Every community of the Treasure Valley’s size has arts and entertainment options.
But not every community has an Idaho Shakespeare Festival, with a setting along the rolling Boise River.
Not every community has the Idaho Botanical Garden’s Outlaw Field, a glorious outdoor setting to take in a concert on a summer evening.
Certainly, not every community even has a movie theater like the Village Cinema in Meridian, where you can sit in balcony seats and enjoy full waiter service.
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With options like these, it’s easy to see why Treasure Valley residents continue to support the arts in a big way.
“I think Boise has come a long way in the time that I’ve spent in Boise, and I’ve been here 23 years,” said Charles Fee, the producing artistic director of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, which won for Best Performing Arts Group. “There’s been a real sense of people wanting to support the arts, and certainly supporting the arts at the major level, with the (Boise) Philharmonic and Ballet Idaho and the Shakespeare Festival. But we’ve also seen growth in the smaller companies, smaller dance companies, smaller theater companies.”
That’s not to mention Art in the Park (Best Community Event), which allows hundreds of artists to display their wares at Julia Davis Park each fall. Or the phenomenon of Curtis Stigers and Built to Spill (Best Musician/Band), local musicians with national – even international – acclaim. Or the growth of the Treefort Music Fest, which draws hundreds of bands to Boise venues.
“Music has really taken off,” Fee said. “That’s great for all of us.”
Fee said what sets arts in the Treasure Valley apart is its uniqueness.
The Shakespeare Festival’s setting is a perfect example.
“You really want to define yourself and your company’s aesthetic not only by what you put on stage, but also the venues you perform in,” he said. “And our venue, out next to the river and slightly out of town, has its own destination appeal.
“It’s a unique place to come for an evening of entertainment.”
Just like so many places across the Treasure Valley.
Best of Treasure Valley Arts & Entertainment winners: