Culture: The Calendar 

Top picks for cultural events

Idaho Botanical Garden Concerts


Idaho Botanical Garden, Boise

Idaho Botanical Garden has become the go-to spot for outdoor music. Audiences looking for a laid-back evening catch weekly Thursday night performances June through September during the Great Garden Escape series, in which audiences watch from picnic blankets in the Meditation Garden. Big-name artists show up on the regular and shows are often sold out for the Outlaw Field concert series May through September.

  • Laurie Pearman

Alive After Five

Wednesdays, June-September

Grove Plaza

Once upon a time, downtown Boise was a ghost town after 5 p.m. These days, it's alive with activity, especially on summer Wednesday evenings when the Downtown Boise Association hosts free concerts in the Grove Plaza. All ages turn out for the fun. Check out the online schedule for a full list of artists.

Idaho Shakespeare Festival


ISF Amphitheater

For more than 30 years, Idaho Shakespeare Festival has presented live theater under the summer sky. Whether it's classic Shakespeare or a contemporary musical, audiences pack the scenic amphitheater just east of downtown Boise. While the show is sure to entertain, it can't be denied that part of the draw is the social atmosphere of a night at ISF, where audiences come early to picnic and the wine is always flowing.

Art in the Park

Friday, Sept. 6-Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013

Julia Davis Park

For three days in September, Julia Davis Park hosts what seems like the valley's entire population as crowds pack the otherwise sedate park for one of the biggest and most popular art events of the year. Art in the Park brings more than 250 artists and crafters from around the region (and country) to the park for a sale and fundraiser for the Boise Art Museum. People of all ages and descriptions weave through the booths, dodging strollers and gaggles of chatting neighbors as they search for hand-crafted treasures.

  • Laurie Pearman

Boise Weekly Cover Auction

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013

Visual Arts Collective, Garden City

The beautiful artwork that graces the cover of Boise Weekly each week is more than a colorful way to draw readers' attention: The art selected for the cover each week is part of a program designed to foster even more art in Boise. Each fall, the original artwork created by local artists is auctioned off to raise money to support the Boise Weekly Cover Art Grant, which doles out funds to area artists and arts organizations. This year, a portion of the proceeds from the auction will go to support Boise Weekly, the state's only alternative weekly newspaper. But more than a feel-good event, the auction is a hell of a party with drinks, food and exciting competitive bidding. This year, the auction is at Visual Arts Collective and a $5 donation gets you in.

  • Laurie Pearman

Treefort Music Fest

Thursday, March 20- Sunday, March 23 , 2014

downtown Boise

With only two years under its belt, the Treefort Music Fest has ballooned into a massive draw for music makers and lovers alike. What was originally designed as a way to capitalize on bands traveling this direction after the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas, has turned into its own destination event. Hundreds of bands representing all types of music and thousands of fans head to Boise each spring for the four-day musical celebration. Bands play both indoor and outdoor venues across downtown Boise, with plenty of beer, food and assorted fun. Watch the Treefort website for details of the 2014 event as they are announced.

Modern Art

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Modern Hotel, Boise

Take artists, give them the keys to an entire hotel for one night, and what do you get? One of the most anticipated annual celebrations of the arts in Boise. On First Thursday each May, the Modern Hotel and Bar hosts a horde of artists, who take over nearly every room--and outdoor space--in the hotel, and turn them into mini-galleries, performance spaces or interactive works of art. The result is one of the best art parties of the year.

i48 Film Festival

Friday, May 30-Sunday, June 1, 2014

Screenings Saturday, June 7-Sunday, June 8, 2014

It's an all-out race to create a movie for the i48 Film Festival. Teams of movie makers have just 48 hours to write, film and edit a short film for the competition showcasing Idaho talent. Teams are given their genres on Friday evening and then must race to the Sunday finish line. Films are screened the following week, and a screening of those selected as the best by a panel of judges close out the festival.

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