Arts & Culture

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

At 23-and 21-years-old Colby Denton and Davis Jones introduce themselves as Elder Denton and Elder Jones. That’s traditional for young men serving as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both are relentlessly cheerful. Both say they wouldn’t trade their two years in the Boise, Idaho Mission for anything.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise is home to an emerging music scene. One of the musicians drawing big applause right now is female solo artist Bronwyn Leslie, who goes by the name of Lionsweb. Leslie is heading out on her first national tour Thursday: a three-month trek across 30 states and 50 cities.

But Leslie is not your typical musical performer. In fact, not much about her is typical.

StoryCorps

Migrant workers move from place to place to find work. In agriculture, that means going where the crops are. This was true for Estella Ozuna Zamora and her family in the 1950s and 60s. Her parents and her 12 brothers and sisters lived in Texas, but crisscrossed Idaho every year, following the crops.

Inside the mobile StoryCorps booth in Boise, Zamora told her good friend LeAnn Simmons  about what her early life was like.

Ketchum's Wagon Days Event To Continue As Planned

Aug 20, 2013
wagon days, ketchum
WagonDays.org Screengrab

Ketchum's annual Wagon Days celebration will go on as planned, despite firefighting efforts on the Beaver Creek Fire.

The news release issued Tuesday says the event is scheduled for Aug. 28-Sept. 2.

An archaeological dig conducted ahead of a northern Idaho highway project has resulted in nearly 600,000 artifacts from the late 1800s to early 1900s found at Sandpoint's original town site.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that officials unveiled some of the artifacts Friday from the dig conducted from 2005 to 2008.

The dig preceded the $100 million U.S. Highway 95 realignment project called the Sand Creek Byway.

Maureen O'Hara
Courtesy of Johnny Nicoletti

The woman who starred in such films as the Miracle on 34th Street and Parent Trap celebrates her birthday today in Boise. You can see some of Maureen O’Hara’s most popular films at the Egyptian Theatre throughout the day and then dine with the actress at a benefit dinner.

O’Hara’s biographer and manager Johnny Nicoletti says her 93 birthday celebration came together after a trip in May to visit the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset, Iowa. 

Why More Idaho Moms Breastfeed Than Anywhere In The U.S.

Aug 15, 2013
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month shows more Idaho moms breastfeed their babies than anywhere else in the country.

We wanted to know why. It turns out Idaho's cultural and racial makeup are two of the largest contributing factors to the increasing number of breastfeeding moms.

StoryCorps

When Lisa Sanchez was a child, she lived in Idaho with her mother, who worked at the Simplot Factory in Heyburn. When her grandfather got sick with lung cancer, her mother moved the family to Arizona to help take care of him.  Sanchez said it was her mother who kept the family together after he died.  She told her good friend Donna Vasquez what it was like during that time in a recent visit to the StoryCorps booth in Boise.

U.S. Census Bureau

New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show the Northwest has fewer people who speak a foreign language at home than the country as a whole.

Census data show 10.4 percent of Idahoans speak a language other than English in their homes, while the national average is 20.8 percent.

Julian Jenkins

This is the time of year for summer camp.  This rite of passage is how many people learn to swim, hike, sing around a campfire and tell ghost stories. Marti Gudmundson remembers singing songs at summer camp, and admiring a handsome, older boy named Nick Molenaar.  Little did either of them know, that decades later, they would meet again and fall in love. They recently shared their love story at the StoryCorps booth in Boise. Gudmundson says it all began in the early 1960s. 

Threadless, tshirt design contest
NPR

NPR, with the help of Threadless.com, is hosting a T-shirt design challenge. From now until Aug. 26, NPR wants to see your designs based on the theme "My Sound World".

StoryCorps

When wildfire hits the Foothills of the Treasure Valley, everyone who lives there goes on alert.  Three years ago, Nancy Suiter felt that fear when lightning struck the ground near Highway 16. 

A wildfire started in the Eagle foothills and the home Suiter and her husband had built 32 years before was in the path of the flames.  Her daughter Josie Newton took her mother to the StoryCorps booth in Boise to talk about that day.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Bronwyn Leslie is a busy woman. The Boise actor and musician was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Idaho Film Office to produce a documentary about Lyda Southard, the famous Idaho serial killer.

