On Sept. 22, the Old Idaho Pen was a place of celebration.
A number of people were honored at the 2011 Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Art and History at a ceremony at the Old Idaho Pen that featured live music, food and performances from local swing dancers, and a number of art installations in the prison cells, all of it leading up to the mayor honoring people and organizations for their contributions to the community.
Individual awards were given to Surel Mitchell, Mark Baltes and Leah Stephens Clark. Organizations honored were The Cabin, The Basque Museum and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and John Bertram of Planmakers were honored for business support, and high school teacher Doug StanWiens was honored for excellence in history education.
Two lifetime achievement awards were also presented: one to longtime Idaho Statesman columnist Tim Woodward while the other was awarded posthumously to arts patron Jane Oppenheimer.