News & Events
Stephen Ambrose Memorial Lecture every fall. Distinguished speakers who have given a lecture include author Gerry Robinson (2022) at right, novelist Scott Hibbard (2020) at left, 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 (2011). Read more about the Ambrose Memorial Lecture.
Celebrating a Writer's Journey was launched in 2016 to celebrate Helena writer and educator, Virginia Reeves (at left). Journalist and nature writer Jim Robbins and poet Melissa Kwasny (at right) followed in 2018 and 2020, respectively. In 2023, Caroline Patterson visited from Missoula and took us on her writer's journey. Visit the Writer's Journey page for details. Watch the 2020 Celebrating a Writer's Journey interview with Melissa Kwasny by then board member Virginia Reeves.
Helena Reads Poetry! (formerly the Community Leaders Poetry Reading) - Launched in 2009, this free public event celebrates poetry and prose every April (during National Poetry Month) with short readings by ten members of our community invited by the Foundation board of directors. After a break (due to the library remodel and a very inconvenient pandemic), the event resumed in 2023 with a new name. Visit the Helena Reads Poetry! page for details and the 2023 Mid-Year in Review for a recap of the event.
Other author events co-sponsored by the Foundation have included Alexander McCall Smith, Timothy Egan, Roz Chast, Mary Jane Nealon, Amor Towles, and Shelby Van Pelt.
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 and Downtown Helena's Spring and Fall Art Walks were cancelled during the pandemic. We resumed artist receptions in 2023 with Jennifer L. Thompson, Richard Swanson, and Larry Copenhaver.