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New Flathead Valley Community College performance hall attracting world-class talent

The McClaren Performance Hall is making a name for itself by attracting world-class talent.
FVCC Performance Hall
Posted at 4:52 PM, Apr 13, 2023

KALISPELL - An array of musical guests and speakers have visited the new state-of-the-art Wachholz College Center on the campus of Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell since November.

The 58,000 square foot facility is multi-faceted and is home to the 1,000-seat McClaren Performance Hall. In its first season in operation, the McClaren Performance Hall is making a name for itself, attracting world-class talent to the Flathead.

“Naturally can draw national tours, and kind of bigger name artists and speakers and bring that type of quality programming or presentation right here into our own backyard," said Wachholz College Center Director Matt Laughlin.

Laughlin said the variety of programming brings new flavor and experiences to Kalispell.

“Whether it’s educational speaker series, we have a national geographic live speaker series, the various concerts that we’re doing, even with the genres of music, you know whether it’s country, jazz, holiday shows, things like that,” added Laughlin.

On Friday, April 14, 2023, Annie Griffiths — one of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic — will speak at the college center, highlighting a life full of learning, joy, and perspective.

“I hope to help them understand how to connect with people, how to respect people, how to earn the right to take their pictures and how to have fun doing it,” said Griffiths.

Griffiths work has taken her to more than 150 countries, her presentation will include a slideshow of pictures, stories, and a question-and-answer portion with the audience.

“I just feel like we should all share, if we’re lucky enough to learn something, we should all share,” added Griffith.

Laughlin hopes to build off the momentum the performance hall has established in its first season.

“Instead of driving to Spokane or taking that flight to Salt Lake City, even heading down to Missoula sometimes, we’re bringing those shows and those events right here to the Flathead Valley.”

Tickets for Griffiths speaking event can be found here.