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Things We Love: Culture and Community

7 Oct

When I first moved to Boise in 2000, after having lived in larger cities like Austin, Pittsburgh and NYC, I bemoaned the lack of big galleries and cultural venues – feeling I was missing out on what those metropolitan meccas had to offer that good ol’ Boise didn’t. Ten years later, my perspective and opinion has changed dramatically.

What makes Boise the premier place for me to live and grow a business is directly tied to the culture and community fostered here in the Valley. Rather than the pretension I still feel when I visit some of the self-anointed cultural hot-spots, Boise’s artistic community is approachable and personal. Allowing art lovers, supporters, creators and the public at large to collaborate, educate and entertain in a vibrant way.

A great example of the vibe I’m talking about – and one of the Things We Love – is Downtown Boise’s First Thursday. And while there is a slew of fantastic events going on throughout the Downtown core showcasing local shops, boutiques, artisans and non-profits, we’d like to highlight a few of our favorites (where we admittedly have some bias!)

Celebrate Culture & Community at the Boise Centre: If you’ve never heard of the Boise Visual Chronicle, or have – and want to see how it is growing – this is a great public reception to stop by. The Chronicle is a collection of artworks that reflect the diverse expression and concerns of artists responding to life in Boise. More than a dozen new works from Idaho artists are being added to the collection this year. Click through for an overview of the collection to date.  (Disclosure: the Boise Centre is a client and I sit on Boise’s Visual Arts Advisory Committee that oversees the Chronicle)

Keep an Eye out for TMP: If you have not read the love letter to Boise (aka the New York Times feature ‘Dancers Adopt A City and Vice Versa’) courtesy of the Trey McIntyre Project – go do it now! It is a fantastic overview of the TMP journey in Boise. Keep an eye out for the Project to be out and about Boise for First Thursday promoting their Homecoming Show.

    Artful Bra Walk: It’s fantastic to see when small businesses rally around a cause, and bring art to the table to showcase the issue and raise awareness. In this community – Flying M has set the standard with their fabulous Valentine For AIDS auction. This month – it’s all about pink – and promoting awareness of breast cancer. And for the second year the Komen Boise chapter launched their Pink Project & Artful Bra Walk. A creative way to use art, omnipotent color and awareness to drive involvement and support of an important cause. The variety of businesses participating is great to see. From a consumer standpoint – I do take notice. A company’s social responsibility and community engagement does influence my buying decision. From a business owner’s standpoint – our culture is to stay involved in community issues and opportunities that we are passionate about. Hence – our Sugar n Spice Fabulous bra for the Bra Walk 🙂 You can see it at Chic Bridal in 8th Street Marketplace’s Mercantile Building (soon to be the new home of Red Sky PR)

    8th Street Artist in Residence Program (AiR): And speaking of the cultural community where we will soon make our new home – the next class of Boise’s inaugural Artist in Residence program housed at 8th Street will open their studios to the public tonight. ‘Artists participate in a competitive process and are selected by a panel of prominent Boise business leaders.  Artists are in residence for six months and work in the commercial space rent-free. They share their process and work with the public by holding exhibits on First Thursday and are typically at work on new pieces at least 20 hours per week.” This time around, Writers in Residence will also be sharing the creative space. (Disclosure: I was part of the AiR selection panel).
    Rethinking the Traditional Gallery: This piece in the Boise Weekly really showcases how a spark or two can create the cultural personality for a community. How Boise artists, patrons and businesses are working together to create new opportunities – whether it be non-traditional gallery space or residence programs sprinkled throughout the city – is something for all of us to be proud of and engaged in. It should inspire every business owner and appreciator of the arts to stretch our imaginations to create new opportunities and realize that mega-metros is not what we need to become. Approachable, accessible and personal make us a cultural community others should aspire to emulate.

    – Jess

      Things We Love: Growing Our Team!

      17 Sep

      Red Sky Public Relations Grows Client Service Team

      BOISE, Idaho – September 17, 2010 – Red Sky Public Relations, Idaho’s largest PR agency, has enhanced its client service capabilities with the addition of three new members to its account team  – Gloria Miller, Anna Gamel and Ben Rosenthal.

