Policies are formulated to address challenges. Research is an essential part of policymaking because research contributes to: identifying those challenges; assessing their characteristics, scope, and scale; settling on the best ways to address them; and helping to measure movement toward or away from policy goals. Although the very idea that government actions might take the form of policy was formulated by placing evidence and social scientific method at the center of decision-making, the influence of research is limited. While it is the case that public policies can be informed by the evidence that research uncovers and analyses, public policies emerge out of complex negotiations between historical context, political imperatives, bureaucratic structures and capacities, administrative norms, available alternatives, and evidence. Research can inform the ways in which policies are created, change, or die, but the consideration of evidence tends to inform public administration more than it informs policymaking. That certainly is the case for cultural policy research in the United States.