2008 Readers' Choice Arts & Entertainment


Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr, Idaho's writer-in-residence since 2007, has quickly become one of Idaho's favorite sons. Doerr's novels have gained him international renown as well as respect from his fellow Gem Staters. His 2007 release, Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World, is a highly regarded work, and Doerr is often asked to make appearances, including a recent taping of the NPR radio show, Michael Feldman's Whad'ya Know. He has an essay in the upcoming book, State by State, and a new novel that may hit shelves around Christmas 2009. anthonydoerr.com.

Second place: Bill Cope

Third place: Tim Woodward


Rebecca Scott, Rebecca Scott Band

This one comes as no surprise. Year after year, the girl with the amazing pipes takes top honors. She's not only an amazing songstress, but an accomplished guitar player as well, and any time she and her band are playing, we know it's going to be a good time.

Second place: Doug Martsch (Built to Spill)

Third place: Curtis Stigers


Art in the Park

2008 marked the 54th annual Art in the Park. Each year, hundreds of artists and artisans display their wares offering jewelry (a friend of a friend calls the event "Earrings in the Park"), glasswork, mixed media, wearable art, ceramics, woodworking, sculpture, photography and toys. The food vendors are out in full force as well, with everything from scones to sandwiches, pizza to pulled pork, and corndogs to kettle corn. Plus, the Boise Art Museum, which presents the event, offers free admission for the whole weekend. It's a great way to while away a Saturday, sipping on a sno-cone and, if you can manage to part with any of your purchases, getting some holiday shopping done early.

Second place: Hyde Park Street Fair

Third place: Twilight Criterium


Boise Art Museum

In our quest to be one of the cool kids (like our older friends Seattle and Portland), the Boise Art Museum goes a long way toward making that a reality. By creating an atmosphere that is at once welcoming and inspiring, and offering incredibly designed exhibits by artists of all genres, eras and mediums (including some of the best in the Treasure Valley), BAM is a haven for those with a culture craving. 670 Julia Davis Dr., 208-345-8330, boiseartmuseum.org.

Second place: Basement Gallery

Third place: J Crist Gallery


Built To Spill

Every year that Built To Spill takes top honors, we imagine ourselves calling the band and asking them to join us at the party or even, ahem, to play. Alas, each year, BTS is busy somewhere playing to thousands of adoring fans. This year is no different. Currently, the Boise band is playing their seminal 1997 album, Perfect From Now On, in its entirety. And though they won't be here to accept the award, we hope they know the invitation is always open. builttospill.com.

Second place: Frim Fram Fellas

Third place: ATTN


Tyler Bowling

With the number of stellar artists living and working in the Treasure Valley, choosing one had to be hard for readers. That would explain why there are so few votes among the top three places. A piece by Bowling, titled Nighthawk, was recently featured on the cover of Boise Weekly. His piece, along with the others that have graced BW during this last year, hangs in our swank offices, which means we've been living with his art for a while. We'll be sad to see it go up for bid at our annual Boise Weekly Cover Auction in November, even though we know the money goes to a good cause (a local arts grant). If you attend the auction, you'll see a couple of us BW Staffers trying to outbid one another for Bowling's work.

Second place: Erin Ruiz

Third place: Chris Schofield



Boise Art Museum

Boise Art Museum scored two in the win column this year: Best local/cultural attraction/museum and best art gallery. It is definitely both. BAM not only houses some of the finest exhibits (both permanent and traveling) but also offers educational outreach programs to coincide with many of those exhibits; plays a large role in awareness of arts in this community; and has a kick-ass gift shop with some of the most unique, impossible-to-find elsewhere, one-of-a-kind items. 670 Julia Davis Dr., 208-345-8330, boiseartmuseum.org.

Second place: Basque Block

Third place: Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial


Idaho Shakespeare Festival

You can't deny the appeal of consistency, in both the opinion of our readers and the quality of the theater. Year after year, Idaho Shakespeare Festival tops the list of the best local live theater experience, and this year, it's more of the same, with the company crushing the competition. It's not hard to see why. ISF continually offers audiences top-quality productions that take advantage of a deep reservoir of talent in acting, directing, design and every other aspect of theater. Offering both traditional Shakespearean productions—its East-meets-West Macbeth was seriously eye-catching this year—and modern plays, there's a little something for all audiences. And do we even have to mention the amphitheater set in a nature reserve? Well, we guess we did. 5657 Warm Springs Ave., 208-336-9221, idahoshakespeare.org.

Second Place: Boise Contemporary Theater

Third Place: Boise Little Theater

Idaho Shakespeare Festival - PHOTO COURTESY ISF
  • photo courtesy ISF
  • Idaho Shakespeare Festival


Boise Depot

The Boise Depot stands atop the rise of Capitol Boulevard like a sentry watching over the city. Built in 1925, the structure once served as a place for weary train travelers to rest or catch a connecting train but is now available to rent for corporate functions, fundraisers and weddings. Oh, the weddings. Seldom a warm weekend goes by where, upon driving up or down Capitol Boulevard, you won't witness a glowing woman in a big, white wedding dress pushing her veil out of her face and posing for photos. 2603 W. Eastover Terrace, 208-384-4228.

Second place: Idaho State Capitol

Third place: Idanha Hotel


The Flicks

The Flicks wins Best of Boise year after year. Where else can connoisseurs of classy, cinematic culture enjoy a feature, documentary or an independent film, or four? The Flicks has four small theaters and each film is chosen by the owner, Carole Skinner. The theater is usually packed with people who enjoy good cinema, good food and know they are supporting a business that is an integral part of what makes Boise great. 646 Fulton St., 208-342-4222, theflicksboise.com.

Second Place: The Egyptian Theatre

Third Place: Overland Park Cinema


Homage to the Pedestrian

In Patrick Zentz's public art piece, Homage to the Pedestrian, the public is as integral a part of the art as the materials in it. Four lanterns are located on the wall between the Boise Centre on the Grove and the U.S. Bank building, and when someone passes nearby, a lovely little symphony of chimes, bells, cymbals and drums is triggered, intended to mirror the sounds of pedestrians, an ever important element in the Boise landscape.

Second place: Alley History

Third place: Grove Street Illuminated


Knitting Factory Concert House

You'll get no arguments here. The Knitting Factory Concert House has quickly established itself as a local favorite. And yes, it is local; their corporate headquarters are located in the heart of BoDo. If seeing a show sounds like a grand idea, KFCH is the go-to place to hear some of the newest, freshest and most well-known acts touring the country. You'll find country, punk, rock, indie and everything in front, behind and in between. 416 S. Ninth St., 208-367-1212, bo.knittingfactory.com.

Second place: Neurolux

Third place: Idaho Center


Rebecca Scott, Rebecca Scott Band

Rebecca Scott is in here twice

And we think that's so very nice.

With an angel's voice, she's a clear choice.

Guitar in hand, she rocks with her band.

And we're thrilled to write a bit

About a local singer who's totally the ... um ... best.

Second place: Kris Doty

Third place: Doug Martsch

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