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The Show Must Go On

  • Updated
  • 2 min to read

Over the course of the semester, Kaimin photographers have documented Missoula’s art scene, on and off campus, as it adapts to pandemic setbacks and regulations. From livestream concerts to art exhibitions, we’ve seen these adaptations in play. The Kaimin multimedia team has curated the following portraits as a testament to the resilience of local artists.

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Elijah Jalil glances at the sky during an outdoor practice session in Silver Park for his performance at KBGA radio’s Birthday Bash. The festival was live streamed in early September due to COVID-19. Before his album “Nothing to Say,” dropped in September, Jalil also performed on a bus for Mountain Line’s streaming sessions and filmed socially-distant music videos. 

(For more on Jalil, read “The Art of Resistance,” September 14, 2020) 



Visitors peruse a snake sculpture at the Clay Studio of Missoula in early November. Post-baccalaureate UM artists displayed their ceramic works during an end-of-semester show. Arrows on the ground marked the recommended path that viewers could take to socially distance and flow through the studio to look at the pieces.

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The UM Pacific Islanders Club performed a hula dance and chant on the Oval in celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day on Oct. 12, 2020. This was one of several events that took place throughout the day to celebrate, including a flag-raising and talks on Zoom.

(To get more info about Indigenous People's Day, read "Pacific Islanders pay tribute to Montana Indigenous people and lands," Oct. 12, 2020)


A performer at the Zootown Cabaret wipes down the microphone stand after singing at the outdoor concert outside of the Prescott House in early October. Performers wore masks during the show and wiped down the microphones and stands, and the audience sat on the grass socially distanced. 

(For more on Zootown Cabaret, read “The show goes on for Zootown Cabaret,” October 7, 2020)

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University of Montana dancer Noelle Huser hugs a cardboard audience member, a prop for her dance, "Limelight" during a rehearsal for the end-of-semester concert, Dance Up Close, on Nov. 2, 2020. The concert will be streamed on-demand, and features 10 solos- all pre-recorded. Some dancers created their performances for the black box Masquer Theatre while others choreographed and recorded dances in other environments. The performance can be streamed Nov. 12-22. 

(For more about Dance Up Close, read "'Dance Up Close:' Something Like Intimacy," Nov. 9, 2020)

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In early September, Sarah Schaefgen, left, and her husband, Peter, lead a small group in rhythm in Silver Park. The Schaefgens own Sacred Ally, an “empowerment arts” center, and this was their first Full Moon Drum Circle since COVID-19 hit Montana. They began the event by drumming together. Soon, four other drummers joined. “It’s nice to have people connect,” Peter said. “It makes a sense of community.” 

(For more on Sacred Ally, read “Drum circle channels lunar rhythm,” September 8, 2020)

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The Zootown Cabaret performs for a socially-distanced and masked audience outside of the Prescott House in early October. “We found music from composers that we weren’t very familiar with or familiar with at all,” Dr. David Cody said. Cody founded the cabaret and is the coordinator of musical theater in the School of Music at UM. 

(For more on Zootown Cabaret, read “The show goes on for Zootown Cabaret,” October 7, 2020) 


Ceramics students, separated by plexiglass dividers, work in UM’s Art Annex, separated by plexiglass dividers installed by maintenance. Due to the large class size and open workspace in the studio, the dividers were placed on the tables and between sides of the sinks, each student has access to disinfectant and their own labeled bin in which to keep their materials. Professor Julia Galloway praised UM maintenance staff for helping to make the studio accessible during the pandemic.

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The Norwell Band performs at Food for Your Ears, a socially-distanced concert and fundraiser, at Phyllis Washington Park Amphitheater in late September. It featured a multitude of local musicians, including The Fertile Crescent, Cosmic Sans, Emzee & Silas, Norwell Band and Elijah Jalil. The event raised enough money to provide more than 110,000 meals to Montanans in need. 

(For more about Food For Your Ears, check out  "Students and local musicians team up for musical fundraiser," Sept. 22, 2020)

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Theater-goers set up their chairs to watch Montana Repertory Theater's "The Fog," play, set against the backdrop of the the fire tower at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. Audience-members sat on blankets and camp chairs in socially distanced boxes marked out on the grass in front of the tower to facilitate a safe performance. 

(To read more about "The Fog", read "Montana Rep returns with socially-distanced theater with ‘The Fog'" 


UM dancer Maeve Fahey leans against a pillar on the south side of the Clapp Building at the beginning of her piece, “Sanctuary,” in the Dance on Location series. The dance was part of the annual Dance on Location performance, put on by the Creative Practice I class at the University of Montana. The dancers wore masks, as did the audience. The masks, in addition to the outdoor venue and locations that made social distancing easy allowed the concert to be COVID-19 safe.

(For more on Dance on Location, read “‘Dance on Location explores campus nooks and crannies,” September 22, 2020)


As part of Dance on Location, UM dancers Ashley Lindgren, top, Renee Ross, middle, and Rebecca White, bottom, perform a piece titled “Internal Scream” on the east side of the Social Sciences Building during Dance on Location. 

(For more on Dance on Location, read “‘Dance on Location explores campus nooks and crannies,” September 22, 2020)

(For more about The National Parks in Missoula, check out "The National Parks bring campfire jams to a Missoula backyard," Oct. 1, 2020)


UM dancer Augustus Ballantine performs in the Dance Underground concert in Toole Park in early October. Dance Underground was pre-recorded, then streamed online to ticket holders as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, rather than the typical format for a dance concert. 

(For more on Dance Underground, read “‘Dance Underground’ to surface in video form,” October 11, 2020) 

Read more about how performers and artists have adapted to COVID-19