Our Values, Commitments and Programming
Our Core Purpose is to Engage through Art and Ideas.
- To provide excellent programming in the visual arts, performing arts, education, theatre and the humanities
- To create opportunities to have shared experiences through the arts
- To serve a broad spectrum of the community
- To enhance lifelong learning and education in area schools through art and ideas
- To contribute to the national dialogue through the creation of new work and by encouraging staff to engage professionally within their disciplines outside the Wood River Valley.
- To use resources wisely and maintain institutional financial stability
Over the course of a typical year The Center’s activities include:
- Unique, nationally recognized multidisciplinary programming that explores ideas, themes and topics of relevance to our community through the visual arts, theatre, music, film, education and humanities.
- Original visual arts exhibitions (in addition to those developed in connection with multidisciplinary projects) curated by staff or guest curators. Exhibitions range widely in scope, structure and subject and include works by nationally and internationally recognized contemporary artists. Some of these shows have traveled to other institutions in the West. Many well-known artists have been shown at The Center including: Morris Graves, Kiki Smith, Walton Ford, Margarita Cabrera, Andy Goldsworthy, Shazia Sikander, Emmet Gowin, Jane Hammond, Xiaoze Xie, Paul Kos, Enrique Chagoya, Anslem Keifer, Carl Andre, Frank Stella, Agnes Martin, Hung Liu, Kim Abeles and more.
- Performing arts events ranging from intimate jazz and chamber music concerts to modern dance and multimedia performances to large outdoor concerts with top entertainers that attract up to 4,000 people per event. Past performers include Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, Arlo Guthrie, Vienna Choir Boys, Neal Conan and Ensemble Galilei, Ailey II, Meredith Monk, Ethos Percussion Group, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Carol King and James Taylor, Zap Mama, and The Avett Brothers.
- World-class theatre by Company of Fools, a professional theatre company creating dynamic programming for the stage and in the classroom. Since 1996, Company of Fools has produced over 120 plays and has taught hundreds of classes to children and adults. The Company was a recipient of the Idaho Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and in 2000 became the first theatre in Idaho’s history to receive Constituent Theatre status from Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional, non-profit American theatre.
- Public lectures and visits by artists, authors, and world renowned scholars, many of whom also visit local schools or teach classes. Recent visitors include Scott Simon, Terry Tempest Williams, Louise Erdrich, E. O. Wilson, Stephen Lewis, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Michael Pollen, Mary Oliver, Dan Cameron, William Kittredge, Barbara Ehrenreich, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jonathan Franzen, Reza Aslan, David Sedaris, Ira Glass, Sir Salman Rushdie, and Garrison Keillor.
- Classes for families and children, including free after school classes in English and Spanish and free family workshops that relate to The Center’s current exhibitions. In addition, many of the Valley’s students regularly visit The Center on field trips.
- Classes for adults that run from one-night classes on mosaics and beading to week-long writing workshops with well-known authors like Danielle Trussoni and Anthony Doerr. Most classes are held at The Center’s classroom in Hailey, which has a printing press, ample space for easels and 10 iMacs which are used for photography classes.
- More than $500,000 in scholarships over 12 years to local students and teachers to further develop their artistic talents through specialized studies.
- Free professional development workshops for area teachers.
- One of the country’s top-ranked summer art festivals, which features 130 artists and attracts more than 10,000 visitors.
- An annual Wine Auction that raises more than half The Center’s budget and is consistently ranked among the nation’s Top 10 Charity Wine Auctions by Wine Spectator magazine.
- Close to 60 percent of all Center programs—and 80 percent of children’s programs—are offered free of charge.