Americans for the Arts welcomes CFA alum Theo Edmonds to Board of Directors

Theo Edmonds received his MFA in Art Studio in 2013 from UK and is originally from Jackson, KY.
Story originally appeared on the Americans for the Arts website, Dec. 13, 2022.

Americans for the Arts welcomes to its board of directors Theo Edmonds, JD, MHA, MFA, Directing Co-Founder of the Imaginator Academy and Research Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Denver. Edmonds will begin his three-year term on Americans for the Arts’ board on January 1, 2023.

Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, stated, “I am thrilled to welcome Theo Edmonds to our group of dedicated and hard-working board members. He has a deep commitment to the arts and culture sector and brings vast experience at the intersection of the arts, science, and business, with a unique emphasis on creativity and innovation. His expertise will be a great contribution as we align our mission with the needs of the arts and culture community through an equitable advocacy approach.”

Edmonds is a Culture Futurist™ and innovator with 25 years of senior-level strategic national and international leadership experience spanning the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. A seasoned communicator, Edmonds’ unconventional background traverses and connects scholarly research with pop culture across scientific disciplines, data analytics, creativity, and cultural wellbeing. As directing co-founder of CU Denver’s Imaginator Academy – a cultural analytics, strategy, and futurist hub that centers on artists as innovation catalysts in the private sector – Edmonds cultivates an integrated network of entrepreneurs, companies, scientists, artists, creative innovators, and change-makers of all kinds in order to find hidden opportunities that others miss. Additionally, Edmonds co-leads the global creativity science work group for the Brain Capital Alliance and serves as lead cultural strategist for Energize Colorado’s Small Business Resiliency Index.

Image of Theo Edmonds
Theo Edmonds, photo by Roxanna Carrasco.

“Theo is a thought leader in new and innovative ways to incorporate the arts and cultural communities into organizational business and the future of work. Theo’s expertise in this area will lend a valuable body of knowledge to the Americans for the Arts board as we ideate around the creative economy in the development of new private sector partnerships,” added Julie C. Muraco, board Chair, Americans for the Arts.

Having served in the 2021-2022 academic year as Associate Dean for Transdisciplinary Research & Innovation in CU Denver College of Arts & Media, Edmonds now leads one of the University’s grand challenge initiatives, Imaginator Academy, as a research faculty team member in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Master of Humanities and Master of Social Science programs. Prior to coming to Colorado, Edmonds was faculty at the University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences. With research partner, Cameron Lister, Edmonds was awarded the University’s 2020 Trailblazer Award in Research & Innovation for groundbreaking work advancing cultural analytics in the private sector as part of a National Science Foundation-sponsored lab.

An artist, poet, and entrepreneur, Edmonds grew up in a nine-generation Appalachian family in southeastern Kentucky. In 2015, Southern Living Magazine named Theo one of “50 People Changing the Face of the South” for the futurist leadership demonstrated in launching the arts and culture innovation nonprofit, IDEAS xLab, co-founded in 2013 with husband Josh Miller.

Visit this page to learn more about Americans for the Arts’ board of directors.

Americans for the Arts is a nonprofit organization that advances the arts and arts education advocacy in America. Based in Washington, D.C., it has a record of more than 60 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for everyone to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at

Created 12/16/2022
Last Updated 12/16/2022