Arts & Culture

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

As people from around the country continue to flock to Boise thanks to numerous appearances in top ten lists, one state is going to unbelievable lengths to help its new Idaho arrivals.


The Surel Mitchell Live-Work-Create District begins the 2019 series of First Fridays next week. We talk with Surel's Place artist in residence, Matthew Gray Palmer, and Jodi Eichelberger, program coordinator with Surel's Place.


Tom Papa’s resume is longer than a foot-long roll. He’s the head writer for NPR’s Live From Here, an author, has his own television show and is an accomplished baker. Papa came to Boise for a stand-up performance at the Egyptian Theater downtown.

Surel's Place

When you think of art tours, you probably don’t think of hopping on a school bus and bouncing down the road with a group of strangers. But Thursday night, that’s exactly what some folks will do in Boise.


Boise Fire

If you’re a long-time listener of the You Know The Place podcast, you may remember our season one episode at India Fashion & Grocery. It remains one of our favorite explorations and, even after two seasons, our most-downloaded episode. A few days ago, an accidental electrical fire swept through the store and now the business is (in the words of the fire department) a total loss. We're devastated for Hardeep and Amar, the owner-operators of the business, and their boys. They are wonderfully-generous people who wouldn't take our money after giving us henna tattoos, who work so incredibly hard for their family, and who are such an integral part of our community. We’ve put together a special, short episode that gives further details on the situation and tells you how you can help. 

Idaho Screendance Festival

The Idaho Screendance Festival marries choreographed dance with cinema and on Wednesday, Idaho Matters speaks with Marla Hansen of the Idaho Dance Theater and Alyssa Tolman, adjunct professor of dance at Boise State.

The film Paranormal Prison is in principle photography at the Old Idaho Penitentiary and we meet producer Catrine McGregor about spooky happenings - both on and off film.

Boise State Exhibit Looks At Role Of Soviet Women In WWII

Mar 26, 2019
facebook/Soviet Women in Combat WWII

Boise State graduate student Hayley Noble's work has focused on gender roles during World War II and her new exhibit, Soviet Women in Combat during WWII, looks at the considerable role women played. From snipers to fighter pilots to tankers, Soviet women played an active role in many forward positions. Noble joins Idaho Matters to talk about these women and how they contributed to victory over Nazi Germany.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Aching feet? Sore backs from standing for hours on end? Maybe still drying off from a few drizzles throughout the week? So are we.

But if you are experiencing the comedown that every end of Treefort Music Fest brings, we’ve got you covered.

Sounds of Treefort 2019: The End

Mar 25, 2019
Treefort Music Fest

Treefort is over! The five-day festival of fun and frivolity has finally found its finish. For one last look back, here’s an audio postcard.  

Sounds of Treefort 2019: The Middle

Mar 25, 2019
Koji Crill

Boise State Public Radio has been out capturing the sounds of Treefort Music Fest, and in the process, things get semi-political, we hear different perspectives, and some people take over a parking lot. And of course, we appreciate plenty of performances.

Sounds of Treefort 2019: The Beginning

Mar 22, 2019
Treefort Music Fest

Boise's Treefort Music Fest kicked off Wednesday night, as thousands of music fans descended onto downtown. We went out to capture sounds from days 1 and 2 of the festival, and put together this audio postcard.

'Live From Here' Head Writer Tom Papa To Visit Boise

Mar 21, 2019
Live from Here/youtube

Comedian Tom Papa hosts podcast, satellite radio programs, a Food Network show, he pops up regularly on TV and film and has authored an Amazon top-selling book in 2018. In his spare time, he is the head writer and featured commentator on NPR's Live From Here. Papa will perform at The Egyptian Theatre on March 29 and he joins Idaho Matters to talk about what always draws him back to doing live stand-up.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

The Treefort Music Festival just kicked off its eighth opening day and more than 400 bands will come through Boise this week. Those in the local music scene say the festival has given a boost to bands and venues alike.

