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Annual Events


Every school year, the Zootown Arts Community Center works in collaboration with the MCPS Fine Arts Department to produce the Missoula Monster Project, one of our most beloved annual events. Originally conceived by nine year-old Asa Smetanka, the Missoula Monster Project is always a collaboration between school children and adult artists. Kindergartners draw a monster from their incredible imaginations, and adult artists recreate these monsters in their own medium. This year kindergarten classes from Rattlesnake, Lewis and Clark, and Hawthorne schools have created original monster drawings for artists to reimagine. We love them all, and this year’s creative geniuses are in for a treat. Each child’s monster has been given to two adult artists, all of whom recreated the monster in their own medium. The kids will be able to see their monster come to life in multiple ways!


In-Person Gallery Opening: Friday, October 1, 2021, 5-8 PM

Head over to the ZACC at 216 W Main St on Friday, October 1, anytime between 5-8 PM for the 2021 Missoula Monster Project Gallery Opening! Please note that masks are required for ZACC visitors at this time. Masks may be removed for beverage consumption, but we ask that they please be worn at any time when not actively drinking. Attendees may have to wait in line outside for their turn to view the monsters in order to maintain a safe capacity. The ZACC bar will be open and folks will be able to purchase beverages for their enjoyment during the event. The ZACC will also be open all weekend (as usual!), so feel free to stop by and see the show after the opening if you prefer a more private experience.

For those who are far away and can't come to the ZACC for our in-person opening, don't fret – the 7th Annual Missoula Monster Project will also be shoppable online! All youth and adult monsters will be viewable through a link on our website following the in-person opening. Some of the monsters will have been purchased by the time our online monster shop is live (as parents of youth artists always have first dibs), but many will still be available. We have a goal this year to FIND A HOME FOR EVERY MONSTER, so feel free to share the virtual gallery far and wide!

Check back the week of October 3 through October 9 for a link to the 2021 Missoula Monster Project Virtual Gallery.

Due to the nature of the project, each year the Missoula Monster Project changes slightly. We usually work with three different schools, rotating yearly, and the number of participants varies dependent on school enrollments. This year we're proud to host:

Represented Schools Lewis & Clark, Rattlesnake, and Hawthorne Elementary
Number of Child Artists 167
Number of Adult Artists 334
Total Monsters Created To Date 2,724




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