Three Ways to First Thursday It Up Downtown 

Art, music, parties ...

See Twin Falls-based Milica Popovic's mixed-media work "Two Windows" (2013) at BAM.

Milica Popovic

See Twin Falls-based Milica Popovic's mixed-media work "Two Windows" (2013) at BAM.

There's no better time to go big than First Thursday. But with New Year's Day fresh in the rearview mirror, some folks might be wondering what events could possibly be worth pausing in the middle of some Netflix binge-watching and leaving their warm homes.

This month, Boise Weekly isn't giving you a list of what not to miss in downtown Boise First Thursday, Jan. 2--we're providing three great reasons for you to throw off your Snuggie, throw on your boots and spend the evening rushing from warm indoor space to warm indoor space.

From the Boise Art Museum in downtown's southeast corner to The Crux in the far west, the City of Trees will be rife with fun. Let BW be your guide.

Triennial-ism at BAM

Here's a familiar story: You go to the art museum and look at the art. Maybe some of it is inspiring. You go home; possibly you think about some of the art you saw.

At the Boise Art Museum, that sounds an awful lot like the rote process of observing high culture. Blithely calling it "absorbance" or "assimilation" wasn't cutting it anymore, so BAM started mixing things up for First Thursdays, making access to the museum by donation, and providing educational studios and activities for children.

The result is that BAM is packed on First Thursdays. People let the art blow their hair back. They have conversations, and that's all art ever wanted from us.

This First Thursday is a very special one: It's BAM's first since the opening of its once-every-three-years Triennial exhibition, which draws submissions from across Idaho and features 65 works by 40 artists--24 of whom hail from Boise. This time around, artists were asked to riff off the theme of "Sustain + Expand."

What's more, photographers Maria Essig and Warren Lassen will discuss their work, installations and influences during the museum's Art Answers program from 4-7 p.m.

Concurrently, the public is encouraged to join BAM staff for Studio Art Exploration and create artworks inspired by the Triennial.

BAM's hours have been extended for First Thursday, so feel free to check out the action anytime between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

10 a.m.-8 p.m. FREE. Boise Art Museum, 670 Julia Davis Drive, Boise, 208-345-8330, boiseartmuseum.org.

Getting Loud at the Boise Public Library

If there are two things every kid knows about libraries, it's that they're full of books--and you're supposed to be quiet in them. Slowly but surely, that's beginning to change (see Culture, Pages 22-23).

As libraries expand in their role of media repository, as well as cultural and activity center, the image of the curmudgeonly old librarian, index finger pressed to withered lips, is being replaced by that of the smartly dressed, hip, young bibliophile, complete with Dewey Decimal System tattoos and an encyclopedic knowledge of young adult novels.

After soliciting community input following December's First Thursday, the library took a cue from the public and decided on an offering in January that would appeal to families. For January, the library has a plan.

Thursday, Jan. 2, Boise Public Library will host Boise Rock School. From 6:30-8 p.m., two of the school's bands will play as the library greets the new year by getting loud. As the bands play, guests can participate in free interactive workshops.

"[The library] has been a great spot for us because libraries are usually pretty quiet places," said Ryan Peck of BRS, which most recently performed at a Get Loud at the Library event this past summer.

According to Joanne Hinkel, the library's community and media relations manager, the tunes are a welcome asset serving the library's community-oriented agenda.

"We really provide all kinds of learning and entertainment. Music contains pre-literacy skills and we think it fits in quite well," she said.6:30-8 p.m. FREE. Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 208-384-4076, boisepubliclibrary.org.

The Collective Gallery Party at The Crux

The Crux has become a crucial component of Boise's downtown. In lieu of a bowling alley or laser tag establishment, it's the only place where people not old enough to drink but plenty aged to party can go after dark.

And what they do there is way cooler than laser tag or bowling: listen to live--and frequently local--music, chat and sip coffee.

It shouldn't surprise anybody that The Crux has become the epicenter for Boise's youth culture, with live music playing practically every night and frequent art shows. This First Thursday will be no exception.

Starting at 6 p.m., the all-ages venue will ring in the new year with the Collective Gallery Party.

Somehow the term "exhibition" doesn't quite capture the scope of the event, which includes work for view and for sale by the 45 artists who contributed to Collective's 2013 issue, which was released Oct. 30, also at The Crux.

Add to that live performances by a few as-yet-unannounced bands and an "awesome surprise" from Guru Donuts, and you have a recipe for one of the hopping-est First Thursday events in town.

The event is free and open to all ages. For those age 21 and older, there's beer to warm your belly on a cold January night. If not, feel the burn from The Crux's selection of coffee.

For more ways to First Thursday it up, check out our listings.

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