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Article posted: 10/30/2013 6:53 AM

Expert to speak on 'Why Art Matters'

Randy Cohen, vice president of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C., will speak at Elginís FallBack Arts Festival

Randy Cohen, vice president of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C., will speak at Elgin's FallBack Arts Festival


Courtesy of Elgin Cultural Arts Commission

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By Elgin Cultural Arts Commission

The Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, in cooperation with the Gail Borden Public Library, will host a town hall discussion on "Why Art Matters" with Randy Cohen at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in the Elgin Room as part of this year's FallBack Arts Festival.

Cohen is vice president of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C., the nations' advocacy organization for the arts. He is an expert in the field of arts funding, research, and policy.


He's also the publisher of The National Arts Index as well as two premier economic studies of the arts industry, "Arts and Economic Prosperity." The study is the largest of its kind and demonstrates the national and local impact of nonprofit arts organizations.

"Every business owner and every city leader should be interested in the results of this study," said Elgin Cultural Arts Commission Chairman Sean Hargadon in a news release. "These findings are profound and should be used to help inform decisions about Elgin's future.

"Outside of Chicago, Elgin has one of the most vibrant arts communities in the state. We need to embrace that fact and use the arts as an economic engine that can fuel business and make Elgin a destination city for homebuyers and visitors," added Hargadon, who also will present insightful information on the impact of the arts on the local economy.

In the late 1990s, Cohen 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. He also appears regularly in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and on CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

"Why Art Matters" with Randy Cohen is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged and can be done online at or For details, contact Hargadon at Look for FallBack Arts Festival 2013 on Facebook.

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