Mayor Announces 2011 Economic Development Grants 

And Radio Boise's T-shirt design winner is revealed

At a press conference at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival amphitheater on Sept. 7 Boise Mayor Dave Bieter announced the four recipients of $15,000 economic development grants in the arts: Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Ballet Idaho, Boise Philharmonic and Trey McIntyre Project.

"It is a competitive process and, unfortunately, there are always more applicants than there are funds to give out, but we're very pleased to announce them [the recipients]," Bieter said.

Bieter said the recipients were chosen after a rigorous review of their economic impact to the region, both in the number of people they employ and the employers they help attract.

"What we did was do a call for bids for arts organizations with an economic development emphasis," he said. "Show us what kind of economic activity in terms of the people you hire and the funds you raise and spend in our community and we'll judge you on that impact."

Other community arts organizations actually get a boost from these grants as well, because it takes the four recipients out of the running for the $45,000 in regularly budgeted grants that will be announced sometime in the next several weeks.

Terri Schorzman, Boise Department of Arts and History director, said there were more than 40 applications for those grants, double the number from previous years, a sign of the program's success.

The grants will not only help the arts organizations that receive them provide an economic boost in the community but will assist them in becoming more visible both locally and outside of the Treasure Valley.

Another artist whose work will be more visible, albeit on a smaller scale, is James Lloyd.

For weeks, we had been anticipating the results of a T-shirt design contest by Radio Boise, in which the locally run station asked artists to submit "iconic and adventurous" designs that incorporated "localism, independence and Radio Boise's focus on community service and musical diversity."

Our spate of sleepless nights and all the tossing and turning as we waited for a winner finally came to an end when James Lloyd was announced the winner.

T-shirts with Lloyd's new design will be available at radioboise.org and will also be for sale during the Hyde Park Street Fair, which runs Sept. 16-18.

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