Idaho Falls Arts Council (IFAC)
The IFAC is a private nonprofit organization founded in 1990. Our mission is to present quality visual and performing arts, offer arts education and promote arts organizations and events in our region. We own and operate the Willard Arts Center which includes the Colonial Theater.
A seventeen member Board of Directors representing a cross section of the community
the organization. The Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization supported by
donations, grants, and ticket income.
The Miles and Virginia Willard Arts Center
The Arts Council owns and operates the Willard Arts Center which houses two art galleries, three classrooms, a conference room and the 988 seat Colonial Theater. The Willard Arts Center's "Carr Gallery" is reserved mainly for touring art exhibits with the Blake G. Hall Family Youth Gallery focuses on children. Exhibits have included the artwork of Wayne Thiebaud, Julius Seyler, J.R. Eason's bronze sculptures, Michael Shannon's Junkyard Art, pop artists Andy Warhol, Peter Max and
David Hockney ceramics, textiles, glass, photography and much more. Exhibits rotate every two
to three months.
The Arts Council presents approximately 18-20 shows from early October to early June. Headliners include performances by Kris Kristofferson; and the late Ray Charles; theatricals such as "Cabaret" and "Singin' in the Rain," as well as Celtic, jazz, dance and children's shows. In addition, local nonprofit groups rent the Colonial Theater to perform an additional 75-90 shows per year. Among local nonprofit groups who use the Colonial are the Idaho Falls Youth Arts Centre, Snake River Chamber Orchestra, IF Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Idaho Ballet Theater, local ski patrols, high schools, Idaho Falls Opera Theatre,
Choralaires and others.
Built in 1919, the Colonial Theater opened as a vaudeville theater and
had one of the largest stages in the intermountain west at that time.
Acoustics are still superb. Because it was designed before modern sound systems were invented, a whisper on the stage can be heard at the top of
the balcony. Traveling vaudeville acts and minstrels entertained and actors, musicians and dancers performed on the hardwood stage. In 1929 it
was renamed the Paramount Theater and began showing movies.
Although a number of live acts performed on its stage up through WWII,
it operated primarily as a movie house until the late 1980's when it closed.