Arts & Culture

Melissa Shelby / Idaho Sled Dog Challenge


For the third year in a row, the McCall Winter Festival will host a dog sled race. But this isn’t just any race. Organized by people involved with the Iditarod, the Idaho Dog Sled Challenge is 300 miles long. And with more than 44,000 feet of elevation change on the course, mushers call this a 500 mile race packed into 300. 

Arlie Sommer / Idaho Commission on the Arts

Norma Pintar has been teaching traditional Mexican daance in the Treasure Valley for more than 20 years. In 2012, she received the Governor's Award in the Arts to help establish a Hispanic Cultural Center in Nampa. There she met Jayf Ebert, who started dancing with her when he was just five. Now, at 16, Ebert is learning the traditional dances of the state of Campeche, Mexico through the Idaho Commission on the Arts' Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program.


Jad Abumrad Radiolab
PopTech / Flickr Creative Commons


RadioLab explores big ideas every week on WNYC. The nationally-distributed public radio show disrupted both the public radio and podcast space and has inspired many producers in the world of audio storytelling. The show airs on Boise State Public Radio News at noon on Saturdays. 


Host Jad Abumrad has spent years perfecting his craft, and will share some of his experience in storytelling with an audience in Boise. He joined Idaho Matters ahead of his talk as featured speaker at The Cabin on Saturday, Feb. 1. 

The Bosnian Herzegovinian Cultural Center of ldaho
VIA FACEBOOK / Mladi Behar The Bosnian Herzegovinian Cultural Center of ldaho

The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Cultural Center of Idaho has been in Boise since 2000, when thousands of refugees came to the United States fleeing war and conflict. Some settled in the Treasure Valley. Since then, community members have been using traditional dance, music and food to share Bosnian culture with Idaho.

Alexandra Wyman / AP Images

The fashion industry is about more than just clothes. It’s also about scandal, #MeToo moments, human trafficking and murder.

At least that’s what the new book “Fashion Jungle” is about. Co-author Rachel van Dyken is from Boise, and joins Idaho Matters to talk about her book, which is based on real events from her co-author and former supermodel Kathy Ireland’s life and career. 

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Jordan Allred is a Boise tattoo artist who is known for her black and grey floral designs. Not long ago, she was contacted by producers of the hit TV reality show “Ink Master: Turf War” where top tattoo artists from around the country compete for a $100,000 prize.

She’s back in town after filming the 13th season of the show which premieres Jan. 7. Samantha Wright dropped by the “Born Weird Tattoo” shop to watch her work on one of her clients.

Joel Wayne / Boise State Public Radio

Hot springs were practically made for winter, which is why we're presenting this episode of our You Know The Place podcast. Join hosts Lacey and Joel on their trip up to Kirkham Hot Springs in Lowman and a quirky bar in Idaho City. 

Treefort Music Fest / Flickr Creative Commons

  There's a new business in downtown Boise, dedicated to something many people do at home or in a private space: meditation. We talk with the owners of Source about meditation and the business side of this practice. 

City of Tetonia

The small town of Tetonia, Idaho will celebrate their 9th annual Snow Plane Rally this weekend. Not sure what a "snow plane" is? Despite it's name, the devices never leave the ground, but move over the snow on skis powered by propellers.

Josh Plueger, Offutt Air Force Base / Flickr Creative Commons


Jeff Galloway has been a major name in the running community since before his appearance in the 1972 Olympics. Since then, Jeff’s books, personal coaching and training groups have reached thousands. He's visiting the Treasure Valley this week for a series of talks, and joins Idaho Matters to share his tips on running and training. 

Idaho Walk Bike Alliance

"Filmed By Bike: The World's Best Bike Movies" is a Portland project making its way to Boise on Friday, January 17. Cynthia Gibson, the executive director of the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance and film creator Alyeen Crotty join Idaho Matters to talk about the history of the festival and why they’re making a stop in Boise. 


Join Boise State Public Radio's George Prentice as he breaks down the Academy Award nominations. He'll tell Idaho Matters about any surprises in the nominations and who he thinks will take home the Oscars next month.

