By Chelsea Chambers
Photos Emma Thompson
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
Martin Luther King
History is told through the sacrifices and selflessness actions of others. But history is being made each and every day. And our beautiful city is home to people who are making a change, taking a stand, and helping us grow.
Hailing from Reno, Nevada, Leta Neustaedter is natural-born advocate. From a young age, Leta and her sister were involved in marches and protests; not simply as an act of rebellion, but rather, Leta and her family saw this as a way to get involved and be an engaged citizen. “I remember boycotting grapes due to their treatment of farmworkers, and boycotting Nestle due to their dangerous exploitive practices in Africa, marching for gay rights back when Pride was first created, phone banks, mail drops, parade floats—all were various forms of engaging and using our voices and resources for what we believed in,” said Leta.
“Being outspoken, standing up for what I believe in, pushing back against the status quo, it is in my blood, I don’t know another way to live,” Leta explained. And it is this exact mentality that prompted her to start Metamorphosis Performing Arts Studio. With a lengthy history in social work, Leta understood the power of performance and the positive impact it can have on mental health. Not to mention, she is incredibly talented—in art, music, writing, and as an educator.
Metamorphosis (on Main Street) became a way to open the doors of wellness and potential for the Treasure Valley and beyond. “I have been an activist all my life, I am a Black woman, and I am a social worker concerned about policies, systems, and social justice. The shifts in our country over the past several years—as well as the expanding reach of social media—have created an opportunity and a need for me to find a platform to advocate and educate.”
For Leta, it comes first-nature to stand up against oppression, to fight for equality, to break down systematic oppression, and to create a place where art and healing can co-exist. And we couldn’t be happier to have such a strong force in Idaho. Thank you, Leta!
To learn more, visit www.metamorphosisstudio.org.
“In 2010, I got sober. I knew I was living a life I was no longer proud of and had come to the “bottom.” Waking up that morning I made a vow to be different and to no longer be ashamed. I knew I would never drink again. That was nine years ago and that promise to myself has become a catalyst of strength for others,” Carlie recalled.
Rather than let alcohol consume her life, Carlie pulled herself up and dove head first into something that she was truly passionate about: fitness. Fast forward to 2019, and Carlie just opened her first brick-and-mortar gym—Heart and Core Fitness Studio off Fairview—and is the proud trainer of Carlie’s Angels, a competitive bodybuilding team.
Fitness became a motivation, a goal, something to focus on after sobriety, but she quickly learned that she could use her story to inspire others to do the same. By being open, honest, and transparent, Carlie quickly earns the trust and respect of her (over the years) hundreds of clients.
“When you’re a kid, you believe you can be anything that you want. But when you get older, that mindset begins to fade. I’m here to remind people that you need to keep that childlike ability to dream and believe,” said Carlie. We love your inspiration, Carlie!
Visit Carlie at her new studio or Facebook at Heart and Core Training Studio.
Born and raised in Boise, Jimmy grew up in a house built by his grandpa in the early 50s. It’s safe to say he’s a native. After traveling a while as a firefighter, Jimmy saw a need to speak out and enact positive change in his home town.
“I’ve had the opportunity to interact with thousands of people from all walks of life. Refugees, homeless, low-income—and I believe there needs to be a way to make everybody’s voice heard. Everyone deserves a place at the table,” Jimmy said. So, he has made it his goal to do just that.
Throughout his campaign, Jimmy has started committees that can help advocate and educate, while bringing the historically-unheard and under-represented voices to the forefront of politics and daily life here in Boise.
What’s more, is Jimmy is a firm proponent of creating access to clean air and water for all. He plans to propose a series of interconnected pathways using canal access roads, giving more people access to not only recreation, but also the option for alternative modes of travel, like biking to work.
“These networks of pathways could connect us to our surrounding communities like Meridian,” Jimmy explained. “We really are living in a window where we can make Boise what we want it to become, while addressing access (to clean air and water) and making sure everybody’s voices are heard, moving toward a future that includes all of Boise.” So true, Jimmy, thank you!
To learn more, visit www.ridewithjimmy.com.
At Greenbelt Magazine, we are so grateful to be a part of such an incredible city, filled with amazing people who are moving Boise in the right direction. We can’t wait to see what comes next for our beautiful City of Trees.