Southard lived in Twin Falls around the turn of the 20th century. She is thought to have poisoned five men -- including four of her husbands -- for the insurance money.

Charmagne Westcott

Each year, thousands of children are adopted into new families.  When those children grow up, some seek out their biological parents.  That’s what Charmagne Westcott did when she hired a private detective to try and find her birth mother. She sat down in the StoryCorps booth in Boise to remember how she found her biological mother, Sherry Jurd.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise has made a lot of national top 10 lists lately, but one the city is conspicuously absent from is a list of best urban bike paths. The well-known Boise River Greenbelt does not appear on a list from TheActiveTimes.com, despite stretching from east Boise west toward Nampa.

Boise 150, Community Conversation
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

This year, Boise turns 150-years-old. When it comes to national top 10 lists, the town has been competitive with much bigger cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and even New York City. But what exactly is it about Idaho’s capital city that makes it a place people love to call “home”?

During a community conversation hosted by the KBSX newsroom, Boiseans dug in to what makes the city tick.

Karen Bubb

Boise artist Karen Bubb took more than 1,000 photographs while she was in Cuba last December. She returned to create more than 100 paintings inspired by those photos.

Brian Thom and Ardele Hanson

Four years ago, Brian Thom, the Episcopal Bishop of Idaho, came up with a plan to ask Ardele Hanson to marry him.  He wanted to recreate a special moment by kayaking up the Snake River to a lush, green island they had visited that summer. 

In his pocket was an engagement gift, a heart-shaped necklace.  The couple sat down in the StoryCorps booth in Boise to talk about that day.

Dave Crawforth

Boise is 150-years-old this year. The same year that Idaho became a territory, 1863, Boise became a town.

Terri Schorzman knows the city well. She was born here and didn’t leave until she was in high school when her father took a job in Colorado. Schorzman says she had a circuitous route back to Boise, including 13 years in Washington D.C.

“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” she says. “I just wanted to raise my kids here.”  Schorzman and her family left Washington D.C. on a whim. She and her husband didn’t have any jobs lined up in Boise.  

Larry McCauley, StoryCorps
StoryCorps

It was just over 45 years ago when the first human heart transplant was performed in South Africa. Now, about 2,000 transplant surgeries happen every year in the United States.

Larry McCauley of Idaho is part of that statistic.  He's now 67, but on October 8, 1986, he had a heart transplant. Since then, McCauley has led a full life and works part time.

His friend Elise Daniel recently brought him to the StoryCorps booth in Boise to talk about his surgery and how it affected him.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

As Boise celebrates its 150th birthday this month, the city and its residents are also thinking about the next 150 years. Boise is looking toward community planning to meet its goal of becoming “the most livable city in the country.”  

And when it comes to planning a city’s future, Boise is looking to Jaap Vos. He is the director of the Department of Community and Regional Planning at Boise State University. Vos moved to town a year ago, and is building the academic program that will produce a new group of city planners.

The Things That Draw People To Boise (And What Pushes Them Away)

Jul 9, 2013
Boise, Foothills, City, Landscape
Seth Lemmons / Flickr Creative Commons

Editor’s note, June 2018: It’s been five years since this story was first published and it continues to be one of our most popular posts. Thanks to all who have read, shared and commented on this story.

Garrison Keillor
Erik Hageness

In the world of radio, few voices are as distinct as Garrison Keillor’s. 

The Minnesota native created the live weekend variety show “A Prairie Home Companion” nearly four decades ago.  The program has taken Keillor and his crew all over the U.S., and soon, perhaps, even overseas. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise celebrated its 150 birthday Sunday with a massive party at Julia Davis Park. The City of Trees was officially platted July 7, 1863.

Mayor Dave Bieter led the birthday song for the crowd.  Crowds flocked to the shade, escaping the heat under food and beer tents.  The festivities included music from local indie rock group Finn Riggins, as well as more traditional music from Boise's past.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

This summer, more than 60,000 people are expected to see a play at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Of the five plays this season, perhaps the most anticipated is "Sweeney Todd".

This blood-drenched murder musical by Stephen Sondheim shocked audiences when it debuted more than 30 years ago. It’s had a large and loyal audience ever since, and in 2007 director Tim Burton made a movie version starring Johnny Depp.

This is not the Shakespeare Festival’s first dance with Sondheim but it is its first time with "Sweeney Todd". 

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