The Boise Department of Arts and History recently received some good news. Harvard University’s Ash Center has selected the department as one of the most innovative government entities in the country.
Harvard’s Ash Center researches public policy and government. It will select finalists among its list of 25 this month. Boise’s Department of Arts and History will compete with much bigger cities, states and federal agencies for a $100,000 grant.
Department director Terri Schorzman says her team is up to the challenge.
“Some big cities have departments of cultural affairs, and those are usually pretty specifically dedicated to the visual and performing arts," says Schorzman. "Rarely do they do local history. So over the years we’ve looked around and nothing has really come up like this.”
Schorzman says this fact proves how innovative her department is. She says that while other communities cut arts and history programs five years ago, Boise did the opposite.
She says the department made its case for innovation in part by identifying a problem that many communities face. “How do you get people involved or feel connected with their community?" she asks. "Clearly that is really through an engagement with understanding their own local culture.”
Schorzman says the department wants to engage every Boise resident through its programming.
Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio