MISSOULA – The Zootown Arts Community Center (ZACC) has provided classes and programs in arts of all kinds the community for many years.
They celebrated 10 years of progress and growth on Saturday by hosting local music and artists in the street, right in front of their building.
ZACC has been an incredible resource for many people, from printmakers to promoters But for many, this block party is bittersweet. ZACC is moving to the Studebaker building downtown so this was the last party held in the Northside/Westside neighborhood
"Finally going to have the space that we need. It’s a little bittersweet for us, we love the northside. We’ve loved being a part of this neighborhood but will still stay involved, will just be more community-wide now," ZACC executive director Kia Liszak said.
The last party celebrates the music of the ZACC, as their building can barely fit all of the programs that they now provide. For high school student, musician and rock camp educator Erin Szalda-Petree, the ZACC is an invaluable resource both as a teacher and a learner.
"I think the ZACC offers a unique opportunity to grow and learn in creative processes without it being a competitive environment," said Szalda-Petree, "I think it’s very beneficial to growing confidence in young kids. They have taught me so much about music and helped me a lot with getting out and playing different places in the community."
Offering roughly 8,700 hours of art classes ranging from comedy to printmaking, the need for a new space marks the last celebration of the northside/westside location.
"We wouldn’t have lasted ten years and be slated for this big growth period if it wasn’t for this community rallying around they arts and the important work that we do," Liszak said. "We see ourselves as a reflection of this community’s values."