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Talking Art with Randy Cohen

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Alex Salaverria
Randy Cohen of Americans for the Arts

In this episode, Kevin Maynard of Quad City Arts sits down with Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research at Americans for the Arts, to delve into the findings of the Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) study. This national study, conducted every 5 years across 373 study regions in the US, examines the economic impact of arts and culture organizations and their audiences. The discussion focuses on the specific impact of the non-profit arts sector in the Quad Cities region, which generates $29 million in economic activity and supports 712 jobs.

Listeners will learn about the various components of this economic impact, including both direct spending by arts organizations and event-related spending by their audiences. The conversation also touches on the benefits beyond just economic impact that the arts provide, such as improved academic performance for youth, better health outcomes, and increased community cohesion. Randy Cohen shares insights from the study, challenging assumptions about funding inequities and highlighting the importance of advocating for public and private investment in the arts.

Overall, this episode provides valuable data and resources for advocates looking to make the case for supporting the arts in their communities. From the detailed methodology of the AEP6 study to the various tools provided by Americans for the Arts, listeners will gain a deeper understanding of the significant impact that the arts have on both the economy and society as a whole.

Kevin Maynard is the Executive Director of Quad City Arts in Rock Island. He has more than 15 years of experience in arts management and philanthropy, and believes the arts “are essential to a healthy community - driving tourism, the economy, and improving the quality of life."
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