by Andrew Crisp
At Boise Contemporary Theater Nov. 14, it was news to few people in the audience that the arts do, indeed, matter.
That much was clear in nods of approval the speakers received during an afternoon showcase of Boise's arts organizations, whose artistic directors expounded on their unique insights into the arts.
Arts Matter presenters included BCT artistic director Matthew Cameron Clark, BCT Theater Lab director Dwayne Blackaller, Boise Philharmonic music director Robert Franz, Opera Idaho executive director Mark Junkert and Balance Dance Company artistic director Leah Stephens Clark.
Following the speakers, artists engaged the audience with short performances. Representing the role the arts play in education, three high-school dancers performed "Post Card," a movement gleaned from their time spent with Balance Dance Company.
"I believe 21st century education is rooted in the arts," said Stephens Clark, who also serves as performing arts specialist at the Foothills Academy.
Blackaller introduced a group of six female high-school students, who performed the first moments of a play they wrote in BCT's Theater Lab program.
"The connection between schooling and arts schooling is phenomenal," Blackaller said. "I think it's really important to remember that arts can prop up academic learning; it's never a drain."
Hosted by the Idaho Women's Charitable Foundation, event organizers Vicki Kreimeyer and Jo Anne Minnick sought to enable their members to interact with the nonprofit organizations.
"We wanted to provide a nice cross-section of the performing arts in this event," said Kreimeyer.
The 300-member IWCF has awarded nearly $2 million to Treasure Valley nonprofits since 2002. Kreimeyer said Wednesday's panel was designed to inform members of the varied roles the organizations play in the community.