Vice President of Research and Policy
Americans for the Arts
Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts is a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, policy, and using the arts to address community development issues. He believes "historic theaters are a keystone of community development."
Randy has been a member of the staff of Americans for the Arts, the nation's advocacy organization for the arts, since 1991. 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 905,000 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. In the late 1990s, 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 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. 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. Randy lives with his wife and two children in Takoma Park, Maryland.