Friday, September 24, 2010

The Governer's Awards in the Arts

The Western Dream
by Bill McKnight

Tonight was another first since moving to Idaho. My wife Pam and I attended the Governor's Awards in the Arts at the Egyptian Theater. While this was very different from our usual social milieu, it shared something at its core with many of our Idaho experiences.

Our first introduction to this unique Idaho spirit was with the outdoor community where we were welcomed with open arms despite being flatlanders. Next came the creative community into which Pam was readily accepted. It seems that the keys to the Idaho clubhouse are not your address or your credentials. It's not even about being a prodigy in your chosen field. It is about enthusiasm and the willingness to jump in with both feet.

Even the awards given tonight reflect this inclusiveness and respect for passion. They included recognition of knife, hat and saddle makers alongside a Hispanic muralist. They include silver haired academics and young jazz musicians. They included people from tiny towns as well as the capitol city of Boise. It truly honored all the facets of this diverse state.

Idaho still in my mind encompasses the best of the Western dream. If you come with your proverbial wagon loaded with enthusiasm, passion and a willingness to work, you can still live your dream. We are thankful to have been given that opportunity.

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