Governor Kempthorne on Arts Awards: Let's Call the Whole Thing Off 

Every two years, the governor, in conjunction with the Idaho Commission on the Arts, gives out the Governor's Awards in the Arts in recognition of excellence in Idaho's arts and in encouragement and stimulation of arts awareness throughout the state. The ICA reviews the entries and make recommendations to the governor, who, as the awards' title suggests, makes the final decision.

As of last Thursday, April 13, the hammer dropped in an e-mail press release entitled "Governor's Arts Awards 2006 Cancelled."

It seems that our esteemed Gov. Kempthorne is just too busy to put his stamp of approval on any of the ICA's recommendations, so this year's awards are kaput. According to the press release,"Governor Kempthorne's committee hearings on his nomination for Secretary of the Interior, along with the inability to schedule an abbreviated ceremony" made this decision necessary.

The ink is barely dry on the nomination forms (formidable work in themselves, requiring slides, CDs, photocopies, videotapes and so on, depending on the medium sought, as well as current letters of recommendation and other support materials covering a lifetime of professional achievement), with the deadline passing as of March 17.

The plan is to keep the 2006 nomination materials on file for consideration in 2007. By then Idaho will have a new governor, and hopefully one who won't be too busy with politics to follow through on his or her commitments.

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