An interview with Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts and road warrior for the arts.
Deb: What are the apps that you use every day and what do you like about them?
Randy: I travel to a different city every week. The most accessible apps on my iPhone 4s keep me in touch wherever I go—EMAIL with the office, TEXTS with the kids—and improve the travel experience.
GATEGURU is a freebie that I recommend. It provides early word on schedule changes and TSA wait times. Plane delayed? It lists the food options and maps the airport so you can plot your sprint from concourse to concourse.
Deb: What is one app that surprised you with its usefulness?
Randy: CALENDAR does double duty for me. Not only do I know when and where I am supposed to be, it has replaced my Task List. I punch all of my to-do items straight into my calendar. That way I know exactly when I am able to fulfill a commitment. Every promise becomes an action item with a timeframe.
Deb: If you could recommend one app to every arts leader, what would it be and why?
Randy: DRAGON DICTATION is an app I always use because I always have a writing project. The good ideas, however, don’t always arrive when I’m sitting at the computer. Sometimes it is while walking down the street or standing on the Metro. Rather than lose the thought because it’s too hard to type, this app translates what you say into text. It is fast, surprisingly accurate, and free!
Deb: Any fun apps you recommend to pass the time in the airport lounge?
Randy: MLB keeps me up to speed on baseball scores. One of my favorite apps is the DECIBEL METER. Sitting on the plane writing this, the whir of the engines is running at 90db, while the guy snoring next to me is bumping it up to 93db—as loud as a kitchen blender, says my app (wish I hadn't forgotten my noise-canceling headphones).
Deb: Anything else you would like to share?
Randy: I would be remiss not sending props to our tech team. Staying connected and productive from afar creates more opportunities to spread the good word about the value of the arts to our communities.