Arts & Culture

Kate Grosswiler / for Boise State Public Radio

Boise playwright Heidi Kraay has a lot to celebrate these days.

This weekend marks the end of the two-week run of “DIRT,” her most recent production. Without giving too much away, it’s the story of a flashy new medical company that makes a product promising health and longevity for its Boise clients.

The avant-garde show is smart, funny and dark -- and is the culmination of an idea Kraay’s been working on for years.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

In June 1944, Robert Haga was on board the USS Chickadee in the waters off of Normandy. Now, a Boise resident, Haga is one of the D-Day veterans featured in a new NOVA special on PBS, "D-Day’s Sunken Secrets."

In the program, a team of experts explores the sea beds along the coastline of Normandy from above and below the water, inviting veterans like Haga along for the journey.

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

A Mormon women's group pushing for gender equality is shifting from public demonstrations to small discussion groups.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Ordain Women is aiming to find new supporters among the 15 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The group has created six discussion topics that highlight gender disparity in the faith.

The group formed last year to advocate for women's inclusion in higher-level positions, including the lay clergy.

Frankie Barnhill / for Boise State Public Radio

Cody Rutty knows all about peace and quiet.

A couple of years ago, the Boise-based painter retreated to the tiny town of New Meadows. He rented a studio out of an old brick bank building, and started cranking out painting after painting. At age 26, Rutty made art his fulltime job.

“Really all I had to do was paint. I had a studio and just a lot of materials and there weren’t a lot of people," Rutty says. "I had all the windows curtained off. Yeah, it was quite the adventure.”

Why We're Introducing You To 5 Emerging Boise Artists

May 22, 2014
Kate Grosswiler

On Friday, KBSX will begin a series of stories on five emerging Boise artists. We’re calling the series “Artist Statement.” I won a grant from the Boise City Arts and History Department to produce these stories.

To learn more about the series, I sat down with Scott Graf to explain why we're telling these stories, and what you can expect over the next five weeks.

Q: Where did you get the idea for this series?

Artist Statement: Meet 5 Emerging Boise Artists

May 21, 2014
Anne McDonald, Frankly Frankie
Kate Grosswiler / For Boise State Public Radio

Boise is home to a burgeoning artistic scene. Artists from different genres are collaborating in interesting and sometimes challenging ways, pushing Boiseans to new understandings of art. With the shadow of the Great Recession still hanging over them, a group of emerging artists have decided to make Boise their springboard – potentially changing the city’s cultural landscape forever.

chadh / Flickr Creative Commons

The saga of two groups with competing plans to jump Idaho’s Snake River Canyon has featured quarreling county and city officials, attempts to draw focus from the other, and a lot of smack talk. The melodrama around the jumps of “Big” Ed Beckley and Eddie Braun had reached the reality TV level -- so the next logical step was obviously to make it into reality TV.

Broadcaster Fox told advertisers Monday it had signed a deal with both jump teams and will air both attempts in a TV special this fall, with the working title “Jump of the Century.”

Mount Borah
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A recent Gallup survey found that 17 percent of Idahoans have made plans to leave the state within a year. Those planning to leave told Gallup it was primarily for work, family, and school-related reasons.

If given the option, 29 percent of Idahoans say they'd leave while 69 percent told Gallup they'd prefer to stay. So, we want to know why you've decided to live in Idaho.

Isabelle Selby

When we spoke to Idaho author Anthony Doerr in 2010 about his award winning book "Memory Wall," we asked him what his next novel would be about. 

“It’s about radio of all things,” Doerr answered. “It’s about the power of radio. I’m just trying to bring a reader back to that time when it was still kind of a miracle to hear the voice of a stranger in your home.”

Estately Blog

Idaho is a good place to be if you're into science fiction, comic books, and LARP-ing (that's live-action role playing). A lighthearted post from the blog Estately, and picked up by CNET, shows Idaho is the fourth 'nerdiest' (their word, not ours) state in the country.

Eviction
Phil Atlakson

In Cambodia, a group of women have started a movement to save their homes from destruction. For the past two years, Boise State University Theater Arts Professor Phil Atlakson and his son Garret have been filming their story.

Atlakson is the producer of the short film “Eviction.” His son is the director. It features the ongoing fight in Cambodia between homeowners and government-backed corporations who are demolishing villager’s homes to create new developments.

This post was updated on April 21. 

Filmmaker Karen Day says she made her Kickstarter goal, with 12 hours to spare. Day needed $26,000 to wrap up editing and finish up the documentary,Nell Shipman: The Girl From God's Country.” She beat that goal, by $360. 

Day says, “We made it! Now, onward to post production!”

Original story was posted April 18.

Idaho State Historical Society

An effort to save and restore a 120-year-old downtown Boise mansion hit a snag at auction Friday.

Samantha Martin has been working with Preservation Idaho to prevent the Fowler house from being demolished. Her original plan was to raise enough cash buy the land across the street from the house at 5th and Myrtle and relocate it there.

Adam Dressler

Do you sometimes feel like you have too much stuff cluttering up your life?  Can 20 pairs of shoes really make you happy? Two Northwest authors say maybe not. 

Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are childhood best friends who had normal, 20-something lives.  They had good jobs, homes, cars, clothes, and gadgets. But one day they figured out all that stuff wasn’t making them happy. So they got rid of it. Now they live simply in Montana, and travel the country spreading the word of Minimalism.

Frankie Barnhill / for Boise State Public Radio

It’s hard not to be struck by how happy and normal the Frank family seems in the photos taken before they went into hiding in 1942 during World War II. There’s a black and white photo of Anne with her older sister Margot on the beach, another with all four of her family members dressed up and smiling in a courtyard.  

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A new original play opens Saturday at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT), and there’s a chance the actors might be handed new lines between now and then. I’ve been following the creation of The Uncanny Valley for nearly a year, ever since I had a chance run in with BCT’s Dwayne Blackaller last April. He told me about the new play he was writing with BCT artistic director Matthew Cameron Clark.

Idaho State Historical Society

Parts of downtown Boise were once covered with stately homes and mansions full of history. Slowly, those homes have disappeared, and have been replaced with new development. One woman is working to save one of those remaining historic homes, the Fowler house at 5th and Myrtle, from demolition.

Josh Ritter
Tim Teeling / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s largest arts organization Tuesday announced its performance schedule for the upcoming season. The Sun Valley Center for the Arts kicks off its annual summer concert series in July and its winter concerts in October. Its lecture series also begins in October and features a noted historian, a rock n roll photographer, and NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantum will talk about how our brains shape our lives.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Carie Kawa awkwardly holds a beat-up, framed poster showing earth-seen-from-space to face the mostly empty seats at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT.) The first week of rehearsal is ending for the original play The Uncanny Valley. The poster is a stand-in for a painting which is an important linchpin in the plot. The story turns on this prop, but the prop itself is too big for Kawa to turn around to show another actor as she’s supposed to.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Contemporary Theater's new original play, The Uncanny Valley opens in less than three weeks and the script isn't yet finished. The new original play is a work in progress we’ve been following for a few months.

Just last month actors gathered for their first table read.  This was the first time writers and co-directors Dwayne Blackaller and Matthew Cameron Clark showed all the actors the play. Clark is also acting in this show.

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