With this year’s fifth Treefort Music Fest came the third installment of Storyfort, a mini fort whose main focus is the literary arts scene in Boise.
Founder Christian Winn, a local writer and adjunct professor at Boise State, says the main idea behind Storyfort is to bring great narrative in a variety of compelling genres to the crowds already gathered and coming out for Treefort.
Attending the readings and panels, however, it’s hard not to notice the other kinds of crowds Storyfort draws: heads of gray and white dot the audience, people in business attire pop in between breaks at the legislature, infants and children tiptoe across the hardwood floor. Whether or not they’re into music, it seems all types of people are interested in story.
The mini fort takes place upstairs at the Linen Building, offering a calm, intimate setting compared to the main stage and bar performances of Treefort. Despite the juxtaposed venues, Storyfort and Treefort share the same core values.
“Our goals are really similar to Treefort in bringing compelling voices and forms of story,” Winn says. “We want to be able to keep introducing our Storyfort audience to new writers and storytellers from outsider our immediate area, as well as support our local talent.”
In the same vein of Treefort booking bands based on audience experience rather than popularity, Storyfort follows suit.
“As we grow we can bring in a few more high profile ‘headliners,’ but we don’t value them any more than our up-and-comers, or lesser known performers,” Winn explains. “We want it to be a great show – fun and smart and interesting – and that will remain our goal as we move forward.”
This year’s Storyfort saw a boost in featured poets, number of panels and audience attendance. Perhaps one of the most popular events was “Viral Idaho,” a panel made up of journalists who discussed some of the most far-reaching Idaho stories and how they shape the nation’s perspective of our state and the people in it.
Other new events included a narrative presentation on perception, image and big crazy hair, local bartenders spinning yarns and delivering the history of cocktail culture and a panel-form discussion of “The Treefort Story” with the founders of the music festival, moderated by KBSX’s own Frankie Barnhill.
With sponsors like The Cabin and Boise Public Library and collaborations with Treefort and Filmfort, Storyfort has crafted itself a vital, unique presence in the festival and the community at large. It makes one wonder how they might outdo themselves next year.
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