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Tuesday, Jan. 29th, 2019

Commissioner of Political Practices dismisses complaint against Bozeman

 The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices (CoPP) has issued a decision dismissing Roger Koopman’s ethics and campaign practices complaint against the City of Bozeman related to the City’s efforts to educate the public regarding the Bozeman Public Safety Center. The complaint, first filed by Mr. Koopman in Gallatin County District Court, was proactively filed by the City with the Commissioner’s office on December 3, 2018.  After a thorough investigation, the Commissioner has dismissed the complaint after finding there is not sufficient evidence the City violated any campaign practice laws.

Mayor Cyndy Andrus says, “We have been confident in the work we did to educate the public about the Bozeman Public Safety Center. The decision by the Commissioner of Political Practices only reinforces that confidence.”

“We appreciate the Commissioner and his office for expediting the decision so that we can move forward and bring this project to the Bozeman community,” she adds.

Given the Commissioner’s decision, the City will request Mr. Koopman voluntarily dismiss the complaint he filed against the City in Gallatin County District Court. The City will also immediately file a motion with the District Court requesting it act quickly to dismiss Mr. Koopman’s complaint so construction of the Bozeman Public Safety Center can move forward as soon as possible.

“The Commissioner has made his decision. Now we need to resolve the complaint filed in District Court so we can take the appropriate next steps to build the center,” says City Manager Andrea Surrat.

Due to construction and inflation costs, every month that the project is delayed due to litigation could cost taxpayers approximately $200,000.

The Bozeman Public Safety Center passed by a 60% vote of Bozeman residents on November 6, 2018. It provides a solution to the pressing needs of Fire, Police, Municipal Court, and Victim Services.

The Commissioner of Political Practices decision can be viewed here as well as on the City of Bozeman’s website atwww.bozeman.net/safetycenter

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Friday, Jan. 25th, 2019

MSU-led team featured in international media for Antarctic discovery

An expedition led by a Montana State University polar scientist has made international headlines following the unexpected discovery of the remains of tiny animals in a lake beneath more than a half mile of Antarctic ice.

The discovery by scientists on the Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access project, or SALSA, has been featured prominently in the international science journal Nature, as well as in the Guardian newspaper, Axios, El País, New Scientist, Gizmodo and Smithsonian magazine, among others.

The news attention focuses on what the scientists found in mud pulled up from the dark waters of Antarctica’s Mercer Subglacial Lake on Dec. 30: the remains of tiny crustaceans and tardigrades, tiny animals also known as “water bears.”

The 62-square-mile subglacial lake was discovered with satellite imagery more than a decade ago and had never been explored before. It’s located about 370 miles from the South Pole.

The 45 SALSA scientists, drillers and support staff had bored a hole some 3,500 feet to the bottom of the ice sheet that covers the lake hoping to find mud samples full of living organisms. Indeed, the lake water was teeming with bacteria, but the remains of crustaceans and tardigrades were unexpected.

The researchers are examining how the creatures may have come to be where they were found and what that says about Antarctica’s history, past periods of thawing or geological upheaval.

Project leader John Priscu, a Montana University System Regents Professor in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences in MSU’s College of Agriculture, and MSU principal investigators John Dore, also from the LRES department, and Mark Skidmore, from the Department of Earth Sciences in the College of Letters and Science, were interviewed in several media outlets after the news of the discovery broke on Jan. 18.

In the SALSA field blog, Priscu noted that the data and samples collected provide yet another look at the subglacial world. “We have no doubts that our results will transform the way we view Antarctica and pave the way for future national and international subglacial research efforts,” he wrote.

This was the second Antarctic subglacial lake expedition for both Priscu and Skidmore, who have been investigating icy ecosystems for 35 years and 25 years, respectively, in Antarctica, the Arctic and mountainous regions worldwide. In 2014, the pair, along with Dore and other MSU researchers, published the discovery of microscopic life in the Whillans Subglacial Lake in the journal Nature and received worldwide attention. The lake’s exploration was named one of the top science stories of 2013 by Discover magazine.

The SALSA field blog can be found at: https://salsa-antarctica.org/blog/.

Follow SALSA Antarctica on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Wednesday, Jan. 23rd, 2019

Free general admission into Museum of the Rockies to all furloughed federal employees and up to four additional family members

WHAT:                
Free general admission into Museum of the Rockies to all furloughed federal employees and up to four additional family members. Children age four and under are always free.

