Anneliessa Balk and Sam Stimpert first opened Visual Arts Collective in 2005 at its original location in the Linen District with a mission to nurture Boise's artistic community by providing an accessible performance and exhibition space.
When they moved VAC to Garden City in 2007, that vision expanded to include helping turn Garden City into a flourishing artistic Mecca. Through their ever-evolving lineup of visual art exhibitions, plays, performance art and live music, Balk and Stimpert have done more than just grow the local arts scene and invigorate an industrial neighborhood--they've become pillars in the community.
Now it's time to give back. For the last few years, Balk has been battling a painfully debilitating disease called ulcerative colitis. According to the We Heart Anneliessa donation page, anneliessa.chipin.com, Balk's health has gotten considerably worse of late:
"She has been hospitalized on numerous occasions and has had several surgical procedures performed on her over the last few years. She is always optimistic and insists that she is OK, but due to a complication from a previous surgery, these last three to four months have really taken a toll on her physically and mentally, preventing her from being able to work and support herself financially. As you can imagine, the bills are racking up, causing additional stress on her already-taxed body that so desperately needs to rest and heal."
On Friday, May 13, from 8-10 p.m., Friends of Anneliessa Balk is hosting the We Heart Anneliessa fundraiser, which will feature a game show with Nick Garcia and Kelly Broich, a Renegade Circus performance, a silent auction and other special guest musical performers. Attendees can also help participate in creating a new VAC wall mural.