The Pacific Northwest is a region that knows the power of the arts. From world-class ballet in Seattle, WA, to award-winning fine arts camps in Sitka, AK, to acclaimed literary festivals in Portland, OR, organizations throughout the region are bringing the arts to local communities. This is no less true in Boise, ID, where the Trust has had the opportunity to support several performing arts organizations that are offering premier performances while also expanding access to the arts.
Idaho Shakespeare Festival
For the Idaho Shakespeare Festival (ISF), what started 45 years ago as a small group of college graduates producing a play for two weeks has turned into a first-rate professional theater company in the heart of Boise. ISF performs for its more than 75,000 patrons in its amphitheater on the banks of the Boise River. It also operates two educational outreach tours that travels to 150 schools and performs for more than 50,000 students each year, including remote and mountainous regions. This outreach, in addition to American Sign Language interpretations for all plays, free tickets for veterans and other groups, and a teaching residency at a local children’s hospital, helps bring the theater to those who might not otherwise have access to it.
What ISF brings to the Boise theater scene, the Boise Philharmonic provides to the city’s music community. At the Boise Phil, a nine-month season of live performances fill concert halls. Free community concerts are brought to alternative venues such as museums and wineries. A digital streaming service offers virtual opportunities, youth orchestras educate high school students, and an outreach program provides musical experiences for underserved communities. These are just some of the ways this organization is breathing life into its community through music.
With a vision to create transformative experiences that enrich lives and celebrate the human spirit, Ballet Idaho is also offering premier artistic experiences to Boise through dance. This organization houses Ballet Idaho Academy, which trains dancers of all skills and trajectories. It also brings ballet to a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds through outreach programs, youth ensembles, and more that serve more than 15,000 students annually. As the only professional ballet company in Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming, Ballet Idaho is an artistic cornerstone in the state.
Whatever your performance of choice, Boise has something for you thanks to these organizations and others like them. It is an honor and joy to support the people behind these performances, and to invest in the capacity of these nonprofits so they can continue to provide opportunities for artistic engagement throughout Boise.
To these organizations, and others like them throughout our region, we applaud you!