WHERE:             
Museum of the Rockies, 600 W. Kagy Blvd., Bozeman, MT 59717. 

WHEN:                
From Wednesday, January 23, 2019, until the federal government shutdown ends. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

DETAILS: 
Museum of the Rockies welcomes furloughed federal employees and their family to explore the museum's educational exhibits and stellar planetarium shows FOR FREE during the federal government shutdown. The offer includes up to four family members per visit. Children age 4 and younger are always free. To receive free general admission, furloughed employees must show their federal ID or badge at the front desk. This offer will last until the government shutdown ends. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m

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Tuesday, Jan. 22nd, 2019

MSU/MTN post-election poll finds independents, moderate Republicans tipped scale for Tester


A post-election poll by Montana State University political scientists and the Montana Television Network analyzing the behavior of Montana voters in the November election showed that a majority of independent voters and a small percentage of moderate Republicans who crossed party lines to vote for Democratic incumbent Jon Tester, were major factors in his re-election to the U.S. Senate.

The results of the MSU/MTN post-election poll, which  returned by 1,424 Montana voters, indicated that 61 percent of voters who consider themselves independent voted for Tester, while about half that many, or 34 percent of independents, cast their vote for Republican challenger Matt Rosendale.

David C.W. Parker, an MSU professor of political science who led a group of political analysts in both the post-election poll as well as a similar pre-election poll, said an additional seven percent of Republican voters who crossed party lines to vote for Tester also were essential to the Democrat’s victory.

Parker said the loud, expensive and contentious run-up to the November election and the four Montana visits by President Donald Trump had the effect of driving voters firmly to their ideological homes rather than changing minds.

The poll, released today by MSU and MTN, indicated strong party unity among Democratic voters. A full 99 percent of Democratic voters said they voted for Tester as opposed to 91 percent of Republican voters who said they voted for Rosendale. Parker said that analysis of the Republican cross-overs indicated that they were primarily older, male, educated moderate Republicans. “We call them country club Republicans,” he said.

Parker added that the unprecedented four trips to Montana by President Donald Trump to campaign against Tester, who offended Trump by opposing Trump’s nomination of Ronny Jackson as secretary of Veterans Affairs, also had a galvanizing effect on political affiliations of Montana voters. Tester serves as the ranking minority member of the Senate’s Committee of Veterans Affairs, and Jackson later withdrew his name. However, Trump vowed he would do whatever he could to defeat Tester, making the most presidential campaign visits to Montana in its history.

Forty-five percent of respondents to the MSU/MTN poll said their opinion of President Trump was a factor in the Senate election. Thirty percent said their vote was a vote in support of Trump and 24 percent said it was in opposition to Trump. A full 70 percent of respondents said they decided whom they would vote for more than four weeks before the election.

Parker said those results are important because they indicate that Montanans are independent-minded, they don’t necessarily approve of the job Trump is doing and a small amount of moderate Republicans are willing to break ranks to support an opposition candidate who they do think is doing a good job.

Parker said if there was an unintended beneficiary of Trump’s visits it was likely Greg Gianforte, the Republican incumbent for the Montana U.S. House seat running against Democratic challenger Kathleen Williams.

“Tester slightly outperformed pre-election polls, despite the visits, and did better than Williams,” Parker said. He said that historically voters in House elections tend to adhere to party lines and also more often vote for the incumbent in House races as opposed to Senate and national elections.

Parker said the galvanizing effects of the Trump visits and the amount of money that was spent on the election – Tester spent $20 million on the campaign and Rosendale spent more than $5 million-- likely resulted in voter turnout of 71 percent, high for a mid-term election.

“What ads tend to do is remind voters of their partisan values,” Parker said. “We see that most clearly with Republican voters. This is the same with the visits by Trump. What they did was voters were pushed back into their partisan camps.”

Also key in Tester’s victory, Parker said, was a very high turnout of young voters, particularly in Missoula and Gallatin counties “who overwhelmingly voted for Tester.”

While a large majority of independents voted for Tester, that was not the case for Williams, the post-election poll indicated. A slight majority – 53 percent of independents, which is not enough to swing an election in a Republican-leaning state – voted for Williams, as opposed to 43 percent for Gianforte. A full 99 percent of Democrats voted for Williams and 95 percent of Republicans voted for Gianforte.

