Member Spotlight on Boise City Department of Arts & History

For the month of June, GIA’s photo banner features work and artists supported by Boise City Department of Arts & History (A&H). Created in 2008, A&H supports public art, cultural programs, history programs, cultural sites, and the care and conservation of Boise cultural assets. Boise’s Percent-for-Art funding helps assure A&H’s ability to serve an advisory role to a $50 million local arts and history industry.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the A&H cultural grant program. The program began in 1997 with $10,000 allotted from year-end general operating funds. The A&H grant fund grew to a base of $150,000 in 2016, and the department was approved an additional one-time $50,000 for 2017 for a total of $200,000 to help commemorate the program’s 20th anniversary. Current and past recipients have ranged from grassroots start-up projects, to established performing arts organizations, public cultural events, exhibitions, collaborative endeavors, and more. With the anniversary, A&H is at a natural point of reflection as it strategizes for its future efforts. This exercise is both exciting and challenging. A&H Cultural Programs Manager Amy Fackler remarks that GIA has proven invaluable in this endeavor.

A&H joined GIA as a member in 2016 after staff attended the 2015 GIA Conference in Los Angeles. Fackler explains, “We immediately felt relief and gratitude to connect with colleagues and consider important issues that we sometimes felt we struggled with on our own. The support and resources GIA provides have proven critical components in continual work to evolve a holistic program that is mindful of cultural equity issues and the struggles therein.”

The upcoming cycle (applications now in progress) remains open to individuals, nonprofits, as well as other organizations and even businesses. A challenge of public funding is to disperse funding in such a way that aligns with city goals and strategies to benefit the public good — and is bold yet not heavy-handed. For its upcoming grant cycle A&H plans to have a small pool of funding set aside to award to applicants beyond the maximum request with proposals that strongly align with the city’s Welcoming Resolution, passed this January 2017. “It’s a concrete step we hope in a program that remains a work in progress,” says Fackler.

Boise City Department of Arts & History joined GIA in 2016.

Learn more about the agency and their programs.

You can also visit the photo gallery on our Photo Credits page.