Arts & Culture

Boise Arts Industry Worth $48 Million

Oct 12, 2012
Courtesy Idaho Nonprofit Center

The arts and culture industry generates more than $48 million a year in Boise. That’s according to a new study by Americans for the Arts. Today’s numbers paint a nice portrait of the city’s growing art scene.

Randy Cohen is with Americans for the Arts, the DC-based organization that put out the study.  

Cohen says that arts organizations like the Trey McIntyre Project and the Boise Philharmonic help create a community people want to live in. But they also create revenue.

Spike and Judy Baker

Snow will soon fall in Idaho's mountains, getting skiers excited for the winter. Already ski resorts in Sun Valley are making snow. But it will be at least until Thanksgiving before one of Idaho's popular resorts in McCall opens. Brundage Mountain has roots that go back to the 1920s. 

Randi Anglin / Courtesy of Algonquin Books

The author Robert Morgan’s latest book tells the story of ten American legends who were deeply involved in westward expansion. The Ithaca, New York based writer is in Boise tonight to read from his book Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion.

Morgan divides Lions of the West into nine chapters, each one devoted to one figure of America’s Manifest Destiny. He begins with Thomas Jefferson and ends with Nicholas Trist who fell in love with Jefferson’s daughter.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The "world's most comprehensive collection" of opium smoking paraphernalia has a new home. It's at the University of Idaho. A writer and collector, originally from San Diego, donated the exquisite antiques.

It's taking weeks to carefully unpack and catalog all the opium smoking implements and accessories. Collector Steven Martin estimates he donated at least 1,000 pieces... ceramic opium pipe bowls, ornamented heating lamps, traveling kits, scrapers, old photographs and mug shots.

Courtesy of Curtis Stigers

Boise based jazz musician Curtis Stigers and his band perform tonight in Idaho’s capitol city. He’ll sing tunes from his new album which came out earlier this year. Stigers says the songs on Let’s Go Out Tonight tell a story that evolved from working with producer Larry Klein in Los Angeles.

“For a couple of months I just got on a plane and I flew down to L.A. and I sat in Larry Klein’s studio with him and we just played records for each other like we were in 8th grade,” he told Sadie Babits in a recent interview.

Oregon Mural Draws The Ire Of Chinese Government

Sep 12, 2012
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The Chinese government is playing the role of art critic in one Oregon community. The criticism comes in response to a new mural commissioned by a Taiwanese-born businessman in Corvallis. The painting depicts a Tibetan monk setting himself on fire. But local officials are defending David Lin's right to express his views.

How Boise's Balloon Rally Could Revive The Sport

Aug 30, 2012
Jessica Murri / Boise State Public Radio

Forty hot air balloons floated up over Idaho's capitol city Thursday as part of  the Spirit of Boise Balloon Rally. It's going on through September 2. There used to be a lot more balloons when the River Festival happened years ago with nearly 100 balloons. Turns out there's been a decline in this sport.

The sun is barely on the horizon on this Saturday morning as a small crowd gathers at the fair grounds in Boise. They stare up at a little black balloon that’s quickly becoming a dot in the sky.

Northwest Trek

Apparently Northwesterners are not afraid of heights and have a yen for adventure. We draw that conclusion because the industry of zip line tours and aerial adventure parks is booming in the Northwest right now.

Within the past couple years, fully a dozen commercial zip line attractions have opened in Oregon, Washington and Idaho... not counting at least 12 more in British Columbia and Alaska. The revenue potential has some municipal parks departments looking to add spendy zip line attractions in public parks.

Amaura Mitchell

An exhibition of rare books and objects opens August 24 at Boise State University.  “Chapters from the History of the Book,” features 31 books and artifacts from different time periods from all over the world.  Stephanie Bacon directs the Idaho Center for the Book.  She curated the exhibit.

Jessica Murri

Ten years ago, Freak Alley Gallery started when a local artist painted inside an alley doorway in downtown Boise. Today, the gallery stretches the length of the alley, and a nearby parking lot.

Over 80 artists gathered last week to paint on the alley walls between 8th and 9th Street, and Bannock and Idaho. Artists cover the aging brick and crumbling cement with all styles of mural. Some look realistic, others cartoonish, others urban, like graffiti.

But Freak Alley Gallery isn’t graffiti.

Harper's New Monthly Magazine

This Sunday, a group of mountain climbers, students and Lummi tribal members will embark on an expedition to re-create the first ascent of Washington’s third tallest peak. That's Mount Baker, east of Bellingham. The modern-day expedition includes historical touches along with some concessions to practicality.

Wednesday will mark the 67th anniversary of the Japanese surrender to end World War Two. With each passing anniversary, there are fewer and fewer living witnesses to the event.  Time is also running low for an aging U.S. Marine veteran who wants to return a captured Japanese war flag.

Ex-U.S. Marine George Koller of Clarkston, Washington collects war memorabilia. Among his possessions is an inscribed "good luck flag" carried into battle by a Japanese fighter pilot. The airman's plane crashed into the jungle of New Guinea late in World War II.

