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WMPAC exhibits an international flavor in February


BIG SKY – Visitors to the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center will be treated to visual experiences of Russia, Iran and Tonga this month.

Lone Peak High School senior Dasha Bough’s visual exploration of the evolution of a Russian princess from the czarist period to present, titled “Russia through the ages” is currently on display at WMPAC. During her Feb. 11 opening, which starts at 5 p.m., Bough will also present two short videos of sand art animations she created as part of the exhibit.

Bough, who plans to study art and Slavic Studies when she enrolls at Harvard this fall, said through the exhibit she aims to document Russian history and its effect on the Russian soul, through the embodiment of a Russian heroine.

ToriPintar_iranBough lived in Moscow until the age of 5 and spends a month in St. Petersburg every summer, where she studies at the Imperial Art Academy, known for its emphasis on Classical and Russian art. “I think that combination was lethal for my personality, that got me hooked,” she said.

The following week marks the opening of a photojournalism-oriented exhibit by Montana wedding photographers Tori Pintar and David Clumpner.

Pintar, a Big Sky local, fulfilled a long-held dream when she visited Iran in November for two-and-a-half weeks. “Now more than ever it feels so important to broaden our exposure to parts of the world that we only have a sliver of exposure to, countries like Iran, and Muslims as a whole,” she said, adding that she found Iranians to be “kind, curious and incredibly warm.”

As part of that exhibit, former Peace Corps volunteer David Clumpner will present his family portraits of an island populated by 300 people in the South Pacific country of Tonga.

Accomplished photojournalist and Big Sky local Rich Addicks will conduct a Q-and-A on photography, travel and photojournalism at 7 p.m., during their Feb. 17 opening.

“I think Rich is going to ask pretty interesting and prying questions that will get great answers out of me that I don’t exist yet,” Clumpner said of the forum.

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MSU Extended University offers fundamentals of investing course


BOZEMAN – Montana State University’s Extended University will offer a non-credit course on the fundamentals of successful investing.

The course meets from 6:15-8:15 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 15 through March 8 at MSU. Parking is free on campus after 6 p.m.

The course is intended for people who want to start investing or to gain a greater understanding of investments already in place.

Instructor Jason Hundhausen will teach new or inexperienced investors the fundamentals of investments and offer information about the process of successfully investing in today’s marketplace.

Participants should gain a good working understanding of the basic processes for constructing a portfolio based on a set of goals and a financial plan; the various methods used to select specific investments; and a strategy for putting their plan in place.

Hundhausen is an asset management specialist in Bozeman who is especially passionate about helping novice investors. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MSU and a master’s from Purdue University. His rigorous and principled approach to investing and attention to detail replicate his engineering mindset and are key characteristics of his investment philosophy.

Participants may register online at or call MSU Extended University at (406) 994-6683.

School technology director receives Boyne innovation award


In addition to many other perks for educators and students of the Big Sky School District, Big Sky Resort offers an additional award—complete with a season ski pass—to educators who go above and beyond expectations using innovative techniques. This year, the winner of the Boyne Innovation and Excellence in Education Award is Andrew Blessing, the school district’s technology director.

Blessing’s job description doesn’t require any interaction with students, just computers. But for Blessing, the ability to work with students in his new position was a perk of working in the district.

And so, in his past three years on the job, Blessing has expanded his work in the district to include what he calls, “the fun stuff.” It was that decision—to start the tech club, to join the jazz band, and to take on a student intern—that earned Blessing the new Boyne innovation award.

In addition to the special innovation award, Big Sky has also offered teachers the opportunity to apply for the Boyne Excellence in Education Award, which gives season ski passes to all teachers in the district who offer extra teaching hours outside of the school day, which result in demonstrable education gains.

Additionally, the resort company provides season passes for all students in the district from kindergarten through eighth grade, passes for teachers on ski days, half-price rentals and ski lessons, and less-expensive frequency cards, among other gifts and donations.

Joseph T. O'Connor is the previous Editor-in-Chief for EBS newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine.

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