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How A Garden City Small Business And Venue Is Staying Afloat

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Visual Arts Collective
The Visual Arts Collective has been closed since March. Owner Sam Stimpert says that without an outpouring of community support, he would have been forced to close his small business.

Music and performing arts venues were some of the first things to shut down last spring during the pandemic and have largely remained closed even as restaurants, bars, malls and other businesses reopened. Even after the COVID-19 vaccine is available in Idaho, indoor concerts and performances are likely not to bounce back immediately.

In Garden City, the Visual Arts Collective has been the focus of a community fundraising effort. VAC owner Sam Stimpert says he initially resisted the support, saying he thought other small businesses or organizations were more worthy. Stimpert says the financial and emotional support he's received has kept him going through the hardest year of his small buiness. 

Stimpert joins Idaho Matters along with Buffie Main, the founder of Alley Repertory Theater which typically performs at the VAC, along with Chelsea Harada, the organizer of the fundraiser.

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters

Frankie Barnhill is the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast. She's always interested in hearing surprising and enlightening stories about life in the West. Have an idea for Idaho Matters? Drop her a line!