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SLAM Festival shines spotlight on local, statewide musicians and creators

Posted at 7:51 PM, Aug 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-04 21:53:37-04

BOZEMAN — The SLAM Festival, which stands for “support local artists and musicians”, showcases performers and artists across the state.

Wes Urbaniak, a Billings musician and lead singer of Wes Urbaniak and the Mountain Folks, says the event provides a great opportunity for local musicians to be heard.

“Something Montana struggles with is if you’re from here, sometimes it feels like they don’t want you,” said Urbaniak.

“And it feels good to feel wanted as a musician and an artist in your own community.”

This year, the SLAM festival had live musical performances, artist demonstrations, arts and crafts for kids and adults, and delicious treats sold by Montana vendors.

The event is in its ninth year, and Executive Director Callie Miller says it was the biggest and best yet.

“Everybody that participates in SLAM is a resident of the state and has connections to the community that we like to really make sure are solidified and established at this festival,” said Miller.

“We want our artists and musicians to be able to connect with our community members and SLAM is a great place for them to do that.”

The Artists Market touts some of the best emerging and award-winning craftsmanship in the area.

This year’s SLAM festival features fifty plus artists, all from the state of Montana. It’s part of the festival’s mission of promoting local talent.

Kelsey Clarke is a metal artist and of resident of Bozeman.

“This is actually my first art booth, so it’s been really great getting introduced into this community,” said Clarke.

“I’ve had a lot of great support and just wonderful compliments coming from, you know, all walks of life.”

While participation is limited to Montana residents, the event is free of charge and open for all to enjoy.

“When you come here, it’s really inspiring to see that people are really making an effort to expand their craft,” said Urbaniak. “It’s really great to see and be around.”