Parker said he believes voter familiarity was more of a factor in Williams’ loss than gender. It was the first time that Williams had run for a statewide office and it was the third time that Gianforte had run.

The post-election poll also found that 53 percent of voters believed that Gianforte’s 2017 assault of journalist Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian newpaper, mattered a great deal or a good amount in their House vote. Unsurprisingly, those who viewed it as such overwhelmingly voted for Kathleen Williams: 95 percent saying it mattered a great deal voted for Williams versus only 7 percent of those saying it mattered not at all. Conversely, 90 percent indicating it mattered not at all voted for Congressman Gianforte.

The post-election poll was the second conducted in 2018 by MSU and MTN. The MSU-MTN poll quite accurately predicted the final vote in the House and Senate races. The pre-election poll predicted that Tester would win re-election by 3 points, and he won by 4. The same pre-election poll also predicted that Gianforte would win by 7.5 points and he won by 5 points. Parker said because the pre-election poll surveyed Montana voters who were registered by Aug. 14, the large number of voters registering after that date were not included in the post-election sample. This means younger voters in the survey’s sample are not likely representive of those who cast ballots overwhelmingly for Tester and Williams, particularly in Gallatin and Missoula counties.

The pre-election poll had 2,057 respondents. The follow-up post-election poll was mailed the day after the November election and collected between Nov. 8 and Dec. 14. There were 1,424 respondents to the post-election poll. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.6 percent.

Parker will release post-election poll analysis of Montana voter initiatives tomorrow. Thursday’s results will analyze popularity of Montana politicians among the state’s voters.

For more information about the survey results, go to http://helpslab.montana.edu/.

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Tickets On Sale 1/25 to Second Annual Moonlight MUSICFEST


Tickets for the 2nd Annual Moonlight MusicFest will go on sale Friday, January 25th at 10 am MT. Set at Madison Village, this year’s festival takes place August 16th – 17th, and once again will bring a wide array of stellar bands and music to the mountains of Montana.
 
The first 500 Full Festival General Admission tickets sold will be heavily discounted at $95, to reward those who commit early to attend.   Student ticket pricing (ages 12 & up) will also be available. Tickets are available on the website at moonlightmusicfest.com.
 
 Regular priced General Admission Tickets will be $145 for a full festival pass, with Friday and Saturday prices at $75 and $85 respectively. 
 
A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to The Moonlight Community Foundation and The Big Sky Arts Council.
 
The festival features two days of diverse national and local talent in Moonlight Basin’s Madison Base Area, set on the northside of Lone Peak with spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains.  Confirmed acts include Trampled By Turtles, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The War and Treaty, The Wood Brothers, Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers, Blackberry Smoke, and The Record Company, with more acts yet to be announced.
 
The weekend’s festivities will also include camping (tents, RVs and campers), arts & crafts vendors, food trucks, family events, and more in an unsurpassable setting.  Past festival-goers describe it as the “best music fest ever with spectacular scenery, camping, over the top music and a whole lot of dancing”. 
 
"We were thrilled to be a part of last summer's Moonlight MusicFest", says Matt Kidd, Managing Director of CrossHarbor Capital, whose Lone Mountain Land Company and Moonlight Basin were key backers of the event. "It was the first year of the festival, the lineup was exceptional and the turnout really proved that great music and a gorgeous venue are things people from all over want to be a part of. We’re looking forward building upon this success, and making year two, as well as every year to come, even better.”
 

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About Lone Mountain Land Company
Lone Mountain Land Company (LMLC), based in Big Sky, Montana, was started in 2014 by CrossHarbor Capital Partners. LMLC was formed specifically to bring a unified vision, operation, and thoughtful approach to CrossHarbor’s development of Spanish Peaks Mountain Club and Moonlight Basin. LMLC is a strategic partner with Boyne Resorts, owner of Big Sky Resort, who manages the ski operations at both Spanish Peaks and Moonlight Basin. In addition, to support the overall needs of the community, LMLC and the Simkins family have collaborated on the master planning and development of Big Sky’s growing Town Center. www.lonemountainland.com
 
