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A&E News - June 23, 2004


ICA Grants

Idaho Commission on the Arts recently announced 96 grants totaling $518,300 to communities, schools and organizations for projects in 26 Idaho cities and towns. Thirty-one grants were given to Boise individuals and organizations. Boise recipients included two literature fellowships to Tamara Shores and Kerri Webster, a traditional arts apprenticeship in Bharatha Natyam dance to Indian master Sudha Vasudevan and apprentice Ashley Raina plus various programming and general operating support (GOS) grants to: Ballet Idaho ($4,050 for the 2004 summer tour of its pre-professional ensemble, $7,595 for GOS and $12,300 for educational outreach programs); Boise Art Museum ($9,249 for GOS and $11,550 for its Free School Tour Program); Boise City Arts Commission ($7,163 for GOS); Boise Contemporary Theater ($5,400 to purchase a secondary lighting control system and $5,804 for GOS); Boise Master Chorale ($1,854 for GOS); Boise Philharmonic Association ($7,807 for GOS); Bosnia and Herzegovina Cultural Center of Idaho ($4,050 for its 2005 season); BSU Art Dept./Visual Arts Center ($5,925 for a visiting artist and scholar lecture series); Idaho Children's Arts Network ($2,820 for GOS); Idaho Dance Theatre ($2,990 for GOS, $4,059 to purchase of a new portable dance floor and $6,600 for its educational outreach program); Idaho Shakespeare Festival ($8,557 for GOS and $11,550 for Shakespearience, educational tours to middle, junior and senior high schools in Idaho); Log Cabin Literary Center ($5,625 for a series of evening panel discussions led by writers, $5,920 for GOS and $12,300 for its Summer Writing Camps); Opera Idaho ($5,020 for GOS); Treasure Valley Public Access Television ($4,425 to sponsor VIZ! Workshop, a pilot project to train high school artists to work in video); Big Brothers, Big Sister of SW Idaho ($4,551 for an arts experience project for underserved students and their adult mentors in partnership with Log Cabin Literary Center); El-Ada Action Partnership ($5,372 for Building Healthy Families Through the Arts, a partnership with the Department of Corrections for incarcerated, post-release, court-involved, and homeless mothers and their children); Idaho Parents Unlimited/VSA Arts of Idaho ($10,050 for Creative Access to recognize the abilities and strengths of students with and without disabilities); Idaho Theater for Youth ($10,650 for an educational outreach program for students and teachers grades K-6); Work and Learn Program ($2,320 for Snapshots: Lives in Transition, involving local artists, art professionals and at-risk youth at the Work and Learn school).

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Eagle Performing Arts Center

The Eagle Performing Arts Center, a new arts organization focused on dance, drama and musical theater, has opened its doors in Eagle. Founders and directors Cathy and Jeff Giese recently left their five-year tenure as co-directors of Ballet Idaho's Academy to start their own performing arts center in Boise's most affluent bedroom community. The center is temporarily located in the Baptist Church at 93 S. Eagle Road but plans to move to the Old Eagle Firehouse building at 149 W. State Street in August, where studios are currently under construction. Jeff Giese says the curriculum and classes the center offers are based on the program they built at Ballet Idaho. The biggest change will be the addition of a performing ensemble and the theater classes. Giese says he and Cathy made the break from Ballet Idaho because they didn't believe in the direction Ballet Idaho was going, that it was time to make a change and that there were irreconcilable artistic and professional differences. Many of the teachers the Gieses worked with at Ballet Idaho have agreed to teach at their center and some of the teachers involved at Idaho Shakespeare Festival have signed up to teach their drama classes.

Giese believes Eagle is demographically ideal for this kind of a performing arts center, with so many young families with disposable income. "We have had tremendous success just opening our doors. We already have 75 students and we plan to have 150-200 in the near future." Giese estimates about 25 percent of their current students are former Ballet Idaho Academy students.

The center is offering or will offer various dance classes for ages 3.5 to adult including a full pre-ballet program, a small tap program, some modern dance classes, some choreography classes and many classical ballet classes. The performing ensemble will be made up of students ages 12-17 who are seriously interested in pursuing careers in dance or theater. Giese predicts these students will spending two to four hours daily at the center.

You can catch some of the center's dancers at a free performance at Boise Art Museum at 2 p.m. on July 11, in conjunction with BAM's Degas in Bronze exhibit. For more info on the center's summer classes or what they have planned for the fall, call 338-4633.