GREAT FALLS — The Mansfield Theater hosted the 41st annual Montana Performing Arts Consortium, or MPAC, on Saturday, October 14. A nonprofit organization, MPAC strives to facilitate the touring of performing arts throughout the state of Montana.
“This is the place where music happens in Montana first,” Ron DeStefano, representative for EPIC Arts Management said, “We're interacting with all of the various cities, towns and rural places throughout Montana.”
During the showcases on Saturday, artists across the United States and Canada were given 12 minutes to put on a miniature performance for the presenters, who decide which acts will perform where. As Executive Director Emily Wolfram explains, this is not limited to musical acts.
“Comedy, theater, dance, all of the music genres,” Wolfram said, “And if it's something that we think that Montana audiences will really enjoy or grow from we’ll try to get that in our showcase so it can be considered.”
Wolfram is driven to help bring worthwhile performance art to audiences across the state of Montana.
“I had the great fortune of growing up where I had access to a lot of really great performance experiences,” Wolfram said, “and I just feel like it's so important for everyone to have that here in my home in Great Falls, but also anywhere in Montana, like every community, every person deserves to experience really great art.”
MPAC works as a symbiotic relationship. The presenters are able to see up and coming acts that they might want to hire, and the performers are able to get direct exposure with the presenters.
“You know, if you want to be a performer, don't do it for the glamor,” Kate Voss, member of the duo Sundae + Mr. Goessl said, “Because the glamorous part of this job is really only about 10 to 15 percent of the time. It's mostly hard work. And so it's just great to see our hard work pay off and that people appreciate what we do.”
The conference is a fun event that works behind the scenes to keep the performing arts fresh and exciting for everyone involved.
“I love Montana. I love coming back here,” DeStefano said, “MPAC is the most amazing group of venues and professionals. It's a highlight of my year. I travel all over the world every week I'm in a different city for the music business, and this is always a highlight of my entire year, and I'm so happy to Great Falls for hosting the conference this year, and I look forward to what next year will bring.”
To learn more about MPAC or donate, head to mtperformingarts.org. For more information on Ron DeStefano and EPIC Arts Management, check out epicartsmanagement.com. To find out more about Kate Voss and Sundae + Mr. Goessl, head to funandfancymusic.com.