About The Big Sky Real Estate Co.
Formed in 2016 by Lone Mountain Land Company, The Big Sky Real Estate Co. (BSRE) brings together the top brokers in Big Sky to deliver a thoughtful and consistent real estate buying and selling experience. As the leader in luxury real estate in Big Sky, The BSRE team and marketing outreach is unmatched. In addition to facilitating the sale of existing homes and properties in the area, The Big Sky Real Estate Co. is the exclusive sales partner of developer offerings at Spanish Peaks Mountain Club and Moonlight Basin. The company’s website (www.bigsky.com) is the leading real estate platform for Big Sky, offering premium visibility and reach for the company’s property listings. To speak with a real estate agent for more information, call: 888-617-6169 or email info@bigsky.comwww.bigsky.com
 
About Moonlight Basin
Moonlight Basin is a ski-in, ski-out community at the base of Lone Peak and Big Sky Resort, with direct access to vast public land areas including the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. Moonlight Basin includes extensive acreage for skiing, hiking, and mountain bike trails, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, summer and winter lakeside amenities at Ulery’s Lake, “Glamping” amenities,  Camp Moonlight for children during summer, and many other guided outdoor activities. The renovated Moonlight Lodge is open to Moonlight members for slopeside dining and aprés drinks. http://moonlightbasin.com
 

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MSU team brings immersive CAVE experience to campus Jan. 25-April 5


Humans made the first paintings and musical sounds in caves more than 35,000 years ago, and now a collaboration of Montana State University faculty and staff across campus is putting a contemporary and imaginative spin on the ancient art forms.
 
The NeuroCave Collaborative, an MSU-based interdisciplinary team made up of faculty and staff, created CAVE, an interactive, “artscience” installation that opens at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, in room 149 of Norm Asbjornson Hall. It will be on display through April 5.
 
Organizers said this is the first installation of CAVE on the MSU campus, which was first installed more than a year ago at the Holter Museum in Helena. The MSU installation, which is free and open to the public, is part of a set of events celebrating the opening of the new Norm Asbjornson Hall.
 
Members of the NeuroCave Collaborative include Sara Mast, art, John Miller, professor emeritus of neuroscience; Jessica Jellison and Bill Clinton, architecture; Linda Antas and Jason Bolte, music; Dave Millman and Brittany Fasy, computer science; Chris Huvaere, MSU Techlink; and Zach Hoffman, photography. Barry Anderson, an artist and professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, also participated.

 
Mast said the exhibit blurs the line between artist and participant, which is exciting. “When you are in the neuro-cave form with the headset on, you are the artist,” she said.
 
Mast said she got the idea for CAVE after she attended a lecture on cave art and neuroscience given by Miller about nine years ago. Miller had discussed how sensory deprivation in caves — the lack of light and oxygen specifically — apparently causes a common neurological reaction in humans that could explain the phenomenon of similar designs found in cave art around the world.

 
Over four years ago, she met with Jellison and Bolte, two faculty members with whom she had collaborated previously on the MSU artscience installation Black (W)hole, a work celebrating Albert Einstein. Ultimately, the resulting NeuroCave Collaborative was formed. The idea grew, as did the number of contributors, eventually giving rise to the CAVE project.

 
The interactive installation works like this: Participants put on a simple headset that monitors their brainwaves and then walk under one of three neuro-cave forms, which hang in the room. The forms are constructed of carbon fiber rods, 3D-printed connectors and fiber-optic filament. Through the use of neurofeedback transmitted through the headset to a small, hidden computer, the participants generate rhythmic and mesmerizing light and sound that is projected back into the room.

 
Mast calls the result an “immersive filmic and sonic environment that echoes cultural memory and connects our most rudimentary tools with our most technological ones.”
 
Additionally, when the computer program receives signals from the headset-wearing participants' brain activity that is similar to others in the room, the sound pulsates and the lights get brighter. The more similar the brainwave activity is, the faster the sound pulses and the brighter the lights. Developers said no data from participants is recorded; the experience is purely artistic and technological.

 
The installation is a demonstration of diverse MSU talent and expertise. For instance, Clinton, a master fabricator, worked with Jellison and Mast to co-create the neuro-caves, including the plastic connectors that he made in a 3D printer. He said each of the neuro-caves weighs less than a pound.
 
