Subashini Ganesan is Portland’s new Creative Laureate

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish has announced the city’s next Creative Laureate, Subashini Ganesan! She was introduced at the Wednesday January 17th City Council meeting.

“Our inaugural Creative Laureate, Julie Keefe, served the City with distinction and set a high bar for her successor,” said Commissioner Fish. “Suba will bring passion, innovation, and a wealth of experience to this position.”

“The Creative Laureate is the City Council’s connection to Portland’s creative community,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “I’m excited to work with Suba to build stronger partnerships with Portland’s creative class.”

Subashini Ganesan is a leader in the regional arts community, an educator, a performer, and a non-profit founder. Her non-profit, New Expressive Works (N.E.W), is a performing arts venue in Southeast Portland. N.E.W. showcases multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary performance arts. It also provides affordable studio space and a choreography residency program where diverse artists can work together and benefit from unique experience.

An immigrant from Singapore, Suba’s goal as Creative Laureate is to “offer my story, of artistic excellence and community building experiences, as a way for the City to celebrate how independent artists of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, identities, and abilities can thrive.”

A professional artist who teaches with The Right Brain Initiative and Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington, Suba also practices Bharathanatyam, an ancient dance form of South India. She has performed at numerous Portland-area and regional festivals. In 2017, Artslandia named Ms. Ganesan a “Change Artist.”

“Suba has a unique ability to inspire audiences, educate youth, and bring communities together,” said Jeff Hawthorne, Interim Executive Director of the Regional Arts and Culture Council. “Her vision, leadership, and passion for equity will enhance Portland’s reputation as a global center of creativity. We look forward to collaborating with her.”

Subashini Ganesan honored by Portland City Council


The City of Portland’s Creative Laureate, established in 2012, serves as the official ambassador for the broader creative community in Portland. The Laureate participates in community education, advocacy, and public events including speaking engagements, workshops, and ceremonial functions.

Photographer Julie Keefe has served as the City’s Creative Laureate since its inception in 2012. “I’m thrilled that the enormously talented Subashini Ganesan will represent and serve Portland as our next Creative Laureate, and that she will have the opportunity to illuminate issues from her unique perspective, giving us all the chance to engage with this city through her creative lens.”

Download Subashini Ganesan’s Creative Laureate Speech (WORD)