Culture

Following one of the most divisive and contentious elections in history, it is easy to say that we are a nation in cultural crisis. But what does that actually mean? In the Rust Belt, as well as in rural Appalachia, it means factories closing and good jobs shipped overseas in less than a generation. It means an uptick in drug abuse and violence in the home, an erosion of the education system and trust in our government, and the disintegration of children’s dreams for a better future than that of their parents.

As anyone with children, or grandchildren, knows, parenting isn’t easy. Children and adolescents are growing up in a complex and connected world where smartphones, video games, organized activities and friends vie for their attention. At the same time, parents aren’t exactly always sure what their job description should be – or how to best nurture their child.

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.

Those of us who grew up playing the board game “Monopoly” likely remember the thrill of landing on an up-for-grabs Boardwalk or Park Place, and buying the pricey properties with our stash of brightly colored fake money. We might also recall the feeling of trepidation when we landed on those same properties after they had been purchased and improved by someone else, knowing we would have to pay an exorbitant rental fee before we could once again pass “Go” and collect our much-needed $200.

Declutter

Idaho really sucks, when it comes to playing the video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. That’s according to new research from Decluttr, a company that buys used CDs, DVDs and games over the internet.

The site created a map of “The Video Game That Each State Sucks At The Most.” For Idaho, that was Skyrim, an adventure game where players can fight dragons, among other things.

screengrab blogs.estately.com

There’s a theory that postulates you can learn a lot about a person from what he/she searches for online (though I think people in the sciences would quibble over the use of the word theory there.) A blog from real estate site estately.com extends that theory to learning about states from residents’ Google searches. Estately’s 2015 list says Idaho Googled the word “Vaccines” more than any other state.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is rounding out her two-day visit to Idaho today. Chairman Jane Chu has toured arts facilities in Boise and Twin Falls during her trip, after being invited to Idaho by Congressman Mike Simpson.

Chu says she wanted to see firsthand some of the projects the NEA is helping to fund in the state.

“The NEA has funded a number of projects here in Boise," says Chu, "and also we’re so appreciative of what the Idaho Arts Commission is doing.”

One of the largest Basque communities in the United States will spend the next five days celebrating the traditional Jaialdi festival in southwestern Idaho.

An estimated 35,000 to 50,000 people are expected to attend the five-day party —which starts Tuesday in Boise— as a showcase of the culture. The festival originally started in 1987, and has been held every five years starting in 1990 ever since.

Idaho State Historical Society

The University of Idaho is set to open its new law center at the renovated Old Ada County Courthouse later this summer. But university officials want to cover up a controversial mural depicting the hanging of a Native American by white settlers. Historians, though, don't want that to happen. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Said Ahmed-Zaid is an engineering professor at Boise State University. He's lived in Boise for 18 years, and is also a spokesperson for the city's Islamic Center. He's held that position since 9/11, representing his minority religion's members in a majority Christian state.

Chad Dryden / The Record Exchange

Boise rockers Built to Spill will officially release their eighth full-length album next Tuesday.

"Untethered Moon" is the first studio album from the band since 2009, and features a new lineup with drummer Steve Gere and bassist Jason Albertini.

But as part of National Record Store Day, vinyl lovers will get an early chance to pick up the new record on Saturday.

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 / Baxterblack.com

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.

Alex Hecht / Treefort Music Fest

Treefort Music Fest organizers had hoped to garner a wider audience of music fans this year, so they brought in a mix of well-known and under-the-radar bands for the indie festival. Over the course of five days, more than 400 bands performed at venues across downtown Boise.
 

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