Helping Works

All abuzz at Boise Hive: Save haven for musicians gets an upgrade

Designers share ideas for revitalizing the historic recording space with Hive board members.
Designers share ideas for revitalizing the historic recording space with Hive board members. Boise Hive/Juta Geurtsen

The Boise Hive, the nonprofit sober practice/rehearsal studio that also provides mental health support and other services for musicians, is celebrating its run of good luck. The Hive is inviting the public in on Sept. 15 to learn more about its work fostering creativity and building a strong community.

The Hive nearly lost its space in 2015 when its historic building on the Boise Bench was up for sale. Luckily, an anonymous music lover stepped up to buy the building and keep the Hive in place. More recently, the Hive was the beneficiary of “Revive the Hive,” a charitable project with the Interior Designers of Idaho. The group spent the past year refurbishing the space, all with donated labor and supplies, lots of time and inspired ideas.

“The designers approached us when we were still in an unstable time with our building up for sale,” said Hive Executive Director Juta Geurtsen. “But they were so confident that it would work out, that this was our home.”

Anna Grace Augusto, Interior Designers of Idaho board member, said the group had been looking for a nonprofit organization with a strong mission to help.

“We stumbled on the Boise Hive. Its mission statement spoke to all of us, providing a low-cost and sober environment for musicians,” said Augusto. “And then the mental health counseling. Everyone can relate to struggles with mental health and addiction.”

Attractive, too, was the building’s history. Musicians like Curtis Stigers, Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Commonauts among others practiced and recorded there. Plus, said Augusto, the building has “good bones.”

“But it needed a revival. Not just to look better, but to work better,” she said.

She estimates between 20 and 30 local businesses donated time and wares to repaint, install acoustic ceilings, lighting, a coffee bar and more. The designers kept the sentimental value of the place in mind as well. The main recording studio had shaggy carpet of questionable taste and cleanliness. But for a lot of musicians, the carpet was part of the ambiance and character of the place. They wanted to keep it. The designers offered an “olive branch,” said Augusto. They cleaned the carpet and cut it into small area rugs. Other special touches: a light fixture made from drum sticks and a cool glass garage door for the common room.

“It’s been piece by piece, room by room,” said Geurtsen. “But the work has brought new light to the space.”

The building’s rehabilitation sends a message that musicians’ work and space are important, she added. The project and open house on Sept. 15 also mark the launch of the Hive’s wellness program for musicians which includes free or reduced-cost counseling, addiction counseling, dental care and more.

“We’re in a position now to really assess the needs of the community,” said Geurtsen. Currently, around 20 bands use the Hive’s rehearsal spaces each week. They can rent space to practice for as little as $6 an hour for the smallest studio.

The Hive will look for new funding sources for its programs, recruit volunteer care providers and try not to duplicate services already available to people in need, said Geurtsen.

See the renovated space, meet Hive members, enjoy food trucks and live music at The Big Reveal Celebration, 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 15, at Boise Hive, 3907 Custer Dr. in Boise. The event is all-ages.

Remembering POW/MIAs

The Idaho State Veterans Home hosts a ceremony on Sept. 16 to mark National POW/MIA Day. People will gather at 11 a.m. on the VA grounds, 500 W. Fort St., by the flag pole, said Phil Hawkins, a Vietnam veteran and volunteer coordinator at the Idaho State Veterans Home. Approximately 20 former prisoners of war live in the Treasure Valley, said Hawkins. All will receive invitations to the ceremony. He doesn’t know how many will attend, but those who do and who are willing to share their stories will have the chance to do so.

The brief ceremony will include a “missing man table,” said Hawkins. Also called a “fallen comrade table,” it includes an empty chair, a rose to symbolize bloodshed, a lemon to symbolize the bitterness of captivity, salt to represent tears and other items.

The remembrance will mark the beginning of the annual Veterans Olympics beginning with a procession of athletes on the VA grounds beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17.

On that note, the YMCA is asking for volunteers to help with the Olympics from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Register online on the Y’s website or email Darcy Wahl, Downtown YMCA volunteer coordinator at

The public is invited and encouraged to attend all events, said Hawkins.

Rock on: Time for the annual Rock Party

The Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology, 2455 Old Penitentiary Road, hosts this annual favorite, noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18. Geology enthusiasts will find hands-on activity stations for kids exploring Idaho mining history, fossils and more. Each child will receive a certificate and a free rock. Other events include hillside geology hikes for families, gold panning, geode-cracking and more. Seismograph, mining and geology experts will be available to answer questions all afternoon. $4 for adults, $2 for kids ages 5-17, free for ages 4 and younger and museum members. The Idaho Humanities Council sponsors the event. 208-283-3186.

Scales of Justice fishing tournament needs volunteers

Ada County Juvenile Court Services hosts the 13th annual Scales of Justice fishing tournament at CJ Strike Reservoir on Sunday, Sept. 18. Ada County needs volunteer boaters to help with the tournament that will let 35 young people spend a day on the water learning to fish with the help of county staff, sponsors and volunteers. Volunteers are also needed in other roles, including taking photos, running raffles and more on-shore activities.

If you’d like to help, find a volunteer application online at

The annual tournament has a nice history. It started in 2003 when Juvenile Court Judge John Vehlow promised a young offender that he’d take him fishing if he completed his probation and stayed out of trouble. The outing took place and county officials decided to expand the program to include more young people. Ada County now rewards juveniles who stay in good standing with a day of fishing lessons from experienced anglers, as well as a new fishing rod and reel, and a stocked tackle box to keep after the tournament.

Purplestride Boise will fight pancreatic cancer

This year’s 5K run and family-friendly walk will take place on Sept. 10 in Ann Morrison Park. Register online at to help raise money and awareness.

Organizers of the fundraiser shared this contact information for anyone dealing with pancreatic cancer: Contact Patient Central for information and resources: 877-272-6226 or email: