Arts, Culture, and Humanities

The Cabin

  • Boise, ID
  • www.thecabinidaho.org

Mission Statement

The Cabin exists to inspire and celebrate a love of reading, writing, and discourse.

The Cabin's mission is to develop and strengthen a community of writers and readers and a love of reading through educational and cultural programs that highlight the power of language to give meaning and pleasure to our lives.

Main Programs

  1. Writing Camps
  2. Writers in the Schools (WITS)
  3. Readings & Conversations
  4. Writers in the Attic (WITA)
Service Areas

Self-reported

Idaho

Southwest and eastern Idaho

ruling year

1996

Executive Director

Self-reported

Kurt Zwolfer

Keywords

Self-reported

reading, writing, discourse

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Also Known As

The Cabin

EIN

82-0488067

 Number

1579103128

Physical Address

801 S. Capitol Blvd.

Boise, 83702 7135

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Each year, we serve approximately 1,000 students through Writers in the Schools, many at-risk; 500 students through Summer Writing Camps; over 4,000 through Readings & Conversations; and dozens more through adult programs.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Writing Camps

Through hands-on exploration, camp students practice the tools they need in order to write well. Students encounter challenging prompts and write lots of new work, then receive in-depth critique toward revision. At the end of camp, students share their writing at a public reading and publish a revised piece in The Cabin’s end-of-summer print anthology, Camp Fire.

Writing camp helps ignite a lifelong love of reading and writing, and gives students practical tools to apply their passion for writing to their practice on the page.

Learning Goals for Cabin Writing Camp
Students will be exposed to a high standard of literature, and practice reading critically. We teach texts—poems, stories and plays—that best demonstrate the craft elements students need to understand in order to write well.
Students participate in critical conversations about how and why texts are using literary strategies, and they experiment with these strategies in their own work.
Students will see their surroundings as inspiration to write. Cabin writing lessons are sparked by experience in the real world. Students are encouraged to think like writers as they texts and observe the natural and cultural world.
Students will develop their understanding of the fundamentals of their genre of focus: poetry, fiction, journalism, playwriting, and graphic novel design. They’ll demonstrate this understanding by writing poems that engage with poetic forms, sensory image, and figurative language, and stories that explore character, setting, dialogue and narrative.
Students will come to view themselves as writers with authentic voices. Each student will write new work daily, and share that work with peers. Then, they’ll experience what it’s like to share their work with a wider audience through a public reading and publication online and in print.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

None

None

Budget

$106,000.00

Program 2

Writers in the Schools (WITS)

WRITERS IN THE SCHOOLS (WITS) supports creative writing enrichment in 3rd-12th grade classrooms throughout the Treasure Valley. During the school year, The Cabin employs professional local writers—poets, novelists, playwrights, and journalists—to teach semester- or school-year-long writing residencies in schools, juvenile detention centers, and community learning centers.

WITS begins with a few foundational assumptions. That collaboration between teachers and artists can make deeper student engagement in creative writing possible. That students are already artists with voices worth hearing, and unique visions of our world that deserve to be honored. That students of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can experience the power (and pleasure!) that comes from learning tools to help us read and write well. That school isn’t somehow separate from our communities or culture, but rather the place where community is first forged, reckoned with, changed for good. WITS engages with schools as spaces for making.

We offer 12- and 24-week creative writing residencies in poetry, fiction, nonfiction and playwriting lead by professional writers in our community.

WITS Works for Students & Teachers

All students can benefit from writing workshops with professional writers, and we focus our service in schools with high populations of low income and/or at-risk students. Our writing residencies emphasize experimentation, creativity and imagination above rules and conventions, helping students develop a commitment to reading and writing that lasts a lifetime. WITS residencies are custom-fit to support the curricular goals of each classroom teacher we serve. The foundation of WITS is a collaborative partnership between the teaching-writer and the classroom teacher which supports both educators as they adopt new approaches to teaching creative writing.