Credits: Treefort

It can be daunting trying to figure out which of the 400+ bands playing Treefort to see and on Wednesday's Idaho Matters, we makes it easy for you. Boise State Public Radio's Frankie Barnhill joins guest host George Prentice to help you focus on which bands you should see play and which ones might get a pass.

Hundreds of bands are descending on downtown Boise for the eighth Treefort Music Festival. Spanning four days, the 2019 edition of the festival is bringing over 400 music acts to the City of Trees. Among the panoply of artists spanning genres is Liz Cooper and the Stampede.

Cooper's style of Americana and roots music has been described by critics as a "gorgeously arranged and performed bouquet of psychedelia-tinged folk rock." Cooper is performing Wednesday evening at an intimate show co-sponsored by Boise State Public Radio and The Record Exchange.

Maggie Mattinson / Treefort Music Fest

When it comes to musical variety, Treefort Music Fest seems to have something for everyone. I’ll give you some of my personal must-sees for the five-day festival, but I also wanted to try something a little different this year. Because my musical taste is just that…it’s MY taste. I’ll admit to some blind spots in my selections, which is why I asked for advice from YOU on Twitter.

Roam Yocham / Boise State Public Radio

Bike share company Boise GreenBike has been a partner of Treefort Music Fest for the last few years. This year, the organization is offering free rides up to four hours during the entire event, which runs March 20-24.

We Live In Boise by Elisabeth McKetta and James Stead looks at the City of Trees through the wide-eyed perspective of a child. From Freak Alley to the Smurf Turf, this book is as much a travelogue for children as record of today's Boise. McKetta will be signing copies at Rediscovered Books on Saturday and she stops in studio to talk about developing this vibrant book co-written by her husband, James Stead, and illustrated by April VanDeGrift.

Elizabeth Rodgers

When a friend showed Elizabeth Rodgers pictures of young women at Borah High School preparing for their first swim lessons, the filmmaker was immediately inspired to capture their story on film. The Swimming Lesson tells the story of young Muslim girls who came to Boise as refugees and captures images of contemporary Muslim culture as they enter the pool in their burkinis. The short will show at Filmfort and Elizabeth Rodgers joins Idaho Matters with Samara Alsalim, one of the stars of the film.

Fort Of Drag Emphasizes Inclusion And Outrageous Parties

Mar 18, 2019

The Fort of Drag joins the plethora of "forts" this year at Treefort and events include performances, panel discussions and a drag queen story hour. We talk with Fort of Drag creator and director Cole Calvin and community liaison Gabrielle Davis about using Treefort to connect with the area's transgender community.

off center dance/facebook

The Off Center Dance company rolls out their 2019 spring program this week with 'Blur' - featuring new choreography from OCD dancers and a high-tech collaboration from founder Kelli Brown and The Idaho Virtual Reality Council. Idaho Matters talks with OCD's Lisa Whitwell and Katie Ponozzo and Idaho Virtual Reality Council board member (and OCD performer) Jim Bradbury.

© James Castle Collection and Archive

Idaho’s most famous artist, James Castle, was born profoundly deaf in Garden Valley at the end of the nineteenth century. The self-taught artist spent his life around Boise drawing and creating. His talents garnered a few local exhibits in his twilight years, but the wider art world has only taken serious notice the so-called “outsider artist” in the last two decades. This new consideration has led to a fresh understanding of his work and revealed new depth in it.


The Sun Valley Film Festival begins on Wednesday with industry luminaries like David Crosby, Meg Ryan, Fisher Stevens and Idaho native Aaron Paul in attendance. Boise Weekly film critic George Prentice will also attend the festival and he joins Idaho Matters for a preview.

Sun Valley Film Festival

Ask someone to start listing their favorite movies and it won't be too long before you begin naming films starring Meg Ryan: Courage Under Fire, Joe Versus the Volcano, Sleepless In Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, When a Man Loves a Woman, You've Got Mail—the list goes on.