Stimulate Your Senses


It’s amazing to find such a dynamic art culture in this small town in the Pacific Northwest, but Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has it going on.

The arts are essential to creating a healthy, vibrant and safe community. The role of the Arts & Culture Alliance is to foster creative outlets for artists, challenge convention and inspire new thinking. The Coeur d’Alene Arts & Culture Alliance leads the way with its support of the arts in all forms, including 23 regional arts organizations. With the many opportunities here, there is always something to do and never a dull moment.

Following are the events created by the Arts & Culture Alliance:

ArtWalk is a very popular event. From 5 to 8pm every second Friday in April through December, hundreds of people stroll through downtown and enjoy local and nationally acclaimed artists. Supporting galleries, shops, restaurants and businesses provide a lively and free family friendly experience. While a great tourist draw, this is also a time for the local community to come together.

Music Walk follows in the winter months from 5 to 8pm every second Friday in January, February and March. Also a free event, Downtown Coeur d'Alene rings with live musical performances from many of the area’s talented musicians!

Music for the Wise brings entertainment to those at various assisted living facilities and retirement residences who may not have the opportunity to enjoy live performances, particularly during the winter months. Local musicians and choral groups perform for the enjoyment of all who attend. It is amazing to see the positive effect of music on the elderly, particularly those with memory issues. Music has a powerful impact on the human psyche and memory retrieval.

Kids Draw Architecture is held annually in the fall, with aspiring young artists and architects working directly with local experts. They learn to draw while at the same time discovering how our community’s architecture and art represents us as a culture. Thanks to a generous grant from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, this year’s Kids Draw was held at the Cataldo Mission. This was not only a great opportunity for the drawing experience, but thanks to the Tribe’s historian, Raymond Brinkman, the kids learned about the historic significance of the site. Transportation was provided by the Coeur d’Alene Casino for a record 36 kids and 15 volunteers. Samples of the kids’ artwork will be produced as notecards for sale.

The Riverstone Summer Concert Series has been growing each year in popularity. Held every Thursday in July and August in beautiful Riverstone Park, audiences can enjoy a free professional concert of a variety of genres from local and regional performers. What could be better than a beautiful summer evening in a lovely setting listening and dancing to great music?

The Coeur d’Alene Artist Studio Tour is an opportunity for the general public to visit local artists’ open studios. Held in early June, the tour showcases the talents of many artists who may not be represented in local galleries, while providing a fun, engaging and interactive experience for those who are interested in witnessing the creative process.

Held each year during October, Art from the Heart is a community-wide celebration of the arts held in honor of National Arts & Humanities month, bringing awareness to our community about the wonderful opportunities in the arts that are available. The Arts & Culture Alliance, with the help of local artists, puts on the Art in the Making event at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Plaza Shops—another great opportunity for the general public to experience art in action. And the annual Mayor’s Awards in the Arts is held at the Hagadone Event Center honoring those who have contributed to Coeur d’Alene’s art culture.

Every first Friday of the month, the Arts & Culture Alliance hosts Arts Buzz, which provides a networking opportunity for nonprofit arts organizations, artists, performers and anyone interested in the arts. This is a valuable resource for our arts community, allowing us to share events and talents, give advice and seek collaboration opportunities. It continues to grow and draw current and new members excited to be a part of the art scene.

The annual fundraiser, Mardi Gras Krewe d’Alene, bridges the gap in the Arts & Culture Alliance’s funding, allowing for expansion in programming and increasing the quality of art experiences. The fourth annual Mardi Gras Krewe d’Alene will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Plaza Shops on Sherman Avenue. With a New Orleans-style cook-off between local restaurants, attendees sample the best foods and vote on the People’s Choice Award, while a team of professional chefs choose the Chef’s Award. Traditional street entertainment makes for a lively evening, followed this year by a full-on drag queen show.

Why have so many art experiences and events?

The arts have a positive economic impact on our community. With the help of the Americans for the Arts economic impact calculator, arts organizations can easily calculate their individual economic impact. The Arts & Culture Alliance generates just over $1 million in our local economy. With audiences spending an average of $31.47 per person per event, every dollar invested in the arts generates $12 back into the community. What a great investment. Visit AmericansForTheArts.org for more information on the positive impact the arts have on our economy.

Consider supporting your local arts organization. The investment is worth it. For more information, visit ArtsAndCultureCdA.org.

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