Arts and entertainment are a major part of this newspaper every week. But we like to make arts news, too. We believe part of our mission here at BW is to support the arts, be that with print space, time and/or money.
One way in which we've supported our arts community is by printing work from a local artist on the front of every issue of BW. The artist gets a stipend and some exposure. After printing the art we retain the original work, have it framed and then host our annual Boise Weekly Cover Art Auction, inviting the public to bid on a year's worth of covers. The money raised in our 2006 auction went to facilitate the creation and execution of Michael Cordell's untitled Sixth Street public art sculpture, which permanently resides outside the BW offices. We decided to do things a little differently with the proceeds of our 2007 auction and created the Boise Weekly Cover Auction Grant.
We put out a call to individuals and organizations, asking them to answer the following questions: How does your organization support local visual artists? Will this grant fund a new project or an existing project? What is the budget for the project? How will the grant be used? Describe the location and accessibility of the project. How does this project benefit the community and support the mission of the Boise Weekly Cover Auction?
Our call netted 22 proposals, and from those, our panel of judges chose the four that "best demonstrated a need that coincides with BW's mission to promote arts in the community."
The people who pored over the submissions included Sally Freeman, BW publisher; Leila Ramella, BW art director; Tyler Bush, BW events specialist; and Russ Stoddard, president and creative director of Oliver Russell and longtime auction supporter.
"The entries showcased why Boise is such a creative city," said Stoddard. "They were original, added to the cultural fabric of the city and, in many cases, quite cool."
If only we could have funded them all. The net proceeds of the auction were awarded as follows: Greg Hoetker will receive $2,000 for the South Jr. High Triptych Mural he presented. Hoetker wants to create a mural for the new building that "pays homage to South's past, focuses on its present and offers a vision of its future."
Boise Open Studios Collective Organization (BOSCO) will receive $1,000. The money will provide member artists "with an avenue of visibility for their work," which includes advertising in the form of postcards, posters, press releases and maintaining the BOSCO Web site.
The Boise City Arts Commission receives $3,750 for its Mobile Recreation Program/Art Cart Artists-in-Residence project. This project will "support an artist in residence program with the city's new mobile recreation unit" and money from the grant will go toward helping the unit reach 10 Title One schools." The money will also be used for a "temporary public art program to create ecologically based art that would be featured as part of the Green Expo in May."
The fourth organization to receive funds from the grant is the partnership of Amy Westover and Jennifer Wood. They will receive $3,600 for The Deal, a project to create Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) of a range of creative members of our community.
According to their proposal, "people are encouraged to collect, trade and exchange cards to get to know each other and as a starting point for discussing ideas."