Blog - Learning in Action

Connections Project Keynote Illustrates Global Connections in Boise

April 24, 2017
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College of Western Idaho’s Connections Project is being held on April 27, 2017 at the Nampa Campus Academic Building. The Connections Project is an annual event that provides an opportunity for CWI and the surrounding community to make connections, educate others, and inspire innovation and creativity. This year, Angie Smith, the founder of Stronger Shines the Light Inside, will be the keynote speaker.

Stronger Shines the Light Inside is a photography project and exhibition that documents refugee resettlement in the US. In 2015, Smith received a grant from the City of Boise to create a large scale, public exhibition showcasing the portraits and interviews of refugees living in Idaho. In the fall of 2016, Stronger Shines the Light Inside was exhibited on the streets of downtown Boise for two months. A photo essay on the project was published in the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic and National Geographic. Smith was invited to the White House for a summit on successful resettlement practices throughout the US. She is currently expanding SSTLI to include additional cities throughout the US.

Smith was born in Eugene, Oregon and studied photography at Bard College in upstate New York. Currently Based in Los Angeles, Smith has worked as an editorial and fine art photographer, working for publications such as The New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, WIRED and Travel and Leisure. She has taught photo workshops for National Geographic in Ecuador, Florence, Barcelona, London and Paris.

Smith will be speaking at the Connections Project from 6-7 p.m. about her project and the value of making connections as a professional artist and community member.

To get involved in this year’s Connections Project, please visit