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Idaho Art Lab is in danger of losing its building. Here’s how you can help

Arts & Entertainment

Daniel Hidalgo’s TEDx talk.

UPDATE: Idaho Art Lab one step closer to buying its building

For the past decade, Idaho Art Lab has provided education, supplies and community for aspiring artists throughout east Idaho. Now the Art Lab needs your help to secure a permanent home.

The Art Lab, a 501(c) nonprofit organization, has been on a month-to-month lease since they moved to its current location outside of St. Anthony in 2012, on 2355 South Yellowstone Highway. The building’s current owner has found a buyer for the building, but he also gave the lab the first right of refusal, meaning it has until May 31 to come up with the money for a counter offer.

“Now we’re in the midst of a capital campaign, trying to find those major stakeholders who would like the Art Lab to stay,” said Daniel Hidalgo, who runs the lab with his wife, Kara. “We are also reaching out to our private donor base and our citizens. And so that they know we haven’t left any stone unturned, we’ve also reached out to our county commissioners and asked for help because it is within their power to invest back into nonprofits.”

Daniel and Kara Hidalgo. | Adam Forsgren,

The Hidalgos said that to be able to buy the property outright, they need to raise $350,000. They started by reaching out to corporate entities that may see the benefits of continuing to have Art Lab in the St. Anthony community. The next step was being part of Idaho Gives, a funding drive benefiting Idaho nonprofits that runs through May 6. (Click here to donate through Idaho Gives.) Once that winds down, the plan kicks into its next phase.

“Idaho Gives was our big local push to try and get people from the St. Anthony area and the state of Idaho to support us,” Daniel said. “That has been beneficial. Then the third leg of the process is to reach out nationally and part of that is, after Idaho Gives is over, is to start up a Kickstarter. We’re already in the process of deciding whether we go with GoFundMe or Kickstarter.”

The goal is to find enough donors to raise the needed funds by May 31. Their current landlord is working on a deal to keep them in their building through summer, so they don’t have to cancel their planned summer programming. But if they don’t raise the money needed, it’s back to the drawing board.

Idaho Art Lab
Idaho Art Lab. | Adam Forsgren,

“If we have to find property and another building, with the way that property prices are going, I don’t think we’ll be able to offer everything we already do,” said Daniel.

A new plan may also involve moving out of St. Anthony, which would be a loss for the community. Under the direction of the Hidalgos, the lab has expanded into new artistic disciplines and increased the number of options they can put at artists’ fingertips. In the process, they’ve helped to create something they said can’t have a monetary value attached to it.

“I think our biggest impact is that we are beginning to influence the next generation about the importance of art education in their daily life,” Daniel said. “You do not have to be good at art for art to have a good impact on your life. The fact of the matter is that even if you’re not good at it, if you sit down and try to create something, it’s relaxing, and that experience of creation is benefiting to your life in ways a lot of people don’t even realize. The impact we have on the community, I really feel, cannot be measured in a dollar amount. It’s measured in quality of life. ”

“If you want the world to have new ideas and innovation, you have to have some creative outlet,” Kara added. “Thinking more locally, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for poor to middle-income people. So as far as a family-oriented activity that’s cost-effective, we’re one of the few things out there, so we’re well used by families and senior citizens on a fixed income.”

The race to keep Idaho Art Lab in its current building is already underway. You can click here donate and find other information on how the Lab benefits east Idaho.

inside Idaho Art Lab
Inside Idaho Art Lab. | Adam Forsgren,

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