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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 Jeannette Rankin, Paxson, and Russell schools have created original monster drawings for artists to reimagine.


Gallery Opening: Friday, October 6, 2023, 5-8 PM

Head over to the ZACC at 216 W Main St on Friday, October 6, anytime between 5-8 PM for the 2023 Missoula Monster Project Gallery Opening! The ZACC bar will be open and folks will be able to purchase beverages for their enjoyment during the event. Monsters will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis – so arrive early to snag your favorite! The 9th Annual Missoula Monster Project Opening will also feature the album release party for Cowboy Andy & the Salamanders from 5 to 7 PM in the ZACC Show Room – totally free and open to all ages! Bring your kids, check out all the monsters, and rock out with Cowboy Andy & the Salamanders! There will also be MONSTER CAKE. Did we mention this is all FREE?!

The 9th Annual Missoula Monster Project will remain on display in our Main Gallery through the month of October, and purchased monsters can be taken home on October 31, so they can enjoy their favorite holiday with their new owners. Monster purchases support youth education programming at the ZACC, and are a 100% donation.

For those who are far away and can't come to the ZACC for our in-person opening, don't fret – the 9th 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 on Tuesday, October 10 for a link to our VIRTUAL MONSTER 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 Jeannette Rankin, Russell, and Paxon Elementary
Number of Child Artists 189
Number of Adult Artists 189
Total Monsters Created To Date 3,446




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