Hare Krishna is a greeting used by some Indian Hindus. It’s the name of their god.

Thursday evening at Boise’s Hare Krishna temple, around 400 hundred people will celebrate Krishna’s birthday.

Ravi Gupta runs the temple. His family started it 26 years ago. He says the evening will entail several plays and dances as well as over 100 vegetarian dishes.

The congregation has also worked hard on stringing together over 10,000 orange and yellow flowers to decorate the temple. String lights cover every surface of the outside, and the marble floors shine bright.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

In Italy, bocce ball is known as a pastime for elderly men. You know the image: Men in starched shirts and creased pants playing serious games near the piazzas. Now, bocce is rapidly gaining popularity in Northwest cities and wine country.

One reason bocce is popular at wineries: You can play while never putting down your adult beverage. It’s also a game that can draw out your competitive side.

Author John Gerassi has reportedly died.  Gerassi wrote the book “The Boys of Boise,” about the city's 1955 scandal involving homosexual men. 

The scandal began in late October that year. “On Halloween night, the police in Boise arrested several men on charges of having sex with teenage boys," says Alan Virta, a retired archivist from Boise State University.

Hot Air Balloons Don't Take To The Sky This Summer

Aug 3, 2012
Scott Spencer / Lighter Than Air America, Inc

Many mornings throughout the summer, Boisians can look up and see the skyline scattered with brightly colored hot air balloons. But this summer, they have been absent.

Scott Spencer, owner of Lighter Than Air America, grew up in Boise and has been flying hot air balloons for 40 years. He says even in the early mornings, it’s too hot to fly.

Sadie Babits

It’s a Wednesday night… game night for Ysabel Bilbao. She’s part of a women’s league that plays the Basque racket sport of pelota.

“As we go downstairs, this is what I describe as the fight club because it’s just this big concrete hole. We come downstairs to the fronton and there’s girls playing now,” she says.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

This summer’s blockbuster line-up is teeming with highly anticipated names -- like Batman, Spiderman, and the Avengers. That’s good news for the people who run cinemas. But for many small theaters across the Northwest, opening weekend is becoming a struggle.

Boise Native Symmonds Headed Back To Olympics

Jun 26, 2012
Angela Kellner

In the men’s 800 meter race Monday, Boise-native Nick Symmonds clocked the fastest time by an American at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR. The performance earned him a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.

The 28-year-old Symmonds was at the back of the pack early in the race, but began to methodically picked off his competition. It was a flashback to the 2008 Olympic trials when he also made the U.S. team.

Listen In: Wilco Brings Eclectic Sound To Boise

Jun 25, 2012
Zoran Orlic

It's that time of year for road trips, barbecues and outdoor concerts. To celebrate summer, Boise State Public Radio brings you a series called Listen In. It's focused on musicians who will perform this summer in Idaho.  We start with the indie rock band Wilco

Mark Cornelison / Lexington Herald-Leader

The colt that was a threat to win this year’s Triple Crown will not run in tomorrow’s Belmont Stakes.  An injury has ended I’ll Have Another’s racing career.  The news is also unfortunate for the Boise-area horse “Rousing Sermon”. 

UI Scholar Consults On New HBO Hemingway Film

May 29, 2012
HBO

HBO premiered a new film Monday on the love affair between Ernest Hemingway and his third wife, journalist Martha Gellhorn. A University of Idaho Hemingway scholar served as a consultant to the filmmakers.

Exergy Tour Brings Big Time Cycling To Boise

May 24, 2012
Adam Cotterell, KBSX

What’s being billed as the biggest ladies cycling race of the year in North America…gets underway today in Boise.  The Exergy Tour kicks off with an evening time trial in the city’s downtown.  More than 100 cyclists from all over the world will then compete in four more stage races in several Southwest Idaho locations, before finishing Monday in Boise’s Hyde Park.   To learn more, Scott Graf spoke with Heather Hill, a publicist for the Tour. 

Longshot Rousing Sermon Off The Derby Radar

May 4, 2012
Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader

For the first time in nine years, a horse from Idaho will run in the Kentucky Derby Saturday.  Rousing Sermon is considered an underdog. 

Scott Jagow is the editor of the horse racing website PaulickReport.com.  He says the horse from Parma has generated almost no buzz in Louisville.  But Jagow is one of those who observed the horse this week.   He says Rousing Sermon looks good, seems to like the Churchill Downs surface, and fits well in the Derby format.

Samantha Wright/BSPR / Boise State Public Radio

He's been a lawyer, a political mover and shaker, and a former Idaho Supreme Court Justice.  But at heart, Byron Johnson has always been a poet.  Now that he's retired, Johnson has devoted much of his time to writing poetry and his memoir. That book "Poetic Justice" is now out. It's pages are filled with his early childhood, court cases and yes, poems. Byron Johnson - who has battled Parkinson’s disease and cancer - told Samantha Wright that poetry has always had a place in his life:

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