As Boise City's Cultural Planner, Karen Bubb leads the implementation of Boise’s 2017 Cultural Master Plan. This includes introducing the plan to residents; working with internal and external partners to develop cultural policy and programming; and serving as a liaison regarding planning and development efforts. In her role she leads dynamic workshops and offers one-on-one consulting for artists, developers, and community groups who aspire to impact Boise’s cultural landscape.
For nineteen years Karen Bubb worked as Boise’s Public Arts Manager to develop the city’s public art collection. The first major breakthrough during her tenure was when the Percent for Art ordinance passed in 2001, a foresighted decision marking the beginning of the city’s significant investment in public art. A second highlight for Bubb was the historic 2008 City Council meeting during which Arts & History became a full department. Bubb was the interim director of the Boise City Arts Commission at the time and felt very proud that this stabilization for arts and history took place under her leadership.
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 and Mitchell Family Foundations.
Bubb earned her MPA and a Graduate Certificate in Community and Regional Planning from BSU, and a BFA from University of Oregon. A visual artist who works primarily in encaustic painting, Bubb is a member of Boise Open Studio Collective Organization (BOSCO). She teaches Design Thinking and Creativity at Boise State University.