Foundation Events

Community Leaders Poetry Reading - Launched in 2008, this free public event celebrates poetry and prose every April with short readings by community leaders representing high school, college, local elected offices, and business and nonprofit organizations. 

Stephen Ambrose Memorial Lecture every fall. Distinguished speakers who have given a lecture include biographer Lorna Milne (2019), novelist Jamie Ford (2018), historian Stu Wilson (2017), Bozeman writer Paul R. Wylie (2016), UM Western Professor O. Alan Weltzien (2015), Billings author Russell Rowland (2014), and historian Hugh Ambrose.

Celebrating a Writer's Journey is an occasional event that was launched in 2016.  Visit the Writer's Journey page to learn more.


Other author events co-sponsored by the Foundation have included Alexander McCall Smith, Timothy Egan, Roz Chast, and Mary Jane Nealon.

The Foundation also hosted a Tribute to Ivan Doig in 2015 when his last novel was posthumously published. The event was one of 10 across the country organized to celebrate the release of Last Bus to Wisdom.

Bi-monthly artist receptions for local artists in addition to participating in Helena's Spring and Fall Art Walks (on hold until late 2020).

The Foundation provides the funding for the prizes to the top five winners of the Dear Author student program. Helena's students in 4th and 5th grade are invited to write a letter to an author of a book that made a difference in their lives. A panel of judges from the library selects three winners and two runner-ups and they win prizes for their school library as well as for themselves. The deadline is mid-January for an April award ceremony at the library.

Stay informed about Foundation events on our Facebook page, our website, and our Library Foundation e-mail news (sign up below).

Read about past events in the Year-in-Review newsletters.

Jamie Ford
Timpthy Egan
Jim Robbns
Virginia Reeves