The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has invited Brian Kisida, assistant professor in the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri, to join its Commission on the Arts.
With over a decade of experience in program evaluation and policy analysis, Kisida’s research focuses on exploring educational options and experiences that help at-risk students. He has published a number of influential articles on the benefits of arts education. He serves on the advisory committee for MU’s Artist in Residence program.
Kisida’s work explores how arts experiences affect students on a broad set of outcomes that extend beyond standardized test scores. Through his research, he has found that the arts increase tolerance, empathy, and critical thinking, as well as student engagement, compassion, and discipline. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today.
“As a member of the commission, I want to explore how the arts can help bring meaning and belonging back to our lives,” Kisida said. “Our nation is in the midst of an existential crisis, and we’re increasingly seeing the effects such as growing political divisions and the rise of hate crimes. The arts can provide a pathway to reflect on the human condition, strengthen communities and build bridges between people with different backgrounds. With my colleagues on the Commission, our goal is to amplify these important contributions the arts make to civil society.”
The Commission on the Arts brings together artists, scholars, educators, arts leaders and philanthropists from around the country to examine the role of the arts in American life. Co-chaired by actor John Lithgow, John F. Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, the commission works to reframe the national conversation about the arts and highlight the positive contributions art makes to our communities and our diverse democracy. Launched in 2018, the commission has received more than $1 million of support from the Ford Foundation, The Getty Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, as well as a generous contribution from Roger W. and Victoria P. Sant.