Bolte composed the ambient soundtrack, a 30-minute loop that includes recordings from the lowest cavern at Lewis and Clark Caverns. Antas programmed the sonification of the brainwave feedback.
 
Huvaere designed the lighting along a spectrum of cyan to magenta. Millman and Fasy programmed and fine-tuned the headsets and the computer that coordinates the installation. Jellison designed the layout of the space with the goal of making it a 3D, immersive experience, while Mast’s small paintings photographed in her studio were used to generate the surround animation created by Hoffman. Miller, the neuroscientist, guided the science connection between the art, the technology and the participants’ brainwaves.

 
The NeuroCave Collaborative trained MSU student docents who will help guide the visitors in the multi-sensory installation.
 
Mast said that CAVE taps into the latest technology “but also reminds us of our creative origins—of humanity’s first known images, our first art installations, our first architectural spaces and our first animations in the flickering torchlight of caves.”
 
The CAVE installation will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, through April 5. To learn more about CAVE see: http://www.montana.edu/cave/video.html.

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Thursday, Jan. 17th, 2019

Tickets on sale Jan. 25 for astronaut Scott Kelly lecture at MSU

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at all Bobcat ticket outlets for the April 4 lecture at Montana State University by Capt. Scott Kelly, a history-making U.S. astronaut who spent a year in space.

Kelly, who is also a bestselling author, is expected to discuss his space travel, share lessons on leadership, reflect on his commitment to discovery and tell stories of perseverance at the lecture, which is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m.

“We are honored to bring to MSU Capt. Kelly, who captivated the world with his 143-million-mile adventure in space,” said Carmen McSpadden, director of the MSU Leadership Institute, which is hosting Kelly’s lecture.

Kelly’s achievements during his two-decade career earned him the coveted position as America’s first year-round astronaut. On his mission that began in March 2015 and ended in March 2016, Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko conducted experiments, reconfigured station modules and captivated millions with live interviews and never-seen-before photos from the International Space Station.

Kelly’s New York Times bestselling memoir, “Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars,” was published in 2017 and has been optioned as a Hollywood film by Sony Pictures. “Infinite Wonder,” a book of photographs that Kelly took from space, was published this fall.

Tickets to the MSU lecture are $10 for students and $20 for members of the public. There will also be $50 VIP seats, which will be located on the first three rows of the floor. Tickets are available at the Bobcat Ticket Office, all TicketsWest outlets and ticketswest.com. There are convenience fees of $2.50 for the $10 tickets, $3.50 for the $20 tickets and $8.50 for the $50 tickets. In addition, there is a service charge for tickets purchased online, at TicketsWest outlets and over the phone.

Kelly’s lecture is sponsored by the MSU Leadership Institute, the MSU Office of the President, the Associated Students of MSU, the Office of the Provost, MontanaPBS, the College of Letters and Science, the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, the Honors College, Veteran Services and Murdoch's Ranch and Home Supply.

For more information, call the MSU Leadership Institute at 406-994-7275 or visit www.montana.edu/leadership or facebook.com/MSULeadershipInstitute.

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Tuesday, Jan. 15th, 2019

Bozeman Symphony Presents FREE Themed Family Concerts “Matthew Potter and the Tuba of Fire”


The Bozeman Symphony Orchestra will perform two free family concerts: 10:30 am and 1:00 pm on Saturday, February 9th at the Willson Auditorium located in downtown Bozeman.  Each performance is 50 minutes in length and will feature a kid-friendly, fun-filled program titled Matthew Potter and the Tuba of Fire written by Matthew Savery and Soren Kisiel of Broad Comedy and starring Paige Johnson of the Verge Theater. With guest appearances by Dumbledorff, Matthew Potter, Flying Monkeys, the Phantom of the Opera, and an invisible conductor taking the stage, this program is sure to delight audiences of all ages. The concerts feature popular music from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Wizard of Oz, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and more. Before the musical adventure with the orchestra begins, an instrument petting zoo, courtesy of Eckroth Music, will be available. Kids and kids at heart are encouraged to enjoy this hands-on learning of the instruments that compose a symphony.

 
A special presentation of Matthew Potter and the Tuba of Fire will be presented on Friday, February 8th, 2019, for fourth graders in the Bozeman Public Schools and surrounding areas. This performance is aimed to inspire young people to become life-long lovers of the performing arts.
 
