University of Montana COVID-19 Oral History Project

Tom Bensen Interview, July 20, 2020


Tom Bensen


Michael Larmann



Download Audio Interview (253.1 MB)

Download Transcript of Tom Bensen interview (276 KB)


Executive Director of Arts Missoula Tom Bensen discusses how COVID-19 impacted Missoula's art community and industry. He notes that it has contributed to the uncertainty that the art industry faces in the future. Bensen emphasizes his optimism for the future and how the pandemic might lead to a stronger appreciation for the arts. He also talks about how many of Art Missoula's local and international events, such as those connected to the International Sister Cities program, were canceled due to the pandemic. Bensen explains how the pandemic has affected the SPARK! program that introduces community art into the Missoula public school system.


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Document Type

Oral History


COVID-19 pandemic; Global pandemic; Public history; Western Montana; Coronavirus pandemic; Public health and safety; Missoula County; Montana public health; Social distancing; Masks; Arts Missoula; Non-profit art organizations; Art, Montana; Culture, Montana; Events planning; International Sister Cities program; Educational programs; Art, Public schools

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

University of Montana COVID-19 Oral History Project, OH 475, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 475-003

Media Type

Moving Image; Sound; Text

Original Format

1 MP4 (00:56:39 min.): digital + 1 transcript (14 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

video/mp4; application/pdf

Run Time

00:56:39 minutes

Local Filename

OH_475_003.mp4; OH_475_003.pdf

Tom Bensen Interview, July 20, 2020