Karen Bubb, Cultural Planner
Karen Bubb leads the implementation of Boise’s Cultural Plan which focuses on developing cultural policy, enhancing neighborhood places, maintaining cultural assets, fostering cultural organizations and partnerships, and expanding cultural resources for individuals.
“My life’s passion is to collaborate with others on creative initiatives that make life in Boise more meaningful, authentic, and connected.”
Highlights of projects she leads include:
- Partnering with the descendants of Boise’s Indigenous People to build relationships, provide education to the public about Boise Valley Tribes, and create permanent acknowledgements of the history and contemporary importance of Native Americans to the City of Boise.
- Collaborating with artists to write public art plans for Boise City Department of Public Works and Boise Airport.
- Conducting research about creative industry, cultural policy, and government innovations in the cultural field.
- Writing on diversity, equity, and inclusion in cultural plans and cultural economy in municipal settings.
Karen Bubb began her arts administration career in Boise as the Public Arts Manager from 1998-2017. During her tenure, the City Council passed the Percent-for-Public Art ordinance in 2001, a foresighted decision marking the beginning of the city’s significant investment in public art. In 2017 she moved into a new position as Boise’s Cultural Planner after completing a two-year community-based project developing Boise’s Cultural Master Plan.
Bubb served for six years on the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Board and in 2012 she was honored with the Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Arts Administration. She is Co-Founder of Surel’s Place, an artist-in-residence program, and a Trustee of the Alexa Rose Cultural Foundation and the Mitchell Family Foundation. Bubb earned her MPA and a Graduate Certificate in Community and Regional Planning from Boise State University, and a BFA from University of Oregon. She is currently a Boise State University PhD student in public administration and policy. A visual artist who works primarily in encaustic painting, Bubb is a member of Boise Open Studio Collective Organization (BOSCO). She teaches Design Thinking in Boise State University’s Executive MBA Program.