Two Idaho authors receive national Literature Fellowships

The National Endowment for the Arts selected Idaho's Mitch Wieland and Alan Heathcock as two of its 40 Literature Fellows for Creative Writing in Prose, for 2012.

The award comes with $25,000.

Both Wieland and Heathcock teach at Boise State University.

Wieland helped found the university's master's degree in creative writing program and brought back its literary journal, The Idaho Review, which he continues to edit. Heathcock graduated from Boise State’s MFA in Creative Writing program and now teaches fiction writing there.

ImageWeiland’s books include the critically praised “Willy Slater’s Lane” (1996) and “God’s Dogs” (Southern Methodist University Press, $17), which was chosen 2010 Idaho Book of the Year.”

Heathcock’s first story collection “Volt: Stories” (Graywolf Press, $15 paperback, $9.99 Kindle edition) came out this year and has been receiving excellent reviews, including being named as an Editor’s Choice by the New York Times Book Review. He is a current Idaho Literary Fellow.

Boise filmmaker wants to Kickstart his next project

Director Gregory Bayne is working on his next film project, a documentary "Bloodsworth," about the first person exonerated from Death Row by DNA evidence.

Bayne, who directed and produced the thriller “Person of Interest” and a documentary “Jens Pulver / Driven,” about the life of the ultimate fighting champion, is running a campaign now through Dec. 2 to get the project going.

Kirk Bloodsworth was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in 1985 for the brutal rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl in Maryland.
He was released from prison in June 1993 and pardoned in December 1993 through post-conviction DNA testing that eventually led to the identification of the actual murderer in 2003. Bloodsworth spent more than eight years in prison, two of those on Death Row.

The 2003 U.S. Innocence Protection Act, includes Kirk Bloodsworth Postconviction DNA Testing Program, which will provide funding for testing under the act. allows anyone to pledge support and make a contribution of any amount $5 or more in return for rewards related to the production of the film.

Bayne needs $25,000 in pledges to start production. He's up to $6,905.
Click here to learn more about “Bloodsworth” and make a contribution through Kickstarter.

Get a peek at Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour"

The show opened in Montreal last month and will play one night only in Boise in January. It features Jackson's music, dancers, acrobats, clowns, huge projections, fire and more.

Here's the trailer of what looks to be a truly spectacular entertainment.

Ballet Idaho opens its fourth season with a swashbuckling ballet and the debut of a new choreographer.

Ok, “Aarrrg! Pirates” is a cheesy name for a ballet. And I have to admit it — along with some pretty over-the-top press photos — predisposed me to under appreciate Ballet Idaho’s title piece for its season open concert series this weekend.

The silly wigs and over done costumes were ditched, and what was left was a fun, clever, delightfully silly, comic ballet by artistic director Peter Anastos.

1319934336 Ballet Idaho opens its fourth season with a swashbuckling ballet and the debut of a new choreographer. Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Two Idaho writers win prestigious Whiting Writer’s Award

Short fiction writer and University of Idaho associate professor Daniel Orozco and Boise-based poet Kerri Webster are two of 10 “promising” writers who received the 2011 Whiting Writer’s Award that comes with a $50,000 honorarium.

The award comes from Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation that has awarded more than $6 million to 270 poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, and playwrights since 1985.

Orozco’s first story collection “Orientation” (Faber & Faber, $23) came out in May. It’s a quirky, eclectic collection of stories Orozco wrote and published between 1994 and 2009.

Webster’s first book “We Do Not Eat Our Hearts Alone,” (University of Georgia Press, $16,95). She has a bachelor’s degree from Boise State and her master’s from Indiana University. She currently teaches poetry in Idaho schools through The Cabin's “Writer in the Schools” program.

Here are the other recipients:

Scott Blackwell, fiction. His novel "We Agreed to Meet Just Here," was published by New Issues Press in 2009. He lives in Chicago.

Ryan Call, fiction. His first collection of stories, “The Weather Stations,” was published this year by Caketrain. He lives in Houston.

Don Mee Choi, poetry. Her first collection, “The Morning News is Exciting,” was published by Action Books in 2010. She lives in Seattle.

Paul Clemens, nonfiction. He is the author of “Made In Detroit” (Doubleday, 2005) and “Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant” (Doubleday, 2011). He lives in Detroit.

