Idaho Humanities Council Welcomes Three New Board Members

Idaho Humanities Council Welcomes Three New Board Members

Dec. 13th, 2022: The Idaho Humanities Council (IHC), the nonprofit, state-based partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, recently elected three new members to its 19-member board at their fall meeting in Boise. The three new members from Boise, Lewiston, and Coeur d'Alene will serve three-year terms on the board. These three new members were elected by IHC’s Board of Directors in October through a public application process.

Andrew Finstuen holds a PhD in American History and serves as the Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning and Dean of the Honors College at Boise State University. Before his arrival at Boise State University, Finstuen directed the International Honors Program at Pacific Lutheran University, served as a Lilly Fellow in Humanities and History in the Honors College at Valparaiso University, and was the Assistant Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College.

An active scholar, Finstuen’s Original Sin and Everyday Protestants: The Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr, Billy Graham, and Paul Tillich in an Age of Anxiety (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) won the 2010 American Society of Church History’s Brewer Prize. His work has also appeared in Books and Culture, the Christian Century, Harvard Theological Review, and PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. He co-directed the “The Worlds of Billy Graham” project, which produced Billy Graham: American Pilgrim an edited volume with Oxford University Press (2017). He was the project director and co-producer of An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story, a documentary that aired nationwide on public television. Most recently, he contributed an essay to The Oxford Handbook of Reinhold Niebuhr (Oxford University Press, 2021).

renée holt, is Diné from the Tse’naha’biłhni clan and enrolled with the Nez Perce Tribe. A mother of three plus two, her work is grounded in Diné K’é and Nimiipuu himyuuwaneewit frameworks that are land-based and culturally sustaining. Her interests center art as a means towards social and restorative justice that can lead to healing and wellness. She also serves as PT faculty at Northwest Indian College on the Nez Perce reservation using Indigenous storywork as methodology, and the six principles of relationality, respect, reciprocity, responsibility, relevance, and representation for her work in community. With a background in Native teacher education and working with K-12 educators, she also works in her home community on the Nez Perce reservation with the national AmeriCorps VISTA programs.

Blair Williams works as a Creative Placemaker while simultaneously operating The Art Spirit Gallery in downtown Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. 

In 1998 Blair discovered the world and profession of arts administration as a board member with The Performing Arts Alliance in Coeur d’Alene. She promised herself that she would return to her beloved Coeur d’Alene to find employment in the arts and work to strengthen the arts in her home state.  

For over three decades Blair has worked and volunteered with a broad array of nonprofit arts organizations. She later returned to school to gain a degree in Public Relations and Communication, and later operated her own public relations firm for close to 10 years.

Since returning to Coeur d’Alene in 2011, Blair has been active in community development organizations such as Leadership Coeur d’Alene, The CDA School District, Coeur d’Alene Vision 2030, The CDA Arts & Cultural Alliance, The CDA Education Partnership, The CDA Downtown Association, Sorensen Magnet School for the Arts & Humanities, North Idaho College, University of Idaho, The Arts Ed Co-Lab, and the Human Rights Education Institute. Blair is also one of the founding partners of Roxy Art Market, where she is developing virtual reality and augmented reality tools for the arts market. She currently serves as a commissioner with the Idaho Commission on the Arts.

Every day Blair puts her key in the door of The Art Spirit Gallery, and with a huge smile says to herself “I get to be here today – working in the arts – in the city and state that I love.” 

The IHC board meets three times a year to review council-conducted humanities projects and programs and award grants to organizations throughout Idaho to promote greater public awareness, appreciation, and understanding of literature, history, cultural anthropology, law, and other humanities disciplines.

The Idaho Humanities Council is a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to "deepen understanding of the human experience by connecting people with ideas." The board meets three times a year to plan special programs and to award grants to organizations throughout Idaho to promote greater public appreciation of the humanities.

For more information about the IHC, visit or call (208) 345-5346.