Kids can be mean. But there is always an opportunity for enlightenment. Organized by Idaho's System of Care along with the Idaho Federation of Families, a handful of Idaho students with the best of intentions contributed to a campaign to educate their peers about mental illness. The students shared their personal experiences for the collection of poetry and prose titled Words That Hurt. Words That Heal. The collection is the centerpiece of the campaign to help fight the stigma and bias surrounding mental illnesses. Idaho's first lady Lori Otter will be at the kickoff event in the library at Boise High School. Additional books are also available for sale at IdahoFederation.org or by calling 208-433-8845.
3 p.m., FREE, Boise High School, 1010 Washington St., Boise.
20 Thursday – 21 Friday
Pass Down Traditions
For the Fifth First Nations Conference, a selection of indigenous scholars, tribal members, faculty and administrators are scheduled to speak, including photographer Lee Marmon and director Heather Rae. This year's First Nations theme is "Native Studies at Boise State University: Talking Strategy." They'll be talking about bringing an American Indian Studies program to the university. Among the guests is the first woman in modern history to lead a Native American tribe. Wilma Mankiller, former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, will speak from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Student Union Jordan Ballroom about "Leading from the Heart." For a full schedule, visit BoiseState.edu/firstnations. In conjunction with the conference, the Student Union Gallery will hold an exhibition, "Pocahontas Meets Hello Kitty." The traveling printmaking exhibition uses Pocahontas and Hello Kitty as a new way of looking at Native American women in history. An opening reception will be from 5-7 p.m. March 21.
8:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., FREE, Boise State University.
22 saturday – 23 sunday
For those who don't know, a powwow is a meeting of Native Americans to celebrate Indian life with a whole lot of drumming and dancing going on all throughout the weekend. This year's emcee for the 15th Annual Intertribal Native Council's Seven Arrows Powwow is Gary Watson of Blackfoot, and the arena director is Leander "Little Bear" Watson of Fort Hall. INC president Hailey Wilson said that for many who attend powwows every weekend, it is a lifestyle. "At any given powwow, you will see all types of dancers from babies on baby boards, dressed in traditional outfits, up to golden age seniors," she said. Dancers and drummers from all over the Intermountain West will compete for thousands of dollars in cash prizes. Grand entries will be at noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday. Also Saturday night, Indian tacos will be offered. Indian tacos are served on fry bread, which is deep-fried bread loaded with typical taco fillings. And the word is, they're totally awesome.
In order to raise money, the Intertribal Native Council is raffling off a print by acclaimed photographer and Boise State professor Larry McNeil. His work is part of the State Department's Art in Embassies program and has been recognized by the National Geographic Society. The professionally matted and framed print is worth $2,500. Tickets are $20 each; purchase a ticket by calling INC president Hailey Wilson at 208-791-5686.
The INC encourages all cultural student organizations to get involved. For more information about the club or the powwow, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit News.BoiseState.Edu/newsrelease/022008/0228powwow.shtml.
$5 general, $3 seniors and free for children younger than 10, tickets are available at the door, Boise State Student Union Jordan Ballroom.
A Pack of Plays
Bad Husband written by Dano Madden, is the third in Boise Contemporary Theater's 5x5 live theater series. The 14th annual staged reading series gives audiences the opportunity to purchase a pack of tickets to five plays for $50. Madden was the winner of the 2007 Kennedy Center Student Playwright Award.
7 p.m., $12 individual tickets, Boise Contemporary Theater, 854 Fulton St., Boise, 208-331-9224, bctheater.org.
25 tuesday – 26 wednesday
Following his other dynamic productions, including Cirque Ingenieux, Cirque Dreams Coobrila and Cirque Dreams Illumination, the latest offering from creator Neil Goldberg is Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy. This extravaganza combines a variety of entertainment blended with American circus-style acts, European circus artistry and Broadway theatrics. For a full two hours, an international cast of aerialists, contortionists and ex-Olympians join dancers and musicians in a two-act journey through the jungle. The production features an original score that promises to keep the momentum rolling while the cast of multitalented performers do their thing to keep the audience's eyes focused on all the right spots, so they don't miss any of the action on stage. And there is quite a bit to see.
Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy has 25 performers and musicians wearing over 150 fancy costumes created by wardrobe designers who have been with the production since 1993. The Cirque Dream production company puts out a call to costume designers everywhere for a chance to submit their sketches to be considered for creation in a future show in their own hometown. See ideas go from the page to the stage by viewing past winners on the Web site.
7:30 p.m., $29.50-$47, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Ln., Boise, CirqueProductions.com.