Meet the Research and Policy Team
Randy I. Cohen
Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, the nation's advocacy organization for the arts. A member of the staff since 1991, Randy stands out as a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, policy, and using the arts to address community development issues. He recently published Americans Speak Out About the Arts, a national study about the public’s opinions and participation in the arts. He publishes The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts as well as the two premier economic studies of the arts industry—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, an annual mapping study of the nation’s 703,000 arts establishments and their employees. Randy led the development of the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture, launched in 2006 in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts Blog recently received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. In the late 1990’s, Randy collaborated with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities to create Coming Up Taller, the White House report on arts programs for youth-at-risk; and the U.S. Department of Justice to produce the YouthARTS Project, the first national study to statistically document the impact of arts programs on at-risk youth. A sought after speaker, Randy has given speeches in 49 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.
Randy has been a policy specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, founded the San Diego Theatre for Young Audiences and served as its managing director, as well as worked in medical research for Stanford University and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. His board work includes the League of Historic American Theaters. He was Chairman of the Takoma Park Arts & Humanities Commission for three years, during which time the Commission completed a cultural plan, established the city’s Poet Laureate and public art programs, and a million dollar conversion of the city council chambers into a performing arts space.