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PEOPLE

Carrying on a legacy of excellence with a dose of irrepressible encouragement.

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Artwork: Alexa Rose Howell
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ALEX DAVIS

Director

 

Alex Davis regards the arts as a community’s lifeblood, an essential means of bringing people together. Davis served as co-producer and moderator of the James Castle House Inaugural Symposium hosted by the Boise City Department of Arts & History. She was the executive producer of The Ed Sessions with Sir Ken Robinson, Sal Kahn, and Mike Rowe, as well as the statewide ID21 Awards, showcasing creativity and innovation in education. As a published author and board president of The Cabin literary center, she shared the Morrison Center stage with author Abraham Verghese as part of the Readings and Conversations series and served on The Cabin’s executive and board development committees for a decade. Davis has led significant public initiatives including Boise’s Livable City (LIV Boise) campaign in the Office of the Mayor, and Go On, Idaho to encourage post-secondary education. Alex Davis first came to Boise as the Oliver Russell agency’s content director, senior writer, and longtime creative strategist. Davis began her career in PBS and NPR in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2020-2022 she served as managing director for TRICA Children’s Arts through the rebirth of an abandoned Baroque-Romanesque cathedral in Hyde Park, including restoration completion, board and staff buildout, and the launch of extraordinary arts programming—a longheld community-wide dream. With inspiration and deep belief, a lifelong commitment to creativity, and a Think Bigger attitude, Davis dares us to perform our work on ever-greater national and world stages.

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KENNETH G. HOWELL

Founder

Ken Howell has been named a distinguished preservationist by the Idaho State Historic Preservation Council and is the recipient of numerous Orchid Awards from Preservation Idaho for his work preserving many of Downtown Boise's landmark historic buildings. "My late wife, Alexa Rose, brought this electrical engineer to a life and home filled with art and whimsy. Alexa was a puppeteer, a poet, a pianist, a linguist, a humorist, a watercolor artist, and so much else. Her connection to and her desire to support Boise Valley’s Art Community and its individual artists was the inspiration for this Foundation. My own creative work is seemingly a knack for renovating and restoring notable architectural properties from Boise’s past. What began simply as an endeavor to support our family has grown to aid an extended family of community artists. Alexa’s vision and her Foundation will hopefully continue for generations to come."  

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NINA LEARY

Program Manager

Nina Leary is a catalyst for talent, driven to discover people's strengths and guide them toward excellence. She kickstarted her career at North by Northwest Productions, the leading media production house in southern Idaho, where she represented local and regional film and video actors. Later she launched The Talent Pool, Leary's own talent agency addressing an unmet need for onscreen performers in the metro area, as well as a sought-after personal and commercial photography business, NorthEnd Photography, a journey that spanned two decades. With a passion for giving back, Leary dedicated five years to crisis intervention at the Idaho Suicide Intervention Hotline, where she recruited, trained, and managed over three hundred volunteer phone responders and conducted training sessions across the state. Beyond her professional pursuits, Nina is an avid falconer and an accomplished visual artist, known for her award-winning Classic Realism oil portraiture.

In Acknowledgment of Brilliant Hearts and Minds

Through inspired contributions from some of our region's most skilled creative professionals, the Alexa Rose Foundation got an extraordinarily strong start. Due in large part to their belief in the mission and the generous-hearted work of dedicated staff, board volunteers, artistic advisors, trustees, and selection panelists, beginning in 2014 more than half a million in private dollars have been wisely invested in artists and public art that will shape our community for decades to come. Thank you!

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