Josh Olson, Cultural Asset Program Manager
Josh Olson manages nearly 600 of Boise’s existing cultural assets with a value of $5.5 million. The City’s public art and historical collections require preventative, corrective and emergency care. For every sculpture exposed to the elements or vintage photograph on display, the goal is to ensure that artistic intent and historical values remain intact.
“Our cities’ local history and public artworks are important infrastructure that create and retain value in our communities.”
As Cultural Asset Program Manager, Olson handles contracts and budget planning, setting professional standards for artists and contractors. He works in the realm of conservation theory and ethics, legal easements and intellectually property. During his sixteen-year tenure, Olson’s command of museum and digital archive management, interpretation and signage, materials, fabrication, installation, art lighting and handling, safety standards and risk management have made him a go-to resource for artists, historians and community leaders alike. His BA degree in Fine Art from Western State Colorado University trained him well to be inquisitive, detailed, and responsive.
“What inspires me? When the whole community benefits from the creative economy.”
With all this experience and expertise, you’d think Olson might be stuck behind a desk—wrong! He is proud to have personally guided an average of 8,000 community members and visitors (annually) on public art tours from 2000-2010. And the Department couldn’t have chosen a better ambassador. “I have a soft spot for seeing families engaging with the public art,” he says.