Using Arts-And Communication Frames to Increase Public Value

Friday, June 14, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

A growing body of research shows the arts create powerful and positive change across many sectors, from infrastructure to social justice and diplomacy. Now, Americans for the Arts and partners are working to communicate this value to shape public perceptions. In this session, learn more about what helps people make those connections and join your side.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Hear the results of a pilot research project on how communications framing works on arts and health issues.
  2. Discuss the benefits and challenges of arts-and argumentation for affecting public perceptions of value.
  3. Talk through next steps, possibilities for future work, and ways you might use such work in your community.

View the Presentation Slides


Margy Waller
Senior Fellow
Topos Partnership
Cincinnati, Ohio

Margy Waller is a Senior Fellow at Topos Partnership (a national strategic communications organization), founder and Serendipity Director of Art on the Streets, and was a leader in the transformation of ArtsWave, an arts advocacy and support non-profit. She has served as advisor on national initiatives to Americans for the Arts, LISC, ArtPlace, Kresge Foundation, PolicyLink, and others.

Previously she was Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, with a joint appointment in the Economic Studies and Metropolitan Policy programs. Prior to Brookings, she was Senior Advisor on domestic policy in the Clinton-Gore White House. Before joining the Administration, Margy was Senior Fellow for Social Policy and Director of the Working Families Project at the Progressive Policy Institute. She also served as Director of Public Policy at United Way of America, and Director of Policy Development at Public/Private Ventures in Philadelphia. In 2010, Margy was named one of the nation's 25 most "powerful and influential" nonprofit arts leaders and she comments on arts, community, and strategic communications on twitter: @margyartgrrl and her ArtsJournal blog, The Bright Ride. Waller is a graduate of Northwestern University and The Ohio State University College of Law.

Susannah Laramee Kidd
Senior Researcher
Metris Arts Consulting
Easton, Pennsylvania

Susannah Laramee Kidd, an ethnographer turned evaluator and arts and culture policy researcher, is Senior Researcher for Metris Arts Consulting. Prior to joining Metris, Laramee Kidd has worked as an independent arts and culture research consultant, as well as Research Analyst and Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. As an independent consultant, she wrote a brief guide for evaluators and researchers on the “Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence for Arts for Change” framework published by Animating Democracy in 2017. As a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow at the Arts Commission, she produced a report titled "Art as Infrastructure" as part of her evaluation of public art, social practice, and public engagement projects at parks and libraries in unincorporated LA County neighborhoods. She also supported work at the Arts Commission in cultural equity and inclusion and public grantmaking in the arts.

Laramee Kidd holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology of Religion and Literature and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Emory University. Her academic research focused on how religious communities and individuals make meaning through everyday imaginative/aesthetic practices, like reading in discussion groups, and she continues to be interested in the interplay between the social and aesthetic dimensions of meaning-making.

Priya Sircar
Director, Arts
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Clay Lord
Vice President, Local Arts Advancement
Americans for the Arts