City of Boise leaders consistently hear from residents that Downtown should have a new performing arts center, spokesman Mike Journee said Wednesday.
So the city is hiring a Connecticut-based consultant to study the possibility of adding one. Over the next six months or so, the city will pay AMS Planning and Research up to $73,000 to find out whether a small Downtown theater is, in fact, warranted.
AMS will interview Boise residents and examine other cities for examples of small performing arts centers. For now, Journee said, Boise is thinking of a size “somewhere in between a Morrison Center and some of the other smaller theaters.”
If AMS determines a new Downtown theater is, in fact, warranted, it would examine the possibility of including it in a new main library branch, Journee said.
On the surface, that makes some sense. The idea of including headquarters for Boise’s Arts and History Department in a rebuild of the library’s main branch has some traction at City Hall. Also, as Journee pointed out, the library’s location — across the street from Julia Davis Park and several museums and next to reading and writing center The Cabin — offers a natural home for an arts theater.
The discussion on other details, such as how much such a theater would cost, who would pay for it, and when it would be built, has yet to begin. If a proposal takes shape, Journee said, the city could seek contributions from Greater Boise Auditorium District.