The Alturas Institute advances its mission—promotion of American Democracy, the Constitution, civic education, gender equality and equal protection of the law-- through conferences, seminars, workshops and lectures.
Rick Ardinger is the Emeritus Executive Director of the Idaho Humanities Council, the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, recently retired after 26 years (1991-2018). During his tenure, in addition to awarding hundreds of grants to individuals and organizations throughout the state, and launching a series of annual humanities lectures in four Idaho cities by nationally prominent novelists, journalists, and historians, the IHC also built a $1 million Endowment for Humanities Education, offering the IHC a sustainable source of funding for annual weeklong residential summer institutes in the humanities for K-12 teachers, exploring history, literature, civic education, and more. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Slippery Rock State College in Pennsylvania and Idaho State University.
Prior to joining the Idaho Humanities Council, he worked several seasons for the U.S. Forest Service at a remote guard station on the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River, near Stanley, Idaho. He also worked as a commercial magazine editor in Hailey and Boise, Idaho, during the 1980s, and later served as Public Information Officer for the Idaho Centennial Commission (1987-1991), a special office of Governor Cecil Andrus to plan Idaho’s 1990 statehood centennial commemoration.
As a writer and editor, he has compiled several anthologies of essays, including Where the Morning Light’s Still Blue: Personal Essays about Idaho, co-edited with William Studebaker (University of Idaho Press). As an avocation, for more than three decades he also has been the editor/publisher of Limberlost Press, a small literary press devoted to “the black art” of letterpress printing, using lead type and a century-old printing press in his garage-turned-print-shop to produce more than 60 limited editions of poetry by such writers as John Updike, Sherman Alexie, Margaret Aho, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jim Harrison, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Judith Root, Ed Sanders, and many poets from Idaho and the West.