Arts & Culture

Carrie Quinney

Ballet Idaho / via Facebook


The pandemic has dramatically impacted arts organization across the globe, forcing some to close their doors for good. Others have been able to pivot performances online and resume at least some operations for their artists and fans.

Dana Quinney

This interview originally aired on Nov. 5, 2020.

Dana Quinney grew up in Ketchum during the 1950s. She became a field biologist and college professor, eventually settling into her lifelong passion of being a writer. Her memoir “Wildflower Girl” was published last year and just won 2019 Book of the Year by the Idaho Library Association. Quinney joins Idaho Matters live to talk more about her book and the award.

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters

Idaho arts organizations are celebrating, even as many venue stages across the country have lain dormant since the onset of the coronavirus last March. James Dawson tells us why.

Peter Lovera / Treefort Music Fest


Embedded in the more than 5,000 page new COVID-19 relief bill is a provision to help support the flailing arts industry. The pandemic forced the temporary of stages in March across Idaho, putting venues, promoters and arts organizations in the most challenging financial position they’ve ever faced. 

via Facebook / Idaho Botanical Garden

This interview originally aired Nov. 3, 2020.

The Idaho Botanical Garden's 'Winter Garden a Glow' event has been a staple of holiday activities in the treasure valley for more than two decades. And this winter wonderland will continue this year, just with some new rules in place in order to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

Erin Anderson with the Botanical Garden shares what's in store this year with Idaho Matters.

via Facebook / Visual Arts Collective

Music and performing arts venues were some of the first things to shut down last spring during the pandemic and have largely remained closed even as restaurants, bars, malls and other businesses reopened. Even after the COVID-19 vaccine is available in Idaho, indoor concerts and performances are likely not to bounce back immediately.

Boise City Arts & History Department

This year we celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. And while this was a great accomplishment for the movement and gave so many more Americans the right to vote, we also know that the constitutional amendment only applied to white women, leaving out countless other groups including Black women, Indigenous people and other marginalized groups.

Arlie Sommer / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is home to some fantastic folk artists. Boise State Public Radio's Expressive Idaho series explores the Gem State through the folk art lens. Today on Idaho Matters, we're featuring the stories of Boise Basque musician Dan Ansotegui and Duck Valley leatherworker Ryan Carpenter with his apprentice Monte Cummins.

Like so many industries, the arts have been hit hard during the pandemic. One of Idaho’s art staples, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, had to shut down the entire season over the summer due to COVID-19, which means less revenue coming in. So to help with that the Shakespeare Festival has come up with a unique fundraiser, "The Snow Must Go On," a virtual holiday Cabaret.

Virus Outbreak Christmas Trees
Paula Bronstein / AP Images

Have you bought your Christmas tree yet? At least one local vendor says that if you want one, now is the time to get one. With more people staying home this holiday season as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, Christmas trees are in short supply.

Our Morning Edition host George Prentice checked in with Lindsay Schramm of the North End Organic Nursery in Garden City.

Jordan Strauss / AP Photo

As winter sets in and we’re finding ourselves more and more inside while the pandemic drags on, TV is becoming a refuge for entertainment and escape. But the all-important question of “what should we watch tonight?” continues to linger! If you’ve spent any time scrolling through streaming services with your family or by yourself, not sure what to watch, you understand what we mean.

cloudzilla / Flickr Creative Commons

The COVID-19 pandemic has made online dating sites more popular than ever. And when it comes to meeting someone for the first time online, your profile picture can make or break potential dates. A recent study suggests 43% of people think they can get a sense of someone’s personality by their picture. So what happens when men add their cats to their photos?

That’s the question two researchers from Boise State University and Colorado State University ask in a recent study.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Arts organizations have taken a hit this year. To stay afloat, they’ve had to embrace virtual means of showcasing their work. At first, this just looked like live-streamed performances or other replications of what you’d see in person. But soon, these organizations innovated ways to use technology and the internet to connect with new artists and audiences.   

One such organization is The Cabin in Boise, whose upcoming evening of performances and readings leans into the virtual platform. Kurt Zwolfer is the executive director of The Cabin and joins Idaho Matters along with Malia Collins, Idaho’s current Writer in Residence.

Riley Haun / University of Idaho

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't the first pandemic in recorded history. In fact, personal stories of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic exist deep in the archives. For college students today struggling through quarantines, strained social dynamics, new academic demands and the politics of visiting home for the holidays, it might be comforting to know that young adults their age went through — and survived — all of this before.

Ballet Idaho

Snow falling today in the Treasure Valley accenutated the holiday mood shared by Idaho Matters guest Anne Mueller, Artistic Associate at Ballet Idaho. She introduced the upcoming dance production, "Spectacular Holiday Spectaular."

The inspiration for its music came from Mueller's time listening to Carl Scheider, the radio host of Private Idaho and Idaho Music on Boise State Public Radio. Every December, our DJ has broadcast Idaho holiday music from the Idaho Ho Ho! series of albums by the Audiolab Recording Studio.

Courtesy of Mike Kaplan

In 1968, Mike Kaplan, a long time Canyon County resident, was working in New York City as part of the team for the groundbreaking film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. The science fiction film was visionary and it vaulted its producer and director Stanley Kubrick into the pantheon of great film directors. 

2001 was about a manned space journey to Jupiter, extraterrestrial life and the artificial intelligence of computer named HAL. The film, at first, received a mixed reaction, then, Academy Award nominations, fame, and 52 years later, it’s a film classic.

Kaplan was the marketing director for the film, but he joined Idaho Matters live to talk about the sound of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was notable for having very little dialogue and no traditional musical score. He described his personal journey that began with Kubrick's sudden challenge to him in 1968: compose a song for this film.

Story Story Night/Facebook

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant no going to live plays, musical concerts and even Boise’s storytelling event Story Story Night. Now, instead of coming together monthly in a shared space to tell stories from the stage, Story Story Night has gone virtual. They’ve embraced the change, coming up with a new season based on classic TV game shows. The first virtual event of the season is Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. and is based on “Family Feud.”

Idaho Matters checks in with Jodi Eichelberger, the artistic director of Story Story Night.

The New York Times

This interview originally aired July 27, 2020.

“The Daily” is a five day a week audio show from the New York Times. It’s heard by more than two million listeners each week and carried by more than 200 public radio stations. It began as a podcast that launched after the 2016 election.

Boise State Public Radio began airing "The Daily" Monday-Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. Idaho Matters talks with host Michael Barbaro to learn more about how the show decides what to cover and how to tell complex human-centered stories in a non-stop news environment.

via Facebook / Saint Alphonsus Hospital

The Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees has kicked off the holiday season in the Treasure Valley. However, just like so many things this year’s event is going to be experienced virtually