      Assistant Account Executive Gloria Miller is a Boise State University Communication graduate who proved herself through an agency internship supporting multiple accounts including Albertsons, the Idaho Transportation Department, the Idaho State Historical Society and the ‘Go On’ campaign. She currently supports tactical campaign execution for all agency clients, with a focus on public information and community outreach, and managed Red Sky’s pro bono PR efforts for the Boise Rec Fest and Boise Curb Cup.

      Assistant Account Executive Anna Gamel joins Red Sky after leading public relations at a privately funded startup company in Portland, Oregon. There she coordinated large-scale public relations, branding and marketing strategies in order to launch the company’s stealth-mode ideas into a global market. At the University of Idaho, Anna received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. At Red Sky she works with the agency’s regional and national consumer and retail clients.

      Account Coordinator Ben Rosenthal is a graduate of Boise State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Most recently, Ben worked as a remote broadcast technician and traffic assistant at Journal Broadcast Group, where he was part of a team responsible for executing promotional events for a wide variety of local businesses. At Red Sky, Ben provides tactical support to a broad range of Idaho clients, primarily focused on public involvement/education, economic development, real estate and cause marketing.

      “One of the toughest – but most important – parts of growing a strong company is building your team. We’re proud that we’re continuing to grow through additional client work nationwide and by finding talented professionals at all stages of their careers to bring into our agency,” said Red Sky President Jessica Flynn. “We look forward to future success and thank our clients and peers for their partnership in the growth of Red Sky.”

      About Red Sky
      Headquartered in Boise, Red Sky is Idaho’s largest public relations agency as measured by number of employees and fee income. We believe there is a dual nature at the heart of public relations – you need strategic communication minds in times of both crisis and calm to protect and promote your brand. Our experience spans practice areas of Corporate, Healthcare, Economic Development, Higher Education, Hospitality, Public Affairs, Retail and Technology. Representative clients include Avery Dennison, Balihoo, Boise Centre, Brighton Corporation, Concordia University School of Law, CradlePoint Technology, J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, Meridian Development Corporation, PacificSource, SUPERVALU and Western States Equipment Company. For more information, visit or call 208.287.2199.

      Things We Love: Round II of the Street Circus of Creativity

      24 Aug

      “Crazy, fun, weird, appalling, an interesting befuddlement ” are words that are used when describing the Boise Curb Cup.  Last year, I helped prepare for and kick off the inaugural Boise Curb Cup as an intern (Red Sky was on board for pro bono PR support) , never expecting a quirky and fun idea to evolve into massive talent-pool phenomena.  Curb Cup was so entertaining that I’m helping out again this year. If you’ve never experienced the Boise Curb Cup, let me try to fit an explanation of something so fantastical into a small paragraph.

      The Boise Curb Cup brings all aspects of Boise’s society together and demonstrates that Boise is truly a diverse and culturally accepting community. Walking up and down the streets of Boise Curb Cup you can feel the energy of the performers and their acts. Whether it is children performing karate to Michael Jackson’s Thriller (last year’s winners!), pet owners showing off amazing animal tricks or burlesque dancers sashaying for the crowd, there is no lack of passion in each performance. Boise Curb Cup is truly an experience that will leave a lasting impact not only on the performers, but the curious street strollers as well.

      Don’t think you have a talent to share? No problem, you can still play an integral part in the Boise Curb Cup. You have the power to vote for the winner. Tokens will be given out at “Curb Cup” stations downtown. Place a token in the performer’s “bucket” and the performer with the most tokens wins the grand prize of $1000!

      Photos courtesy Skyler Simmons, Daniel Bertrand, Seth Lemmons

      What better place to bring the family than beautiful downtown Boise on a lovely summer’s day? It’s an opportunity for you, family and friends to experience the true magnificence and talent the people of Boise possess. It doesn’t hurt that the event is also free of charge!

      So gather your family, friends and a fully charged camera on August 29th from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Who knows, maybe you will be inspired to strut your stuff at the 2011 Boise Curb Cup.

      See you there, Curb Cuppers!

      – Gloria Miller