Idaho Authors Alan Heathcock and Samuel Hunter Win Whiting Awards 

And The Velocity of Autumn heads from Boise to Broadway

Bill Carman's cover brought in the big bucks.

Bill Carman

Bill Carman's cover brought in the big bucks.

A few hundred of Boise's finest donned their fancy duds and gathered at the Idaho State Historical Museum Oct. 17 for Boise Weekly's 11th Annual Cover Auction.

The paper's original cover artwork from the last year was all on sale to the highest bidder, with the money going to benefit BW's Cover Auction Grants. The evening netted $22,060, the most money raised at a Cover Auction to date. All told, the program has raised a total of more than $125,000 for local arts grants.

This year's event partner was Idaho Shakespeare Festival, which received 20 percent of the funds raised, totaling $4,400.

"There's nothing better than receiving money in the arts," said ISF Producing Artistic Director Charlie Fee during the event. "If we raise $50,000 tonight, we would get $10,000 of that, which would pay the price of one union actor for next season."

Funds fell a little short of Fee's goal, but netting $22,060 wasn't too shabby, compared to last year's $17,500.

The big ticket item of the night was Bill Carman's "To Be a Milker of Giant Bees," which sold for $1,500.

The proud purchaser, Swarnal Borthakur, told BW he came to the auction specifically for that piece.

"It has a lot of things happening for it besides the color palette," he said.

Cover Auction Grant proposals will be accepted until Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, via the BW Community Fund page, and will be awarded at the end of February 2013.

For a photo slideshow of the Cover Auction, visit

Moving to the national stage, Boise Contemporary Theater's 2011 world premiere production The Velocity of Autumn, by Eric Coble, is moving to Broadway in the spring of 2013. The two-person play will be directed by Molly Smith, artistic director for Washigton, D.C.'s Arena Stage, and will star Academy Award winner Estelle Parsons and Tony Award winner Stephen Spinella. A specific Broadway theater and show dates have yet to be announced.

And in other national arts news, two Idaho authors have once again taken home prestigious $50,000 Whiting Awards: fiction writer Alan Heathcock (Volt) and playwright Samuel Hunter (A Bright New Boise). The duo were two of 10 honored at a ceremony in New York City on Oct. 23, which featured remarks by former Whiting recipient Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex). Idaho authors Daniel Orozco and Kerri Webster both took home Whiting Awards in 2011.

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