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State of Idaho ready to award money for arts equipment to rural schools

Wallace Junior/Senior High School Facebook page
Rural Idaho school districts like Wallace are eligible for state money to buy arts-related equipment.

The state arts commission is taking applications for arts-related grants through Sunday.

Rural school districts are one of the beneficiaries of Idaho’s booming economy. The state has set aside $1 million of its surplus to help small districts expand their arts offerings.

For schools that run on lean budgets, this is money from heaven, said Michael Faison, the state arts commission’s executive director.

“They understand the importance of arts in the curriculum for their students, music, art, theater, dance. They understand this, but they just don’t have the tax base," he said.

The commission is offering up to $15,000 to rural districts that want to buy arts-related equipment, such as kilns, printing presses and digital cameras.

The application deadline is Sunday, April 17. Faison says almost half of Idaho’s 117 districts have already submitted applications.

“They’re so used to working with so little, I’m sure that they were probably doing a Snoopy dance. I sure was when I heard the word about this," he said.

Faison says the applications will be reviewed by in late April by a panel of arts-related people. Its recommendations will go to the state Board of Education in May. The winning districts, as many as 60 or 70 of them, will be notified in June so they can begin buying equipment to use next fall.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.