positive or negative.  Each viewer sees the image in her/his own way, bringing a personal perspective and life-experience to the process.My initial inspiration to record the world around me through photography was a month-long trip through Greece, Israel & Egypt in 1992.  I enjoy observing cultures different from my own, and being awed by ancient ruins and sites previously glimpsed only in books.  The images I create are both color and black & white, and may incorporate hand-coloring.The focus of my art is capturing people and natural scenes in a way that honors the uniqueness of each subject.  I aim to share the variety of culture and beauty I have observed in my travels and in my home states of California and Montana.  The goal of my images is to leave the observer with a sense of wonder and a new connection to the surrounding world.I enjoy the magic of bringing images to life through photography, and the camaraderie and inspiration shared with fellow photographers and artists. 


September 14, 2017

Notable authors lecture series at the Linderman Cabin, Laurin, MT

The Legacy of A River Runs through It: An Evening with John N. Maclean

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The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, sponsored their fourth series of history programs in 2017.  Once again, the programs were held in the beautifully restored cabin of Frank Bird Linderman; on the grounds of the historic Robber’s Roost near Laurin, MT.  The general theme of the 2017 series focused upon notable Montana authors.

The book and movie of A River Runs Through It have had a deep and lasting effect on Montana, its rivers, and its literary legacy. But what exactly is the nature of the book? In a way, it’s one-time flash of brilliance at the end of a long life, an argument for creativity in old age.  The author, Norman Maclean, tried all his life to be an author, but only came into his own in his 70s. But A River wasn’t Maclean’s last book. Part of his ongoing legacy is his contribution to the literature of wildland fire, Young Men and Fire. His son, John N., continued the tradition with his own book, Fire On The Mountain, and subsequent books chronicling fatal wildland fires and their implications. A quarter century ago, books about wildland fire were few and far between: today, there are shelves full, and more to come as fire in the wild becomes a greater concern to more people each year.

About John Maclean: 

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John Norman Maclean, an award-winning author and journalist, has written about wildland fire for more than two decades. Before turning to fire, Maclean was for 30 years a journalist with The Chicago Tribune, most of that time as diplomatic correspondent in Washington, DC. He was one of the “Kissinger 14,” the group of media who regularly traveled with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during the era of shuttle diplomacy. Maclean resigned from The Tribune in 1995 to write Fire On The Mountain, an acclaimed account of the 1994 fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado that took the lives of fourteen firefighters. Maclean divides his time between Washington, D.C., and the West.

Financial support for this series was provided by Humanities Montana and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


August 31, 2017

Notable authors lecture series at the Linderman Cabin, Laurin, MT

Ivan Doig and the Historical Novel with Dr. O. Alan Weltzien

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The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, sponsored their fourth series of history programs in 2017.  Once again, the programs were held in the beautifully restored cabin of Frank Bird Linderman; on the grounds of the historic Robber’s Roost near Laurin, MT.  The general theme of the 2017 series focused upon notable Montana authors.

Ivan Doig (1939-2015) was born in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, and grew up along the Rocky Mountain Front where much of his writing takes place. His first book, the highly acclaimed memoir This House of Sky, was a finalist for the National Book Award. A former ranch hand, newspaperman, and magazine editor, Doig is a graduate of Northwestern University where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism. He also held a PhD in history from the University of Washington. He was widely known for his sixteen fiction and non-fiction books set mostly in his Montana, celebrating the landscape and people of the post-war American West.

O. Alan Weltzien, longtime Montana Wilderness Association member (incl. State Council) and
Professor of English at UMW (Dillon), has published dozens or articles and ten books, most
recently Exceptional Mountains: A Cultural History of the Pacific Northwest Volcanoes (Univ.
Nebraska Press, 2016), and Rembrandt in the Stairwell (FootHills Publishing, 2016), his third
book of poetry. Weltzien still skis in winter and scrambles peaks in summer. He never tires of
the endless diversity of Montana mountainscapes and loves to hike above timberline.

Financial support for this series was provided by Humanities Montana and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


August 11, 2017

Artist of the Month reception

~ Shirley Anderson Sylvester, painter

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Born and raised in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana, Shirley and her family have always lived on a farm east of Corvallis. Shirley began painting with oils in 1984 and watercolor in 1995.  She enjoys plein aire painting along the rivers and in the mountains of the Bitterroot Valley as well as different areas of Montana. She likes to create small paintings. This gives her the ability to capture a moment and a place, a snapshot in time. Painting miniatures gives her the liberty to experiment with light, color and compositions.  Old homesteads and barns have great interest to Shirley, she says, “I like to imagine the lives of the folks that lived there. They represent a disappearing heritage of our country’s past.” Shirley is also involved with archaeology. She is on the board of the Montana Archaeological Society. She has visited nearly 100 pictograph and petroglyph sites in the northwest. She incorporates these interests and images in her paintings on occasion. She also paints tepees to represent the different tribal cultures of the northwest.  Shirley believes an artist should paint what they love and what inspires them; this is what breathes life and spark into a piece.


