NEA funding awarded to BAM for Minidoka exhibition

December 11th, 2015

Funding Awarded for Arts Projects that Celebrate the National Parks Includes $30,000 awarded to Boise Art Museum

Boise — The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service announced $797,500 in 33 grants in 16 states, including an award of $30,000 to the Boise Art Museum to support the development of an exhibition, Minidoka: Artist as Witness (October 8, 2016 – January 15, 2017), related to the Minidoka National Historic Site, a World War II Japanese internment camp in 1940s Idaho. “Imagine Your Parks” is a new grant initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts to support projects in which the arts engage people with memorable places and landscapes of the National Park System.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “As the National Endowment for the Arts celebrates its 50th anniversary and the National Park Service observes its Centennial, we want people to remember that our cultural and natural treasures are part of what makes America great. ‘Imagine Your Parks’ projects from the Grand Canyon in Arizona, to downtown Atlanta, Georgia will inspire the imagination of people across the country. We are proud to support projects from organizations like the Boise Art Museum to offer more opportunities to engage in the arts.”

Melanie Fales, BAM’s Executive Director shared, “Few people know that Idaho had a major relocation camp during WWII, and even fewer people are aware of the visual art production that occurred as a result. By partnering with the Minidoka National Historic Site and engaging people with this artwork, we will have a powerful and personal means of creating a dialogue about a sensitive subject of profound importance.”

Boise Art Museum’s “Imagine Your Parks” project will comprise an exhibition of artwork produced at the camp or created by artists whose families have a personal connection with the Minidoka incarceration experience, such as Takuichi Fujii (1892-1964), Kenjiro Nomura (1896-1956), Teresa Tamura (b. 1960), Roger Shimomura (b. 1939), and Wendy Maruyama (b. 1952). Recognized as a unit of the National Park System in 2001, the internment site held more than 9,000 evacuees between the years 1942 and 1945. To engage visitors of all ages with the Minidoka National Historic Site, educational programming will take place at the Boise Art Museum, at the national park site, and at Boise State University (BSU). The exhibition has been scheduled to coincide with the annual Civil Liberties Symposium at BSU in fall 2016.

Follow “Imagine Your Parks” on Twitter @NEAarts and @NatlParkService.

About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. To learn more about the National Park Service, visit www.nps.gov.

About the NEA
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to arts.gov/50th to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary calendar.

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Contact: Melanie Fales, 208-345-8330 ext. 11