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And the Winners are ...

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And the Winners are ...

... for you to help decide. The Boise City Arts Commission (BCAC) is taking nominations for the 2007 Mayor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts. These awards acknowledge organizations and individuals for contributions and support of art and creativity that "further enhance the cultural climate of the City of Boise," according to a BCAC press release. Awards will be given in categories including artistic excellence in visual, literary or performing arts; excellence in arts education; individual support of the arts; business support of the arts; and excellence in business integration of the arts. BCAC and the Mayor's Office will determine the winners. The deadline for nominations is Friday, June 15, and the winners will be announced September 21 at the Basque Center in conjunction with Fall for Boise. As well as all the accolades sure to be showered on the winners at the ceremony, award recipients will receive a special recognition from the Mayor and their names added to a plaque housed at City Hall (probably in a high-traffic, very visible location).

For a nomination form or more information, visit www.cityofboise.org. City Hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd., Building 2, First Floor, 208-433-5677.

And the Recipients Are ...

... writers Michael FitzGerald, Daniel Orozco, Dian Raptosh, Judy Sobeloff and Mitch Wieland of fellowships from the Idaho Commission on the Arts (ICA). A panel judged these literati on artistic excellence--their work shows originality, and presents distinguished consistency and pre-eminent quality--and professional history which includes evidence of exceptional continued aesthetic investigation in his/her chosen medium, professional activities and achievements. FitzGerald--whose recent work, Radiant Days, has garnered national attention--received $3,500 for his fiction writing (BW profiled FitzGerald in the March 27 issue in "Truer Than Truth"); Orozco, an assistant professor at the University of Idaho, who has taught several courses in fiction writing, received $3,500 for his own fiction writing; Raptosh, a professor of English at Albertson College of Idaho, was awarded $3,500 for her poetry; Sobeloff, the director of the Moscow Community Creative Writing Workshop, received $3,500 for her work in creative nonfiction; and Wieland, an associate professor of English at Boise State was awarded $3,500 for his fiction writing. All of these writers have received awards throughout their distinguished careers and continue to have their works published.

The ICA also selected local writer Anthony Doerr as the state's writer in residence (WIR). Doerr receives $8,000 for his post which he will hold for three years. According to Cort Conley, director of literature at the ICA, the WIR is expected to present four readings per year of his tenure at locations across the state. Many of those readings will be given in smaller cities and towns and will be chosen in part by Doerr and in part by requests made by the cities themselves.

The history of Idaho's writer in residence program began in 1923 when Gov. C.C. Moore gave the life-long appointment of poet laureate to Irene Welch Grissom. She held the post until her death in 1946. The qualifications for and responsibilities of the writer in residence have changed over the last seven decades. Now the selection is made from Idaho applicants whose anonymous submissions are judged by a panel of out-of-state writers with 60 percent based on artistic excellence, 20 percent on contributions to the field and 20 percent for oral presentation (the panel listens to oral readings by the applicants submitted on tape). The panel's final choice is approved by the governor.

Doerr has just completed his third book, a non-fiction work titled Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World. It is set to hit bookshelves in the U.S. in mid-June.

For more information on the ICA, visit www.arts.idaho.gov, For more information on Idaho's new writer in residence, visit www.anthonydoerr.com.

--Amy Atkins

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