"The idea came to me five or six years ago while visiting Boise [Smith's family roots in Boise go back three generations, in fact Smith's grandfather owned and operating Riley's men's clothing store on 8th and Bannock in Boise for many years]. More and more, I was impressed by its growing diversity. People from every corner of the world," she said.
Smith crystalized the idea for an exhibition this year, and applied for and won the grant, thus beginning a one-year effort to chronicle the new faces of Boise.
"Among the many things I've learned is how important it is for Idahoans to extend their reach beyond an initial greeting," she said. "Almost to the person, those refugees who found success had someone reach out to help that refugee in their first year in Boise. It was someone who said, 'Come with me; let me show you something special."
Indeed, "something special" is what Smith and colleague/writer Hanne Steene will be unveiling in September, 2016.
Click on the slideshow here. Plus, you may want to check out the project's website (where you can also sign up to volunteer) or follow the project's progress at their Facebook page.
Project Website: http://www.strongershinesthelightinside.com/