Eduardo C. Corral, poetry. His book, “Slow Lightning,” will be published next year by Yale University Press. He lives in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Amy Herzog, plays. Her productions include “After the Revolution” and “4,000 Miles.” Her new play, Belleville, opens this month at the Yale Repertory Theater. She lives in Brooklyn.

Shane McCrae, poetry. His debut collection of poetry, “Mule,” was published this year by Cleveland State University Press. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

Teddy Wayne, fiction. His first novel, “Kapitoil,” was published in 2010 by Harper Perennial. He lives in Manhattan.

Idaho artist wins Western art award

Painter Albin Veselka, of Rexburg, won a gold medal at the Oil Painters of America’s Western Regional Exhibition for his painting “Flower Crown,” pictured below. Veselka received $4,000 with the prize.

Boise's Ira Amyx is nominated for a Jeff Award

Vallivue High graduate and former Idaho Shakespeare actor Ira Amyx is nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award, Chicago's version of a Tony, for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play, for Seanachai Theatre Company's production of "That Was Then." Ira studied with Fool Squad co-founder Tom Willmorth, who now teaches drama at Capital. Ira now lives in Chicago. The awards will be given out on Nov. 7.

Here's the blurb about the play from Seanachi's website:

Anglo-Irish tensions simmer beneath the surface as Dublinites Noel and May host a dinner party for an English couple in hopes of securing a substantial loan. Five years later, the invitation is reciprocated, but the tables have turned. Set in two time periods simultaneously, That Was Then ingeniously weaves together the events of both desperate evenings, in this dark comedy by Gerard Stembridge.

Ira played Noel.

Congratulations Ira!

The Doris Duke Foundation will offer $50 million windfall to performing artists

The funds will be awarded to 200 individual performers in jazz, theater and contemporary dance for the development of their talent and careers. These multi-year cash awards will be given over the next 10 years for amounts up to $275,000, the foundation announced on Oct. 20.

The Doris Duke Performing Artists Initiative will offer the largest allocation of cash grants ever given to individual artists in these fields and will provide additional support through artists’ residencies.

The initiative is a “radical vote of confidence for the creativity of individual artists … at a time when support for the arts is being cut back across the country,” Ed Henry, Doris Duke president, said.

The funds will be given out through an anonymous peer-review process, rather than an application process.


Duke Leading Artists Fellowships are for established artists who have received national funding;

Doris Duke Arts Fellowships are for upcoming artists with potential to influence their art form;

Doris Duke Artist Residencies are for dance companies, theaters and other presenting organizations that will be shared between the artist and organization.


Doris Duke was the only child of James Buchanan Duke, founder of the American Tobacco Co. and Duke Energy Co. When he died in 1925, he divided his wealth between his foundations and 12-year-old Doris.

Doris Duke grew to love the arts. In her lifetime she studied modern dance, played and composed for jazz piano and sang in a gospel choir. She also became an environmentalist, conservationist and historic preservationist. She gave away more than $400 million while she was alive. She died in 1993 at 80, leaving the majority of her estate to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

The foundation seeks to improve people’s lives by supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse.

Check out “Man Up!” Boise native Kelly Kulchak’s new show on ABC

Television producer Kelly Kulchak’s newest show “Man Up!” premieres on ABC at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18. Kulchak graduated from Capital High School and has been working as a producer in television for more than 20 years.
She just wrapped her sixth season of the popular detective comedy “Psych” (8 p.m. Wednesdays) on USA Network.

You can learn more about Kelly in the November issue of the Idaho Statesman’s Treasure Magazine.

In the meantime watch “Man Up!”

It stars writer/producer/actor Christopher Moynihan, and was put together by Moynihan, Kulchak and some of the creative team behind "SNL" and "30 Rock."

It follows the struggles of three modern male archetypes as they search for their identities and try to prove that "real men" really can use hazelnut creamer.

Trey McIntyre Project's "Grounded" is a solid hit.

The Trey McIntyre Project launched its fourth season in Boise with three premieres in its program “Grounded,” a theme the company is working with just now. After three seasons, traveling around the globe from its home base in Boise, the company is recommitting to its hometown, it tell the audience in a series of video interviews, that it is grounding itself in Idaho, both literally and figuratively.

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