These concerts would not be possible without strong community support and sponsorship. Thank you to David and Risi Ross for their season sponsorship, and to the Gilhousen Foundation and Montana Cultural Trust for sponsoring these performances.
 
Tickets may be reserved for free online at bozemansymphony.org or over the phone at 406-585-9774 and will be held for pickup at the Bozeman Symphony Office as late as Thursday, February 7th. The Symphony office is located at 1001 West Oak Street, Suite 110, Building C, Bozeman, 59715. Office hours are M-F, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

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Monday, Jan. 14th, 2019

Grant applications now available for iGraduate Montana Challenge Fund


Grant applications are now being taken for program proposals that help Montana high school students prepare for college or careers through a partnership between the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Office of Public Instruction.

The iGraduate Montana 2019-2020 Challenge Fund is accepting grant applications from schools, community organizations, tribal governments and post-secondary institutions at https://www.mus.edu/igraduateMontana/ until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Last year, iGraduate Montana awarded 15 grants  to schools and communities across the state.  Grants ranged from $2,000 to $10,000, and many focused on bringing relevant career and college skills to students through strategies such as apprenticeships, work-based learning, mentoring, dual enrollment, career fairs and college visits. The grant awardees   partner with Montana businesses and nonprofits to create opportunities for students to explore in-demand careers and gain real-world experience.

“Dennis and Phyllis Washington believe that giving youth access to a high-quality education is the single most important determinant of success in life, and we are proud to be part of a partnership whose sole purpose is to provide students with the resources and tools they need to succeed in school and in their careers,” said Mike Halligan, executive director of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation.

“This year Montana celebrates record high school graduation rates and must continue to work harder than ever to ensure more students graduate from high school and complete post-secondary opportunities,” saidClaytonChristian, Montana Commissioner of Higher Education. “These grants are critical in helping students understand the importance of graduating from high school and continuing on to either a college or an apprenticeship program.”

“It has been inspiring to watch the first round of iGraduate programs implemented in Montana communities,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen . “I look forward to strengthening existing partnerships and growing new ones as we build for the next steps in a student’s life. We must prepare all Montana students to be college- and career-ready.”

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Thursday, Jan. 10th, 2019

Public Library opens new business center

The City of Bozeman Public Library and Economic Development Department are proud to announce a new business mentoring program available to the people of the Gallatin Valley. This initiative is made possible thanks to a new partnership between the Bozeman Public Library, the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by TechStars at Montana State University, and Bozeman’s Small Business Development Center.

Individuals interested in receiving a one-on-one session can visit the Business Center page on the Bozeman Public Library website to sign up for a 20 minute consultation. Meetings will occur in the Library’s second-floor computer lab on Tuesday afternoons from 1:00 to 3:00 pm starting on January 15th. SBDC and the Blackstone LaunchPad will be providing mentors with broad experience in business and startups. All services are offered free of charge.

“It’s exciting to see our services expanding into the world of business,” says Kit Stephenson, director of Adult Programming and Outreach at the Library “So many libraries around the nation have begun to offer new resources and programs to business owners, and the Bozeman Library will keep looking for more ways to support our local entrepreneurs.”

“Libraries are economic development,” says Brit Fontenot, Bozeman’s Economic Development Director.  “Libraries have large impacts on business development, job creation and workforce development in communities around the world. Hosting the Blackstone Launchpad and the Small Business Development Center at the Bozeman Public Library for office hours provides critical access to an entirely new population of entrepreneurs and solopreneurs in Bozeman.  I hope it’s the first of many library and economic development partnerships.”

The Blackstone LaunchPad is situated on MSU’s campus and provides venture coaching and resources to entrepreneurs. The LaunchPad is also a driving force behind local programs like 406 Labs, 1 Million Cups, and The Local Crowd Bozeman.
 
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), hosted by the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, is part of a nationwide network of centers created by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC in Bozeman is overseen by Tom Walker, who provides counselling and assistance to business owners.

General questions can be directed to Kit Stephenson at kstephenson@bozeman.net or Brit Fontenot at bfontenot@bozeman.net. Inquiries about the Blackstone LaunchPad should be sent to Connor Harbison at connor@msulaunchpad.org. Tom Walker of the SBDC can be contacted directly at thomas.walker5@montana.edu.

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