July 16, 2017

Artist of the Month reception

~ Zach Babat, painter

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Zach was taken from us too soon, but his legacy will live on forever in his art. Zach was a professional artist and Alaskan Bush Pilot. He split his time between Montana and Alaska, the two states with the best fish and wildlife in the world.  Zach spent over 20 year years as an outdoor guide and professional bush pilot. These experiences gave Zach his inspiration for his artwork. Zach had the opportunity to get face to face with the wildlife species of the west.  Zach said, “It is the close interaction with the animals, their personalities I try to capture not just the horns, claws and teeth.”  Zach used watercolor paint, both transparent and opaque, exclusively to bring the animals and fish to life. Zach perfected the use of canvas board for his paintings, which eliminated the need for glass. Most people viewing his original artwork don’t realize they are watercolor because of the vividness of the colors and lack of glass.  Zach’s wife, Kerry, will continue his legacy by continuing to offer prints and select originals for sale. In addition, multiple books are in the process of being written using Zach’s artwork. A Zach Babat Scholarship fund is also in the process of being created. 


July 18, 2017

Notable authors lecture series at the Linderman Cabin, Laurin, MT

Bob Brown presented a program on Dorothy Johnson

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The EHAHC, in partnership with the Virginia City Preservation Alliance, sponsored their fourth series of history programs in 2017.  Once again, the programs were held in the beautifully restored cabin of Frank Bird Linderman; on the grounds of the historic Robber’s Roost near Laurin, MT.  The general theme of the 2017 series focused upon notable Montana authors.

Dorothy Johnson (1905 - 1984) was the author of numerous articles and books on western history and fiction. She is Montana's foremost writer of western fiction.  Her three most notable works, The Hanging Tree, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and A Man Called Horse, were made into movies. She grew up in Whitefish, where her talents as a writer quickly became apparent in her first jobs with the Whitefish and Kalispell newspapers. She sold her first article in the 1930's to the Saturday Evening Post for $400.00.  She wrote prolifically for the rest of her life.  Her nonfiction books include The Bloody Bozeman and the Bedside Book of Bastards.  During the course of her career she was a researcher at the Montana Historical Society, Manager of the Montana Press Association, and taught creative writing at the University of Montana.

Bob Brown is a native Montanan and a “shirt-tail” relative of the Linderman family.  He is a Navy veteran, earned a degree in history from MSU, was a high school history teacher, and served for 26 years in the Montana Legislature; as Secretary of State and concluding as President of the State Senate.  Although officially retired, he is a visiting lecturer on the American Civil War at the University of Montana, a contributing columnist to several Montana newspapers, and on the Board of Directors for the Montana Historical Society.

Financial support for this series was provided by Humanities Montana and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


June 30, 2017

Ken Egan book reading

Montana 1864, Hope and Dread in Montana Literature, and Writers Under the Rims: A Yellowstone County Anthology.

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Ken Egan has served as the executive director of Humanities Montana since 2009. He earned his B.A. in English at the University of Montana, his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught English at Middlebury College, Rocky Mountain College, and Drury University.  He served as department and divisional chair at Rocky and Drury and sat on the board of Humanities Montana (then Montana Committee for the Humanities) from 1989 to 1992. Egan is a member of the Leadership Montana Class of 2013. His books include Montana 1864, Hope and Dread in Montana Literature, and Writers Under the Rims: A Yellowstone County Anthology.

Financial support for this series was provided by Humanities Montana and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


June 25, 2017

Jack Horner : Why Dinosaurs had Horns, Shields, Spikes,and other Accoutrements

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Paleontologist Jack Horner discovered the first dinosaur eggs in the Western Hemisphere, the first evidence of dinosaur colonial nesting, the first evidence of parental care among dinosaurs, and the first dinosaur embryos.  

Horner's research covers a wide range of topics about dinosaurs, including their behavior, physiology, ecology and evolution. Due to struggles with the learning disability, dyslexia, Horner does not hold a formal college degree but was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Montana in 1986. Also in 1986 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.  

He's the retired Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, and is widely acknowledged to be the inspiration for the main character in the book and film Jurassic Park.


June 9, 2017

Artist of the Month reception

~ Richard Flager, sculptor/painter/photographer

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Richard Flager was born and raised in Sheridan Montana and has resided in this great state his whole life. Richard has always been interested in all forms of art and the intricate detail of nature. Detail is what you will see in all forms of his art including the beautiful curves and smoothness of his sculpture capturing a statement in each art piece. Richard moves into the exquisite colors of natural flora of Montana down to the most delicate dewdrop. View the numerous photographs that this artist has taken while in the back hills of Montana so prevalent of the beautiful valleys and mountains of the Sheridan and Dillon Montana countryside. Totem Poles are the most current artwork being constructed by Mr. Flager and at times you will see him with a double hood jacket and sweatshirt outside in the cold working on his lates Totem Pole. This wonderful Montana artist has a variety of ways expressing his artistic talent.