Facts & Figures to Make the Case for the Arts | Mainstage Session

Recorded On: 04/09/2021

About This Session

Each year, our advocacy is strengthened by high quality research - Join Americans for the Arts’ Vice President of Research, Randy Cohen to learn the latest data from throughout the sector to make your case with decisionmakers on the arts, the creative economy, pandemic repercussions, arts education, and more. 


Carla Dirlikov Canales, The Canales Project
Randy Cohen, Americans for the Arts

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Carla Dirlikov Canales

Classical Singer/Entrepreneur

The Canales Project

Carla Dirlikov Canales is an internationally known opera singer who is emerging as a leader in the area of using the arts to advance important social issues. She has been a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Turnaround Arts Program, was selected by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of its 100 Leading Global Thinkers and won the Medal of Excellence from the Sphinx Organization, which was presented to her at the Supreme Court by Justice Sotomayor. In each case, she was the first opera singer ever to receive the honor. As a singer she has received worldwide acclaim, and is best known for her portrayals of Bizet’s “Carmen” which she has performed close to 100 times in over a dozen countries. She has performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and top international venues in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Carla has served as a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy since 2005. Missions in 2020 include creating new arts programs for the U.S. Embassies in Honduras, Peru, Montenegro, and Kazakhstan.

Carla is the founder of The Canales Project, a non-profit arts and advocacy organization through which she created Hear Her Song, a musical celebration of distinguished female leaders worldwide that commissions new songs written by female composers to honor them. To date she has performed project selections over a dozen times at venues including the National Gallery of Art, United Nations, The Public Theater, and Kennedy Center. 

Carla Canales

A lover of all musical genres, Carla released her debut album “Duende” in fall of 2020. The album reimagines Spanish folk melodies with electronics, and was inspired by the great Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. Lorca interpreted the term duende as being the root of art and creation, surrounding the struggle to find meaning in life. The album has received critical acclaim. “She impressively merges the specific musical vernaculars of her past and present, and employs masterful vocal facility in order to create a refreshing record that feels entirely relevant in this moment of post-genre art that questions cultural identity and belonging in the landscape of an ever-fragmenting society.” -icareifyoulisten.com

In 2021, Carla will become the youngest ever Advanced Leadership Institute Fellow at Harvard University.

Facebook @carladcanales facebook.com/carladcanales

Instagram @carlacanalesmusic

Twitter @CarlaDCanales

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. Randy stands out as a noted expert in the field of arts funding, research, and using the arts to address community development issues. He publishes Americans Speak Out About the Arts, the nation’s largest public opinion study about the arts, and produces the two premier economic studies of the arts—Arts & Economic Prosperity, the national economic impact study of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences; and Creative Industries, a mapping study of the nation’s 675,000 arts businesses and their employees. 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. 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 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 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 Chairman 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.

Twitter: @artsinfoguy


Facts & Figures to Make the Case for the Arts | Mainstage Session
Facts & Figures to Make the Case for the Arts | Mainstage Session CAPTIONED
National Arts Action Summit Workshop Survey