Arts & Culture

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. 

You have to be looking for Juan Pablo Mijares’s violin shop to find it. The storefront is tucked deep behind an alleyway in downtown Colorado Springs. Small details make the place feel decidedly old world, from the carved wooden sign above the entrance to the plink of violin strings that serve as door chimes. On a recent visit to Mijares’s shop, he says some of his customers declare the place is even otherworldly.

Matthew Wordell / Treefort Music Fest


Treefort Music Fest is preparing for their March 2020 festival. The multi-day event has announced their second round of bands and musicians to perform this coming year, with one more announcement coming in the new year. By the time March rolls around hundreds of bands will be set to play dozens of venues in downtown Boise. 


Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo


These days there it seems you can go to school for just about anything, even Santa school. In school it’s not all about makeup, reindeer and practicing your jolly laugh. We talk with one Santa school graduate about the rigors of the curriculum.


Janet Pritchard

Most people today will walk around with a smartphone in their pocket, giving people access to worldwide communication, internet access, and computing power that was unfathomable even 20 years ago. However, smartphones have also given access to high quality cameras to everyone. Mountain West News Bureau reporter Madelyn Beck investigates the impact of this technological improvements on the photography industry.

via Facebook

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. 

Ballet Idaho

Ballet Idaho's annual production of "The Nutcracker" has become a holiday tradition for many. But this year, the 1892 ballet has gone through a bit of a refresh with a whole new set and hundreds of new costumes. Idaho Matters talks with producers of the show about what audience members should expect in the 2019 production, which runs Dec. 19-23 at the Morrison Center in Boise. 

Ethan Webber / Boise State Public Radio

This segment originally aired September 30, 2019.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is known for its devout followers, with many raised within the church remaining actively religious. Comedian Krystal Moore never fully felt like part of this community, but now draws on her experience to connect and bond with other former members of the church.

Lady Bizness - Facebook

This segment originally aired March 5, 2019.

Alisha Donahue and Jynx Jenkins are Lady Bizness - a comedy duo that pokes fun at both the most routine and ridiculous aspects of everyday life. They perform at Liquid Lounge this month and they join us in studio to talk about what is so damn funny about Boise.

Ethan Webber / Boise State Public Radio

This segment originally aired November 1, 2019.

In 1600, a Basque-born nun named Catalina de Erauso escaped the nunnery in Spain where they lived and began to dress as a man. They boarded a ship to South America where they spent 17 years fighting as a male conquistador. De Erauso returned to Spain where both the king and the pope gave them permission to live openly as a transgender man. This unbelievable story is the subject of a 17th Century Spanish play based on real events. Boise State professor Mac Test is translating the play to English, and joins Idaho Matters.

Alden Skeie / Unsplash

Despite how you feel about it, Boise has yet another listicle to brag about: Business magazine Inc. ranked the City of Trees number five on its list of the 50 Best U.S. Cities for Starting a Business in 2020.


This segment originally aired July 15, 2019.

Comic Con is a multi-day event that will bring thousands of fans to San Diego this week. To be asked to be a speaker is a high honor and this year Treasure Valley author Devri Walls has been asked to talk about how she creates fantastic villains in her booksIdaho Matters talks to Devri about Comic Con and about how her fantasy book characters deal with real-life problems.

Alley Repertory Theater / via Facebook

"La Cage Aux Folles" is a Tony award winning musical, which was the basis for 1996 film "The Birdcage."  Alley Repertory Theater in Boise is staging the play, and before their next performance two of the lead actors stopped by Idaho Matters to talk about the significance of the play in the LGBTQ community.

Bravery Magazine

Rexburg native and Brigham Young University-Idaho alumni Ashley Aikele wanted to ensure that children were exposed to strong female role models. To accomplish this goal, she co-founder Bravery Magazine and ran a Kickstarter campaign that reached its goal in only three days. Aikele joins Idaho Matters to discuss her journey in creating the inspirational magazine. 

Joel Wayne / Boise State Public Radio


Looking for a new holiday tradition? We have a recommendation for you: the Old Boise Model Train Club. Boise State Public Radio’s “You Know The Place” podcast recently visited the club. Take a listen to this special presentation on Idaho Matters.