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Image by Alexander Ant



​Catalyst Arts Collaborative is an inclusive, collective organization that believes that everyone is creative and that the Arts serve all. We provide opportunities for community connection and support for creatives – of all types and at all stages – through facilitating education, enrichment, and outreach programs that inspire and encourage growth.​




Catalyst Arts Collaborative–affectionately nicknamed, "the Cat"–is housed in the Central Bench in Boise, Idaho. On any given day, in our Cat Classroom and Cat Clay studio, you can find art and writing workshops, figure drawing, field trips, private parties, meetings for fellow Arts organizations, and overall, a sense of community and inclusiveness. We understand that everyone is learning different skills at a different pace, and we LOVE to foster creative growth for ALL life-long learners, providing diverse perspectives within our curriculum in a wide range of mediums and topics.

We are always developing new programs to support artists and include the community. Bridging the gaps between separate Arts organizations and encouraging collaboration over competition is just one of our many goals. Our passion lies in supporting EVERYONE to tap into their creative potential and to provide opportunities for those who otherwise would not be able to engage in the Arts.


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Candy Canning, M.A.T.
Founder & CEO

Candy has been an avid advocate and facilitator for the Arts for over 20 years. As a professional artist and educator, she's taught in public and private settings to students of every age; most recently, she's taught art integration as an adjunct instructor in Boise State University's Art Education program. Her passion for helping people learn and grow is all-encompassing, and her talent for connecting and inspiring others to work together helps make big dreams come to fruition. Her art expertise spans across many mediums, from sculpture, ceramics and mosaic, to photography, weaving, painting , and public art. She enjoys combining elements to create new and multi-faceted works that surprise and delight.


Prior to founding Catalyst, Candy co-founded The Gem Center for the Arts in 2016 and founded Art Project Boise in 2010, which includes 1,300+ members of the art community in and around Boise. Art Project Boise has worked on large-scale projects in collaboration with the Sierra Club and with the international Inside Out Project, which was exhibited at the Modern Hotel and Jack's Urban Meeting Place (JUMP). Candy has also spent many years curating exhibits and organizing large-scale events in the Treasure Valley.


A nature and animal lover, she enjoys hiking in her beloved Boise foothills and Sawtooth Mountains, singing, traveling and raising four ridiculously cute cats, Lucy, Savannah, Frida, and Freckles.

(Coming soon...bios and pics of our team members, Mel Strong-Duncan and Mindy Yong.)


From teachers to models, accountants and volunteers, there are many people supporting the "Cat" with their time, talent, and knowledge.

Contact us if you'd like to be a part of our growing community!

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