Home / People / Randy Cohen /

Randy Cohen

Vice President of Research
Americans for the Arts
Randy Cohen is Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts—the national advocacy organization for the arts—where he has been empowering arts advocates since 1991. Cohen is known for balancing rigorous research methods with accessible and actionable results. His work at Americans for the Arts has provided new perspectives on the nonprofit arts. He recently published Arts & Economic Prosperity 6: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts & Culture Organizations and their Audiences and Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2023, a national public opinion study about the arts. Randy led the development of The National Arts Index, the annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the U.S., and the National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual convening of leaders who focus on the advancement of American culture—launched in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. In the 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. He is the 2024 recipient of the Sidney Yates Advocacy Award for outstanding advocacy on behalf of the performing arts in America. His 10 Reasons to Support the Arts blog received the Gold Award from the Association of Media & Publishing—their top honor for best blog post of the year. A sought-after speaker, Randy has given speeches in all 50 states, and regularly appears in the news media—including the Wall Street JournalThe 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 worked in medical research for Stanford University and Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. His board work includes the League of Historic American Theaters. Randy is a past Chair of the Takoma Park Arts & Humanities Commission, during which time the Commission completed a cultural plan, established the city’s Poet Laureate and public art programs, and led the development of a million-dollar conversion of the city council chambers into a performing arts space.

Photo: JohnRocaPhotography.com