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Mission: Idaho Parents Unlimited supports, empowers, educates, and advocates to enhance the quality of life for Idahoans with disabilities and their families.

Christopher Huntsman has been selected as one of the 2015 Kennedy Center VSA Playwright Discovery Competition Winners

Idaho Parents Unlimited/VSA Idaho, the State Organization on Arts and Disability is so very proud to announce that Christopher Huntsman has been selected as one of the 2015 Kennedy Center VSA Playwright Discovery Competition Winners!!

"Christopher Huntsman is a recent graduate of Boise High School in Boise, Idaho and is interested in pursuing a program of study in digital filmmaking and video production, game art and design, or media arts and animation. In 2014 he completed a street-art mural painting on display in downtown Boise and participated in VSA Idaho’s Work of Art project with three other local teen artists.

Christopher submitted his script under the superb guidance of teaching artist Sandra Cavanaugh as part of one of IPUL/VSA Idaho's Creative Access Artist in Residence Program residencies held at Boise High School.


The full press release can be viewed here

A Story From One of Our Residencies 

We shared this on our facebook page, but wanted to put this in a more permanent location: 

From the Idaho Anti-Trafficking Coalition:

Our artist in residency, Jessie Nilo, in partnership and funded by, Idaho Parents Unlimited at the Southwest Idaho juvenile Detention Center.

“You’re coming back here on the Fourth of July? On a holiday?” the young man in the jump suit asked, his eyes searching my face as he looked up from his colored pencil drawing. He sounded perplexed. I was collecting their artwork and explaining we’ll continue our drawings next time. Earlier in the same session I had sternly made this same kid change his drawing, reminding him: No gang imagery, no gang colors. He had complied without argument.

“Yes,” I answered. “I’ll be here again Thursday with our supplies, and we’ll continue where we left off.”

“But why? Aren’t you off on the 4th?”

“I decided not to take the day off. I want to be here.”

“But why?” he asked sincerely. “Why would someone choose to be here? This place is so ... sad. And dull. Why would you want to be stuck inside here on your day off?”

“Because I care about you guys,” I answered matter-of-factly.

His eyes lowered quickly and he seemed to grapple emotionally with my words. There was not a sound in the classroom. I could feel all 13 inmates listening. These are fifteen-to seventeen-year-olds kids incarcerated for assault, battery, rape, theft, murder.

“Look. I know this class brings you guys a little peace and relaxation in your day, and you’re making amazing things, really amazing. I always have fun teaching art. So yeah. I’ll be here again this Thursday. Looking forward to it. You all did good work today, and I love your imaginations, every one of you. We’ll see you next time.”

I heard spontaneous applause escape from a few pairs of hands. Aww! That was new. ?

The guards called them over one row at a time, and had them line up at the classroom door, hands clasped obediently behind their backs. “Thank you,” a number of kids whispered to me over their shoulder before walking out of the classroom.

I smiled and waved acknowledgement.

Gah. My heart is full, and I’m kind of a broken mess now, at the same time.


artists making prints





Coeur d'Alene
Spring 2020

Pre-employment skills development for students with a disability, ages 15-21.

Made possible by a contract through the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Get paid to work with a professional artist while learning job readiness skills.

For Work Of Art taking place: 

April 15 - May 2, 2020

Wednesday, April 15, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
April 18, 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 
April 22, 6:00-8:00 p.m. 
April 25, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
April 29, 6:00-8:00 p.m. 
May 2, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Coeur d'Alene, ID

Human Rights Education Institute 

414 W Fort Grounds Dr, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

Please plan to attend all sessions 

Register at https://ipulidaho.org/reg-woa-spring-2020-cda


Questions? Ask Here


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(208) 342-5884 

(208) 342-1408