Connecting Art and Culture through Education, Advocacy, and Community.
Arts Missoula serves as a resource for the coordination, development, and support of art and culture for the benefit of the Missoula community, with the goals of:
- Advocating for public and private support of the arts.
- Encouraging collaborative efforts among local arts organizations.
- Educating community leaders and policymakers about the economic benefits of the arts. Celebrating the value of diverse cultures and helping our community understand its place in the world.
We acknowledge that we are on Indigenous land.
The Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys are the original homelands of the Séliš (Salish) and Qlispe (Pend d’Oreille/Kalispel) people who inhabited this land since time immemorial. This area was also frequented by other tribes including the Ksanka (Kootenai), Niitsitapi (Blackfeet), Newe (Shoshone), Apsáalooke (Crow), and Ka’I gwu (Kiowa).
We honor the original stewards of this land and their descendants, many of whom continue to live, work, teach, create and learn in this community. We are committed to showing gratitude for the land and its Indigenous peoples by respecting and remembering this in our thoughts and actions. Read more on our acknowledgments page here.
The Missoula Cultural Exchange, later known as the Missoula Cultural Council (MCC) and now Arts Missoula, was formed in February 1991 as the result of a two year public planning process. Literally hundreds of individuals and organizational representatives attended public meetings and contributed to the planning work. A written report, The Fabric of Missoula, provided the basis for the formation of a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the first local arts agency in the state.
The first Board of Directors was assembled in February 1991. The goal was to establish a balanced governing body, broadly representative of the community as a whole.
The Board of Directors adopted a three-year organizational plan which had been developed during the second phase of planning work. The priorities, programs and services are based on the planning work and the definition and criteria for a Local Arts (Cultural) Agency established by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies. In May, 1991 the Missoula Cultural Council was designated by the Missoula County Commissioners as an official cultural agency for Missoula County. City designation was approved by the board in May, 1992.
Arts Missoula operates with a philosophy of service to the public. Public meetings, focus groups and citizen task forces have played an integral part of many programs, activities and planning work.
With strong representation from the business community, the current Board of Directors, the staff and the Executive Director are continually refocusing Arts Missoula’s efforts to fulfill its mission and vision of arts and cultures in Missoula.