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Bieter Announces Mayor's Arts and History Awards

Slate of local artists, organizations honored for cultural contributions


It might not be the Key to the City, but it's the highest artistic honor Boise Mayor Dave Bieter can give. Hizzoner recently announced the recipients of the 2013 Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Art and History, adding two Lifetime Achievement awards and three Boise 150 accolades, in honor of the city's sesquicentennial.

This year, Boise Contemporary Theater and artist Kerry Moosman were recognized for general artistic excellence, while Boise Rock School and ceramicist Rick Jenkins were recognized for excellence in art education. The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation and philanthropist Susan Smith received nods for support of the arts. U.S. Bank was singled out with the Business Support for the Arts award.

Treefort Music Fest, which enjoyed its second takeover of downtown this spring, was honored with an Excellence in the Arts--Emerging Organization award.

The Friends of Jesus Urquides--which preserves the history of the pioneering Mexico-born muleteer whose contributions to Boise's founding were honored earlier this year with a downtown memorial (BW, Arts, "Honoring Jesus Urquides," April 24, 2013)--earned recognition for excellence in history. Kurt Zwolfer, education manager at the Idaho State Historical Museum, picked up the Excellence in History Education award.

Boise 150 Awards were broken into three categories, with honorees including former Capital City Development Corporation Executive Director Phil Kushlan in the Community category; the Idaho Statesman in the Enterprise category; and Don Belts and Eric Jensen of local site planning, landscape architecture and urban design firm JensenBelts in the Environment category.

Finally, Lifetime Achievement awards went to Esther Simplot, an arts and culture supporter so steadfast that buildings and parks get named after her, and Pug Ostling, a longtime restaurateur whose cultural contributions include the foundation of the Fettuccini Forum lecture series, as well as groups and exhibit space for writers and artists, and the former Gene Harris Block Party.

Though awardees were announced July 18, they will be officially honored Thursday, Sept. 12, from 5-10 p.m. at the Boise Plaza building with a ceremony, live music, food and no-host bar.

Tickets to the awards presentation, hosted by the Boise City Department of Arts and History, cost $35 and are available online at