If you’re looking for a last minute road trip in Montana or if you’re in nearby North and South Dakota- check it out: This Saturday night famed Montana artist Monte Dolack will be joining pianist/composer Phillip Aaberg from Chester, Montana along with the Montana Wild Cats Jazz Trio for a live concert at Makoshika State Park near Glendive. (You can fly from Billings, MT to Glendive for only $50…www.capeair.com)
I had a chance to talk with the artists, as well as Chas Van Genderen- the head of Montana State Parks. Click here to listen to the full 12 minute interview. If you’re like me and you love Montana and grew up seeing Monte Dolack paintings- you’ll enjoy listening… (btw- if you have a smart phone, just click on the audio link at the podcast page with your smart phone and you should be able to start listening from your phone)
Background info sent from Montana State Parks:
· Montana State Parks is celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Park System.
· Makoshika is the largest state park in the 55 state park system and was acquired Nov 10, 1953
· Phil Aaberg is a grammy-nominated pianist/composer. He is from Chester. He has written compositions titled “Marias River Breakdown” and “Makoshika” … Marias River is a state park.
· A Monte Dolack painting is featured on the cover of one of Phil’s albums.
· Monte is introducing Phil and the Montana Wild Cats Jazz Trio at all three Music in the Parks concerts. (the first two concerts have already happened at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park amphitheater, Giant Springs State Park – and were great)
· Makoshika concert is Saturday, June 28 from 5pm – 7:30pm in the amphitheater – limited seating. It seats 250 – the concert is FREE to the public. FREE tickets are available at the Makoshika Visitor Center or by calling Makoshika at 406-377-6256. They are moving fast.
· Monte Dolack is in his second year partnering with Montana State Parks. This year Montana State Parks has released a commemorative Dolack print called “Smith River in June”. The print is based on a commissioned painting Dolack did for Montana State Parks with funding donated by the Lee and Donna Metcalf Charitable Foundation. All proceeds from the sale of the prints benefit Montana State Parks. The painting has been gifted to Montana State Parks and is hanging in the State Capitol through the end of the year.
· Montana State Parks saw record visitation last year in 2013. 2.1 million visits to 55 state parks.
· Montana State Parks receive no hunting and fishing license dollars and no general fund. We are a Division of Fish, Wildlife & Parks and are completely separately funded. We are one of the largest state park systems in the US on one of the smallest budgets.
· Montana State Parks largest source of funding is the $6.00 annual, optional vehicle registration “state parks fee” .
· The Music in the Parks concerts are part of an exciting year celebrating our 75th Anniversary http://stateparks.mt.gov/about-us/anniversary.html
· Makoshika concert is sponsored by “Visit Glendive!”, “Montana’s Outdoor Legacy Foundation”, “Friends of Makoshika” in partnership with Montana State Parks.
· Montana State Parks 75th Anniversary year other exciting things. SUBWAY ® restaurants in Montana are the proud sponsor of Montana State Parks. Visit SUBWAY and purchase a Montana State Parks “picnic picks” – buy a sub and enjoy a picnic at a state park. Like Montana State Parks on FB and automatically receive a FREE SUBWAY buy one/get one free coupon and entered for a chance to win one of 6 ($25 dollar) gift cards and some Montana State Parks apparel. The actor Sam Elliott has narrated our TV and radio spots running statewide. We have a new Montana State Parks Guidebook out for sale – visit our online store at stateparks.mt.gov. The book was written by two reporters from the Great Falls Tribune who visited all 55 state parks… and has an introduction by Governor Bullock. A portion of the proceeds from the book benefit Montana State Parks. The second generation of our APP.
· Montana State Parks has a new Montana State Parks & Recreation Board that is currently working with stakeholders and the public on a strategic plan –a vision for the state parks system for the next decade. Our challenges are finding stable sources of funding, for adequate staff and infrastructure updates and maintenance.