Fine Arts in Bozeman reflect the pioneering spirit of the first settlers of Gallatin Valley. Residents of Bozeman have a long history of gathering human and financial resources and establishing venues like the Emerson Center for the Arts and community organizations such as the Bozeman Symphony. Hardly any other community of under 40,000 people can boast of a culture as dynamic as Bozeman's.
Bozeman attracts a variety of talented music artists and Montana State University has an ambitious Shakespeare in the Park series. From the down home sounds of country music to spicy jazz and DJ's spinning funky beats, Bozeman is home to many genres of concert events.
Throughout the year, many establishments within Bozeman host amazing concerts. Located on the campus of Montana State University, the largest and most prevalent venue is Brick Breeden Fieldhouse which can hold more than 6,000 spectators and, when not occupied by a concert event, is home to the Bobcat basketball teams. With seating that gives you the feel of being on stage, the fieldhouse offers a friendly atmosphere to enjoy any style of music.
With many pubs and restaurants located in downtown Bozeman, the opportunities for concert events are plentiful. With most of the establishments being rather small in size, the intimateness of each concert event is at a maximum. Due to Bozeman being a college town, most of the music that enters the valley is oriented towards a younger crowd. But that doesn't mean if you're over the age of 30 you still can't find fun concert events to attend. Along with contemporary music events, Bozeman attracts symphonies and classical ensembles.
Here are just a few of Bozeman's Cultural Highlights:
- Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, recently the subject of a New York Times feature article, calls Bozeman home. They travel the state headlining such classics as Romeo and Juliet and Molier's "Tartuffe" and perform locally under the lazy summer's backdrop of conifers at MSU's duck pond. Independent theatre also thrives in Bozeman. Both the Vigilante and Equinox Theatre Companies regularly perform to sold out audiences.
- Season after season some of the finest and most exhilarating classical performances are offered to residents by the Bozeman Symphony. Matthew Savery, Musical Director and Conductor, continues to lead this fine group of musicians, entertaining the symphony lovers. The evidence of success and enjoyment of the programs are plainly shown by the sold-out concerts.
- The Intermountain Opera offers Bozeman area residents the finest opera production season after season. Both community events highlight local talents and often bring in guest performances form world reknown artists. You would have to search long and hard to find a more spectacular array of talent for a community this size.
- In addition to artists who reside in Bozeman, internationally acclaimed acts such as Bob Dylan, BB King and Tom Petty have performed at Montana State University's Field House.
- The weekly Farmers' Market, open July through September, offers newcomers the chance to mix with the locals in a tradition that dates back to Bozeman's settlement roots. Local craftsmen, potters, jewelers, glass blowers, tapestry artists and musicians gather at the fairgrounds with farmers and ranchers to sell their wares and entertain.
- The Sweet Pea Festival in August brings people from across the United States for three days of eclectic music, arts, crafts and cuisine. Lindley Park, located at the East end of the Historic District on Main Street, houses the festivities each summer, then transforms into a cross-country ski course every winter.
- Each Christmas season many residents look forward to the annual Nutcracker by the Montana Ballet, as well as year round guest appearances from local and national dance celebrities.
- The Emerson Cultural Center, located on South Grand Ave., is actually a former school building on the National Register of Historic Places. ECC is home to an eclectic group of galleries, artists studios and performance groups. In the galleries and studios, visitors may view and purchase the latest works of local artists and crafters, and a cafe that offers a unique dining experience. Throughout the year performances including everything from jazz to community theatre take place in ECC's theater.