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Amanda Ashley, PhD

Photo of Amanda Johnson

Professor, Urban Studies and Community Development
Director, School of the Arts
Environmental Research Building 5137
(208) 426-2605

Selected Works of Amanda Ashley

Office Hours: By Appointment


Dr. Amanda Ashley is a Professor of Urban Studies and Community Development in the School of Public Service at Boise State University. She explores arts economic and community development policy and practice. Her current work focuses on placemaking and placebelonging; the intersection of arts and planning; the role of arts organizations as anchor institutions; and the nature of systems in interdisciplinary collaboration in higher education.

Recently, she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Research Labs grant to study diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in arts and cultural districts in the U.S. cities through a multi-university effort with University of Arizona, Cleveland State University, and Wayne State University. In 2024, she will publish her second co-authored book, The Creative Economy: Arts, Cultural Value and Society in Practice with Routledge Press. She has published top tier planning and urban studies journals, including Journal of American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Urban Affairs Review, Journal of Planning Literature, and Journal of Urban Affairs. She leads an Interdisciplinary Research Accelerator with humanists, social scientists, artists, and designers with an emphasis on art and environment interactions.

As the Director of School of the Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences, she champions creative transdisciplinary work, community engagement, and experiential learning. Dr. Ashley serves on Boise’s Arts and History Commission and advises Garden City’s Placemaking Fund.
Dr. Ashley received a PhD in City and Regional Planning in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political of Science and International Studies from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.

Dr. Ashley proudly teaches in Urban Studies, Environmental Studies, Public Policy and Administration, and University Foundations. In Fall 2024, she’ll teach University Foundations 100: Welcome to the Creative Economy: Your Tour of Arts and Culture in Our Community. In this course, students will examine how the creative economy permeates our everyday lives, shaping where we live, how we feel, what we buy, and how we interact with others. Students gain exposure about how to live artful lives through experiences and first-hand encounters with artists, arts leaders, cultural sites, and creative activities.

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