Arts & Culture

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Contemporary Theater's latest play is a secret. No, really – it's called "SuperSecretSiteSpecificSomething" for a good reason. (It's also called "S5" for short.) But what's less of a secret is the life it’s breathed into the Boise arts community, and the way audiences have embraced the show. The piece has sold out the rest of its four-week run, which ends June 6.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

There’s an increasing number of musicians, visual artists and artisans who have chosen to set up shop in Garden City. Many of these artists are from Boise or other parts of the Treasure Valley. The trend has been led by a few visionaries who recognize two things about the town: the cheap real estate, and plenty of space to practice their passion.

Two Boise State University professors have received a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to study the relationship between three western universities and their local arts scenes.

Courtesy Dr. Lauren Fins

You eat it all the time, but how much do you really know about chocolate? One Moscow woman is working to educate Idahoans about this fascinating food and will host a seminar on the subject Wednesday night in Twin Falls.

Chocolate has been used as a form of currency, medicine - even an aphrodisiac. The average American eats 12 pounds of it a year, yet Dr. Lauren Fins says many of us know little about its hundreds of years of history.

Flickr Creative Commons

Happy free-comic-book eve. That’s not a thing, but Free Comic Book Day is, and it’s on Saturday. This annual event could also be called nerd-recruitment day. It’s the industry’s way of luring people into comic-book shops who may not otherwise venture into the realms of the nerd lords.

Allie Goeckner and April Mantha / College of Western Idaho

Petroglyphs found outside of Melba in Southern Idaho have been around for thousands of years, but these symbols carved into solid rock are fading. Erosion and vandalism have put these pieces of history in jeopardy. Now a student club from the College of Western Idaho is working to preserve them.

Shital Dhakal is a grad student at Boise State, and he's lived in Idaho for the last year-and-a-half. When he heard news of the earthquake in Nepal that has killed more than 4,000 people, he immediately tried to reach out to his family – but their cell service was down.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Anthony Doerr says winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction will simultaneously add and relieve pressure on his creative process.

The Idaho resident won the Pulitzer this week for his novel “All The Light We Cannot See.”

Isabelle Selby

Boise writer Anthony Doerr has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the most prestigious award given exclusively to American authors.

Mormon church, temple square, salt lake city
Doug Kerr / Flickr Creative Commons

New figures from the Mormon church show that a record increase in missionaries didn't lead to an equally dramatic spike in converts.

Statistics released by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints show there were nearly 300,000 converts last year. The figure marked a 9 percent increase from two years ago, even though the number of missionaries increased by 44 percent.

Mormon church spokesman Eric Hawkins said a number of factors may contribute to fewer baptisms per missionary, including a world that is increasingly secular.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A warehouse across from the Boise Public Library is bustling with activity, as dozens and dozens of boxes of books are brought in and unloaded.

“Boxes everywhere, we drown in boxes!” says volunteer Diana Cross. She’s helping set up for the 33rd annual Spring Book Sale, organized by the Friends of the Boise Public Library.

Kevin Martini-Fuller /

Much to the lament of his many fans, cowboy poet Baxter Black is taking a break from the stage. Black has been entertaining audiences for more than 25 years, traveling all over the country, including Idaho. One of his last stage shows will be this Saturday in Sun Valley.

Leslie Durham, Amanda Ashley / Boise State University

A study released this week shows Boise has a vibrant cultural scene, but points to gaps in artistic opportunities, especially among emerging artists.

The comprehensive study from Boise State University professors surveyed more than 500 artists from a variety of disciplines. Visual artists, designers, musicians, dancers, writers, filmmakers and theater artists were all included.

In the annals of journalism, there is a long tradition of newsfolks — reporters, writers, broadcasters — pulling April Fools' Day tricks on readers and listeners. Sometimes the prank prevails; sometimes it fails.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The 2015 Treefort Music Fest ramps up Friday with the opening of its main stage in downtown Boise.  By the time the event ends Sunday, more than 400 bands will have entertained thousands of indie music fans.  One of those fans is journalist David Greenwald.  He writes about music for the Oregonian newspaper.

According to Sue Paul, the Executive Director of the Warhawk Air Museum, Vietnam veterans never got the respect they deserved. Paul says it’s time to put things right and look at the war as a military action, without all the politics and the Hollywood myths that have sprung up over time.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the war, Warhawk teamed up with the Department of Defense to host a series of educational talks on the history of Vietnam.

Forty-seven years ago, Boise filmmaker Ken Rodgers found himself in the middle of the longest battle of the Vietnam War. Now, his mission is to make sure no one ever forgets the men he fought with.

Rodgers’ documentary film “Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor” is a look back at the battle of Khe Sanh.

Courtesy: The Cabin

Boise's annual Treefort Music Fest isn't just about up-and-coming bands, there are "forts" for techies, beer enthusiasts, and yogis. Plus there's a fort for people who love words and stories.

Treefort kicks off this week and this will be the second year of Storyfort.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Treefort Music Fest would not be possible without the help of volunteers. When the indie music festival began in 2012, about 100 people offered to help get it started. This year, 600 volunteers will donate their time to Treefort. 

Volunteers allowed the festival to go from three days and 130 bands, to five days with more than 400 bands. Other genres like writing, film, and technology have also been added over the years.

Maryland Gov pics / Flickr Creative Commons

Author Sherman Alexie is speaking in Boise Wednesday, but the event at the 744-seat Egyptian Theater sold out three minutes after going on sale to the general public. That may have something to do with the free publicity Alexie has had in the Treasure Valley.