Barbara ‘Mother’ Hubbard Celebrates Turning 95 With A Special Tribute Event To Benefit ACTS Scholarship Fund

Courtesy of Barbara Hubbard

To celebrate Barbara “Mother” Hubbard’s 95th birthday on July 12, a special tribute to the pioneer, mentor and innovator will take place on Oct. 19 at Farm and Ranch Museum in Las Cruces, N.M.

Honorary chairpeople for the upcoming celebration include Pat and Lou Sisbarro, Wanda Bowman, Stephanie Medoff, Reba McEntire and Louis Messina. Proceeds from the upcoming celebration will benefit Hubbard’s American Collegiate Talent Showcase (ACTS) Scholarship Fund, which has helped many in the live business over the past four decades. The ACTS Program was launched in 1978 to help college students break into the live entertainment industry through internships and scholarships. Scholarship programs have been set up in universities across the country and Hubbard has raised more than $750,000 in scholarship funds for her beloved New Mexico State University alone.

The Oct. 19 tribute event will feature cocktails, a silent auction, dinner and entertainment.

“Barbara has generated thousands more in scholarship funds for other universities around the country,” Rick Nezzer, event spokesperson, said in a statement announcing the event. “She has mentored scores of students who are now entertainment agents, set designers, tour accountants, and tour managers. She has also mentored ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, comedian Sinbad, and actor and Singer Brennin Hunt, who starred in FOX’s ‘Rent Live’ and on Broadway in ‘Pretty Woman.'”

Hubbard first earned the nickname “Mother” Hubbard by Bob Hope after he witnessed firsthand how she helped to take care of all her students. After spending nearly three decades as the special events director at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, Hubbard retired from the role in 1996 but has continued as the executive director of ACTS. She also continues to mentor students and teaches a class on venue management. As an announcement about October’s tribute event proclaims, “At 95, Barbara is still going strong – and she ain’t done yet!”

Accolades Hubbard has received over her career include the inaugural Pollstar Honors Award for lifetime achievement in 2015, which was presented during the Pollstar Live! conference with an introduction by CAA’s John Huie after a video montage of her life and work that included testimonials from 4FINI’s Kevin Lyman, CAA’s Rod Essig and APA’s Troy Blakely.

“You are an amazing example; your leadership, your heart and your love exemplifies what faith and honor are,” Huie told Hubbard. Huie and Hubbard both took part in the second annual The Hubb professional development summit at CAA’s Nashville office in September 2019, an invitation-only event offering workshops for 30 students.

Hubbard also appeared on the cover of Pollstar in 2018 with a Q&A in which she talked about continuing to find internships for her beloved students and the joy of seeing folks in the live business like John Meglen and Louis Messina grow.

Next week she will receive the Charles A. McElravy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM).

“I just love to see the lights go on in the students’ eyes when they realize the opportunity that’s available to them,” Hubbard said in a statement. “Their excitement excites me, and I am thrilled that ACTS scholarships and my mentoring can make a difference.”

Tickets for Hubbard’s upcoming tribute are priced at $100 per person, with individual and table reservations available at Ashley Furniture in Las Cruces. More information about ACTS Scholarship Program is available at

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