KAREN BOSSICK / Eye On Sun Valley / Screenshot from YouTube Video


Hailey’s Wood River Middle School has a new program for 7th-graders: “Drone Designers" teaches students to code and choreograph live drone performances to music. Joining Idaho Matters are curriculum designer Erika Liebel, Wood River Middle School Teacher Melanie Schrader, and a 7th grade alum of the program Freya Colville.

Peter Devin / LED

Idaho's LED performance group was just named one of Dance Magazine's 2020 "25 to Watch list." The group formed in 2015 fusing original music with fresh choreography. LED co-founders Lauren Edson and Andrew Stensaas join Idaho Matters to talk about the recent honor. 

KUOW 94.9 Public Radio / Flickr Creative Commons


Nancy Pearl is a librarian, best-selling author and literary critic. Her reading and knowledge of books and literature first gained her recognition in Seattle, where she regularly appears on local public radio recommending books. She achieved in broader fame with Book Lust, her 2003 guide to good reading. She was named the 2011 Librarian of the Year by Library Journal. On February 7, she will be in Boise as the featured speaker for the Learning Lab’s annual Lunch for Literacy.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio


Idaho author Alan Minksoff first made his 24-town tour of the Gem State in the 1970s. He went back to these small towns last year to write his book “The Idaho Traveler.” Centered around interviews with locals, he brings readers from town to town sharing insider knowledge on the best drives, sights and food the state has to offer. He shares memorable stories of his travels with Idaho Matters.



This interview orginally aired Dec. 18, 2019.   

Idaho Parents Unlimited provides many services to folks with disabilities. One of their programs, called "Work of Art" allows corporations to decorate their offices with art from people in the program. Idaho Matters talks with program coordinators about this unique oppportunity. 

Nate Hegyi / KRCC

Follow along as two Mountain West News Bureau reporters share cultural holiday cooking traditions from across the region. Madelyn Beck of Boise State Public Radio takes Idaho Matters up close with Basque food in Idaho and Nate Hegyi of KRCC joins Montana hunters as they cook up an elk-filled twist on an eastern European classic. 

George Prentice / Boise State Public Radio

With New Year's Eve just around the corner, it’s about time to break out the champagne. But with bottles ranging from $5-$500, how do you choose how to celebrate the start of 2020? Is bubbly even necessary? Join Boise State Public Radio's George Prentice in a wine tasting and conversation with the Boise Co-Op’s wine buyer Barry DeVine about the best beverages to ring in the new year. 


Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Jordan Allred is a Boise tattoo artist who is known for her black and grey floral designs. Not long ago, she was contacted by producers of the hit TV reality show “Ink Master: Turf War” where top tattoo artists from around the country compete for a $100,000 prize.

She’s back in town after filming the 13th season of the show which premieres Jan. 7. Before she joined Idaho Matters in studio, we dropped by the “Born Weird Tattoo” shop to watch her work on one of her clients.

Anonymously Single / Boise Weekly

She’s single... and now one of Boise Weekly’s most provocative columnists. 

Since “Anonymously Single” started writing this summer, her column has covered first dates, breakups, and everything in between. In an exclusive interview with Idaho Matters, A.S. talks more about dating in Boise and what it takes to stay anonymous to her readers. 

The holidays often mean Christmas hams, mulled wine and potato latkes. But in the Mountain West, our food occasionally comes from the forest and not the grocery store. Tom Healy is a hunter living in the small town of Wisdom, Montana. This holiday season, he tried a gamey twist on traditional, eastern European cabbage rolls, called halupkis. Check out his recipe below. 

Around this time of year, it’s not too hard to find a holiday train ride in the Mountain West, from the North Pole Express in Heber City, Utah to the Santa Express in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho.

To get a sense of how it all works, I visit Carson City, Nev. to take a look at the different options.

On a recent sunny afternoon, I'm loading up my Subaru before heading out to the Snowy Range Mountains in southern Wyoming to cut down a Christmas tree.

St Luke's Hospital Sign
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

For people experiencing a health crisis, this time of year isn't necessarily a joyful one. Boise State Public Radio's George Prentice visits St. Luke's Hospital in Boise to find out how staff and families bring the holiday spirit to hospital rooms.