As a part of WITS, your classroom will receive:

Customized support for your students’ curricular goals including common core standards;
An in-depth creative writing residency with a professional writer;
Unique curricular materials and hands-on writing lessons for further classroom use;
A printed collection of student work and the opportunity to appear in Cambia, a professionally published anthology of student writing;
Detailed reports of the teaching and assessment methods used in your classroom.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

None

None

Budget

$77,100.00

Program 3

Readings & Conversations

Readings & Conversations brings at least four internationally-acclaimed authors to Boise for an evening of stimulating and enlightening conversation. Boise, Idaho remains the most isolated city of its size in the U.S. and this series provides an opportunity for area residents to experience up close authors whom they would otherwise never be able to see in person.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$111,425.00

Program 4

Writers in the Attic (WITA)

The Writers in the Attic Program, or WITA, is an annual publication opportunity for local writers, both emerging and established, to publish work related to a theme chosen by The Cabin. While The Cabin has a long history of presenting writings by our young writers, WITA is our attempt to reach our adult community in a similar way.

This publication is a stepping stone for new writers and a venue that showcases their talent in our community. Publication by The Cabin assures credibility: The Cabin is an established literary leader and stories are blind-judged by a noted literary figure. In addition, WITA helps writers through the often complex and intimidating publication process and gives them the opportunity to realize the ultimate goal of seeing their work in print.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Adults

None

None

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    We aim to maintain and expand our Youth Education programs and continue to bring exemplary authors to Boise through Readings & Conversations. We also strive to publish writers from all over the state in our annual Writers in the Attic anthology. In addition, we are expanding our Authors in the Schools program, a sub-program of R&C that places visiting authors in area schools and juvenile detention centers for a few hours before their lectures, and working toward ever-greater diversity in our R&C lineup in terms of genre and authorial background.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    We are growing our membership base and continually seeking new partnerships and sponsorships, both locally and nationwide. In addition, we vet our teaching-writers rigorously to ensure the highest quality of programming for youth and adults.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    We are fortunate to have many longtime members, some of whom have enjoyed Cabin programming for over 20 years. We have a committed staff, widely published and accomplished teaching-writers, and a fantastic Board of Directors.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    One of our measurements is the number of students served through our Youth Education programs. We aim to serve a minimum of 1,500 students throughout the Treasure Valley each year. Furthermore, we aim to consistently serve a majority of at-risk youth through WITS.

    Similarly, we measure audience attendance at R&C and participation in adult workshops and other programs.

    We also collect quantitative and qualitative data from teaching-writers, students, and primary classroom teachers concerning the success of our programs.

    In addition, we assess the quality of writing created by students in our Youth Education programs each year.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Having existed for over 20 years, The Cabin has an excellent history of accomplishing its goals. We have longstanding partnerships with schools, community learning centers, and juvenile detention centers all throughout the Treasure Valley that help us provide award-winning arts education to hundreds of youth each year. We have diverse lineups of R&C authors, many of whom visit area schools during their visits. In 2016, we added a permanent fifth event to the R&C series due to high demand for the program.

    One goal we hope to achieve in the near future is the provision of WITS residencies to all Boise School District high schools.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Idaho

Southwest and eastern Idaho

Social Media

Funding Needs

The hundreds of area youth participating in The Cabin's Youth Education programs wish to thank the many funders who support these programs. We are always looking for new partnerships to enhance and expand these exciting, creative and engaging programs.

photos


External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

LOG CABIN LITERARY CENTER INC
Fiscal year: Oct 01-Sep 30

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

The Cabin

Leadership

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Executive Director

Kurt Zwolfer

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"“A Cabin Story"

In 1995, a deteriorating log cabin in Boise, Idaho, built in 1940 for the Forest Service, was on the verge of being too broken to fix. At the same time, a new literary organization was just getting started on its mission to inspire a love of
reading, writing and discourse in Idaho communities.

It was perfect timing. The City of Boise agreed to provide the cabin as a home for Idaho literary arts, if the organization would renovate the structure and make it
fully accessible.

The transformation of the old log cabin – from the foundation to the attic – was an excellent metaphor for the power of words and writing. Each requires a solid foundation to build on, respect and discipline for the tools that transform, imagination, and a vision for what can be.

While the cabin took shape, with accessible meeting rooms, an elevator, exterior ramp and fully accessible restrooms, The Cabin, a 501c(3), also evolved and is, today, Idaho's anchor for literary programs.

With grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and sponsorships and grant awards from dozens of other government and corporate entities, The Cabin offers year-round literary programming.  

Even more important than renewing the structure of an old log cabin, giving young writers tools to enrich and, in some cases, to rebuild their own lives is the most rewarding part of our ongoing community efforts."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Marshall Garrett

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?