Kara Elliott-Ortega is an arts advocate with a focus on culture and city planning. Prior to becoming the Chief of Arts and Culture, she served as the Director of Policy and Planning for the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture. Kara's work includes creating economic opportunity for local artists and creative workers, building cross-sector partnerships, directing cultural policy, and investing in community-driven cultural strategies like the Radical Imagination for Racial Justice program with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, Kara received her BA from the University of Chicago and her Master in City Planning from MIT, where her research focused on cultural production in Detroit following the 2008 recession and the role of urban designers in complex problem solving in the Rebuild by Design Hurricane Sandy Design Competition.
A resident of Roxbury, Kara spends much of her free time at local music shows.