A series of opportunities and deadlines are on the horizon for artists in the Treasure Valley and Idaho, with several grants available to help struggling artists.
Late last year, the Alexa Rose Foundation made headlines when it announced it had chosen not one but two inaugural fellows for its fellowship program. Just months later, its grant cycle is open again, with funds available for emerging artists of all ages. The awards range from $500-$5,000, and anyone living in Ada or Canyon counties, or is a member of a Boise Valley tribe, is eligible. Grants are only available for emerging artists, and not arts organizations, and Grant Operations Manager Lily Yasuda said the requirements and application process are not intimidating.
“You don’t have to save the world with art,” she said.
In 2020, the foundation awarded 97 people with grants out of a pool of 300 applicants. This year, applications are due on Monday, March 8, by 10 a.m.
After Alexa Rose Howell died in 2013, the foundation was started in her name, and since then it has worked to bolster the arts scene in Boise, channeling hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants directly to artists. Yasuda has worked with the foundation for the last three years, and is herself a filmmaker—her first feature film, Like Love, was released in 2018—who knows full well the impact of the foundation on the Boise area.
“Investing in artists naturally enriches our community,” she said.
The Idaho Commission on the Arts is also an important resource, and it, too, has a grant application deadline on the horizon. Its mission is to bolster artists and arts organizations—including nonprofits, schools and school districts—and it draws much of its funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, allowing it to promote access, education and community investment. Its annual grant deadline is coming up on Monday, Feb. 1, and grants include entry track, public programs in the arts, arts education projects, folk and traditional arts apprenticeships, and fellowships for individual artists, with dollar amounts varying. Fellowships are awarded in two-year increments, and in 2021, the ICA will offer fellowships in the areas of literature, performance and media arts, each worth $5,000. There is also an opening for the new Idaho Writer in Residence, who will serve a two-year term and receive $10,000. Head to arts.idaho.gov/grants for more information.
On the topic of the literary arts, The Cabin literary center is in the thick of soliciting submissions for the 2021 edition of its annual Writers in the Attic contest. This year’s theme is “Rupture,” and submissions will be judged by Boise Weekly’s own managing editor, Harrison Berry. Writers can submit stories, essays and poems as long as 1,500 words in length, and the entry fee is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. All pieces will be considered separately, and entries are due by midnight on Monday, Feb. 1. For more information visit thecabinidaho.org.