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Boise is accepting grant proposals for art projects

Les Miserables being performed at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Boise has awarded the Idaho Shakespeare Festival grants each of the last three years to expand access of its shows to people who wouldn't traditionally go such as the hard of hearing, students and the financially strained. File photo.

Les Miserables is performed at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Boise has awarded the Idaho Shakespeare Festival grants each of the last three years to expand access of its shows to people who wouldn’t traditionally go, such as the hard of hearing, students and the low-income. File photo.

The City of Boise has about $150,000 to give to artists and businesses through a grant program and is now accepting applications.

Boise dedicates 1 percent of its General Fund to the Department of Arts and History. The department disperses much of that money to local artists through grants every year.

The city awards grants to projects that directly benefit Boise residents by expanding Boise’s cultural base. Projects must be accessible to Boise residents and located within city limits to receive funding.

Boise is accepting proposals through June 19 for projects and initiatives that will take place between Oct. 1 and Sept. 1, 2018. The department is offering workshops for potential applicants.

“The City of Boise does a great job with local artists and making it feel like art and culture is everywhere,” said Theresa Burkes, president of the Treasure Valley Artist Alliance board of directors. “I think artists need to work with city officials in other parts of the state to make them realize how important the arts community is to making an area feel livable.”

Individuals and organizations can apply for grants worth between $1,000 and $5,000 to help offset general and operating expenses for projects and performances.

Boise does not consider proposals from government agencies or for lobbying efforts, personal travel or  individual education.

Funding requests cannot exceed 50 percent of a project’s total expenses.  Organizations and artists can request more than $5,000 if they believe their project closely aligns with the city’s interests and costs more than $10,000. Last year, Boise awarded 14 grants worth between $6,000 and $10,000.

Boise has given about $200,000 to art projects each of the last two years and has awarded $1.25 million through this grant program since 1996.

The city has given grants to 355 individuals and organizations since 1996 and overseas more than 450 works valued at $5.5 million.

Prior recipients

Boise’s Department of Arts and History gives grants to individual artists, non-profits and businesses. Prior grants include:

  • $5,000 to Jordan Noël Hawkes for year-round film workshops and screenings for local filmmakers.
  • $5,000 to Radio Boise for live in-studio performances featuring local artists.
  • $10,000 to Angie Smith for large-scale vinyl portraits of refugees hung Downtown at City Hall and the Grove Plaza.
  • $5,000 to MING Studios to bring the traveling exhibit Museum of Broken Relationships to Boise.
  • $8,000 to Friends of MK Nature Center to install a piece of mosaic art at the MK Nature Center this summer.

Application Criteria The Department of Arts and History judges grant proposals based on:

  • Benefits to Boise residents.
  • Appeal of the project to people of many ages, income levels, and cultures.
  • Applicant’s previous work and demonstrated skill.
  • Project’s success at addressing community needs or issues.
  • Clarity of the proposal’s budget.

About Benton Alexander Smith

Benton Alexander Smith is a reporter for the Idaho Business Review, covering the Idaho Legislature, new business, technology and financial services.