Arts & Culture

Erin Pass / Flickr Creative Commons

After nine years, a beloved arts event in downtown Boise is coming to an end. Modern Art (which takes over the Modern Hotel Thursday evening for the last time) began at the height of the Great Recession. Now, the hotel staff says it’s time to retire the event – but not without one big final party.

Angie Smith

Los Angeles-based photographer Angie Smith first became curious about Idaho’s refugee population five years ago during visits with her family in Boise.

“I wondered why are they coming to Idaho," says Smith, "how do they get here, what are their lives like once they have arrived and are in the resettlement process. I just had a lot of questions.”

Screengrab ted.com

Pocatello has begun the process of redesigning its city flag. But, the reason for that redesign is a bit unusual. It begins with a TED Talk.

The public speaking events known as TED Talks are so popular they even have their own NPR show. (Saturdays at 3:00 on KBSX 91.5.)  And it was a TED talk by a public radio host/podcaster that shamed Pocatello into changing its flag.

Justin Doering / Fifty Sandwiches blog

Recent Boise State University media studies graduate Justin Doering has set out on a unique cross-country journey.

Through a blog he's calling "Fifty Sandwiches," Doering has set out to interview people experiencing homelessness. The blogger says the idea is to "close the gap between perception and reality" when it comes to what homeless individuals experience.

Sarah Conwell / facebook.com/thefuturesoon

You may know Jonathan Coulton for his humorous, often nerd-culture themed songs. Or maybe you know him as the co-host of NPR’s Ask Me Another. But Coulton is also the inspiration for a new musical that premiered Friday night in Boise.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The TED organization has a large and loyal following for its live speaking events and millions of people watch the talks online. In recent years, locally organized TEDx events have been produced around the country.  Saturday TEDx Boise returns for its second year. All afternoon and into the evening notable Idaho residents will give talks on stage at the Egyptian Theater.

This year’s theme is “reframing radical.” We asked three of this year’s speakers how they want to do that.

Boise Escape / Facebook

People do a lot of unusual things in their leisure time. That includes - and this is not an April Fool’s joke – paying to be locked in rooms so they can struggle for an hour to get out. In fact, escape room games are an international sensation and Boise is no exception.

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

With this year’s fifth Treefort Music Fest came the third installment of Storyfort, a mini fort whose main focus is the literary arts scene in Boise.

Founder Christian Winn, a local writer and adjunct professor at Boise State, says the main idea behind Storyfort is to bring great narrative in a variety of compelling genres to the crowds already gathered and coming out for Treefort.

Alex Hecht / Treefort Music Fest

Despite some cold nights and cloudy days, thousands of people attended the fifth annual Treefort Music Fest. Festival director Eric Gilbert says organizers have learned from past mistakes to make the event easier to navigate and enjoy.

“Attendance is definitely up but our lines have been better," he says. "I feel like we’ve spread the lineup out a lot better, so it made harder choices for folks but that also led to a better line experience.”

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

James Lloyd draws castles and woodsy creatures for a living.

The 32-year-old illustrator moved to Boise from Eastern Idaho in 2011. Hungry for work, he put an ad on Craigslist. Pretty soon after, somebody reached out to him asking if he could make some posters for a small weekend music festival planned for the spring of 2012. Lloyd said yes -- and quickly found himself working on posters, t-shirts, a website and print ads for a festival that had grown to almost 140 bands. Treefort Music Fest was born.

Rase Littlefield / Treefort Music Fest

Today is the first day of Boise's Treefort Music Fest. The five-year-old festival has become the heart of the indie arts and culture scene in Boise, showcasing talent from different genres – including writing and the culinary arts. Reporter Frankie Barnhill talked with Morning Edition host Dan Greenwood about this year's festival, which runs through Sunday.

The Treefort Music Festival is preparing for what will likely be its biggest year since it began in 2012. And as it grows, new elements of the festival continue to emerge.  This year attendees will see another branch of the festival with a focus on food issues.  Tara Morgan is one of the organizers of Foodfort. She says that aspect of the festival will feature two components.

“For the taste component we have 10 local chefs that are utilizing mostly local ingredients to create small plates, and then talks which is a series of panels and discussions related to food,” Morgan said.

Francis Delapena / Treefort Music Fest

Happy #Treefort2016, intrepid music voyagers.

 

Michael Smith / Treefort Music Fest

Of the 450 bands that will perform at Treefort Music Fest this week (March 23-27), 25 are international acts. That is the largest number of bands from across the pond to play at five-year-old festival. 

According to festival director Eric Gilbert, the increase in groups from around the globe is in part because the reputation of Treefort has travelled beyond U.S. borders. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Commission on the Arts (ICA) turns 50 this year. The organization, which is funded equally by state and federal funds, has a lot planned for its future. They're celebrating their big year with an arts-fueled social media campaign they're asking the public to take part in. (For more info on Art Sparks! Day, click here.)

 

Henry Whiting II

Nestled in the Hagerman Valley sits the only structure in Idaho designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Known as Teater’s Knoll, this artist retreat was built in 1952.

Lucy Dacus / Facebook

Boise State Public Radio is excited to host a special performance with Lucy Dacus, one of the 400+ bands set to play Treefort Music Fest. Dacus will play a free "prefort" show Wednesday, March 23 at 11 a.m. The event will take place at The Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St, Boise.

Boise Shriners-Treefort Partnership Has Benefits For Both Groups

Mar 18, 2016
Patrick Sweeney / Treefort Music Fest

Shriners are generally known for riding around in miniature cars in parades, for circuses they sponsor and for the hospitals they operate for children.

But in Boise, Shriners have also become a linchpin in helping downtown host Treefort Music Fest, the City of Trees' annual indie music festival.

Screenshot / YouTube

The votes are in.

No, we aren't talking about the latest primary and caucus results for #Election2016. We're talking about the second annual NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert Contest (dare you to say that five times fast). 

Christina Birkinbine / Treefort Music Fest

Treefort volunteer coordinator Elizabeth Corsentino says since Treefort began in 2012, the festival heard from local nonprofits that wanted to get involved. Corsentino says this year, the team behind the festival created some new opportunities for these groups to get exposure – and hopefully get more helping hands.

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