BW Man on the Street: Making the Rounds on Idaho Gives Day 

click to enlarge Catherine Kyle wrote flash poems for donations to The Cabin literary center on Idaho Gives Day. - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Catherine Kyle wrote flash poems for donations to The Cabin literary center on Idaho Gives Day.
Catherine Kyle had been sitting behind a Lucy van Pelt-style kiosk at Tiger Props for about an 45 minutes, and in that time she'd written four flash poems to people donating to The Cabin literary center on a drizzly Idaho Gives Day. 

Kyle is a teacher and a poet. This summer, she'll teach a camp at The Cabin for 7th-9th graders about graphic novels. Here are the opening lines of the poem she wrote for Boise Weekly, "Brief Rain Monologue:"

I am the twilight at all times of day, the silver that coats the rafters. I shimmer on sidewalks and muddy birds' feet; the slosh and drip and murmur.

"We inspire readers and writers through all of our programs—and that's everybody. Everybody reads, everybody writes," said The Cabin Executive Director Britt Udesen.

Representatives of The Cabin had already gone on an awareness-raising mission on The Greenbelt during "rush hour" (Udesen's term) before going to Tiger Props. From there, they'd go to Rediscovered Books and The Grind Modern Burger.

Tiger Props and Grind Modern Burger were set to host various nonprofits over the course of the day of giving, which by noon had raised more than $500,000. Tiger Props was set to host 12 nonprofits, including The Cabin, Friends of the Zoo-Boise, Giraffe Laugh, Special Olympics and Boise Contemporary Theater. Grind also hosted 12, with representatives each getting an hour to spend in one or both locations.

click to enlarge The tasting room at Grind Modern Burger - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • The tasting room at Grind Modern Burger

The atmosphere at Tiger Props was lively, and passersby could see the action inside through the building's tall, plate-glass windows. They occasionally drifted in off the street to see the action up close, which included pound pups from the Meridian Humane Society and a man dressed as a mascot for the Boise Hawks baseball team. At Grind Modern Burger, representatives of Ballet Idaho, who were scheduled to work the noon shift, were seated almost anonymously at a table waiting for their lunch: Grind had placed the nonprofits presenting there in a tasting room in the back of the building.

"How many people know this is one of two places in town where this is being promoted?" asked Ballet Idaho Marketing Director Meredith Stead, who told Boise Weekly that when she signed up Ballet Idaho to man the noon shift, she'd envisioned nonprofits playing a more visible role near the restaurant's dining area. She and her fellow representatives said they were hoping to get a chance to show patrons a video Ballet Idaho had produced specifically for Idaho Gives. In and around the tasting room, foot traffic was scarce, with the exception of a few Idaho Gives volunteers and a band representing The Hive setting up in a corner.

Stead said she'd learned that there was expected to be increased giving to arts organizations during this year's Idaho Gives, and that this year's event could mean an influx of money from first-time givers.

"The hope is that maybe we'd get some new donors," she said.
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