Arts & Culture » Arts News

May 3, 2006

The City Wins RFK Journalism Award • Darkwood Album About to Drop, Yo • BAM Director Moving On


The City Wins RFK Journalism Award

BW readers have enjoyed John "Derf" Backderf's The City every week since the fall of 2004, with its stylized, visceral little images accompanying some pretty razor-sharp social and political commentary.

A self-portrait by the artist. - COURTESY DERF.
  • Courtesy Derf.
  • A self-portrait by the artist.

Apparently, our readers aren't the only ones enjoying Derf's work--The City just won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, an annual recognition given to professional and student journalists, photographers and cartoonists whose work sheds light on the problems of disadvantaged people worldwide.

Tagged by those in the know as the "poor peoples' Pulitzers," the RFK Journalism Award was founded in 1968 by some reporters who covered Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. Each year, the awards are judged by journalists, for journalists and it's the largest peer-judged honor of its kind.

The RFK Awards' cartoon judges wrote of The City: "Derf aggressively attacks the institutions, ideologies and attitudes that create an environment for the continuing oppression and exploitation of the powerless. His outrage is directed not just at the cynicism and hypocrisy of the powerful, but at the complicity of all of us who remain docile and passive subjects."

Darkwood Album About to Drop, Yo

Fans of the world's only touring bass clarinet and viola duo, Boise's own Darkwood Consort, have reason to rejoice. The duo is currently putting the finishing touches on their new CD, Cafe Musik. The album, Darkwood's second, includes a mix of medieval, folk, new and pop music from Denmark, Sweden, Greece, the United States and Canada. Having a tough time imagining the sound? Not to worry. Head on over to to preview some tracks before the album comes out this May. Or if live music is your thing, go see their concert on Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m. at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy.

If you don't know Darkwood Consort, find out what you've been missing at their usual Web site,

BAM Director Moving On

Tim Close has been at Boise Art Museum since early 2000, but he will be its executive director no more. It was recently announced that as of May 15, Close will take the reigns as director at The Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art in Tacoma, Washington, as the museum embarks on its fifth year.

Says Bill Selvage, president of the museum's board of trustees, in BAM's official press release, "The BAM Board of Trustees will move quickly to organize a national search for Tim's replacement and to name an interim director." When BW spoke with Donna McNearney, assistant to the director at BAM, she said no replacement had yet been named.

--Sara Beitia