Klarman Family Foundation
An Assessment of Youth Mastery of Classical Music
A goal of Boston’s Klarman Family Foundation is to see “all youth in Boston able to pursue continuous training in classical music to their highest level of interest and ability.” WolfBrown undertook a research project for the Foundation to explore the status of classical music training in Boston in order to recommend actions that would help accomplish the Foundation’s aspiration. The fundamental focus was on ensuring access to continuous music training opportunities for all Boston youth, regardless of how far they progress. To perform this assessment, the consultants conducted a literature review, online research, a review of results of surveys (conducted by others) of public, private, and parochial schools, a survey of youth music education providers, best practice research, and interviews with field experts. All of this resulted in a series of recommendations for future action.

Consultants: Thomas Wolf, Jennifer Chang, Jane Culbert
Year Complete: 2014
Category: Arts Education Research and Program Development

A Strategic Plan for a Mental Health Agency
Founded in 1928, ANDRUS serves children and strengthens families by offering enriching early childhood and after-school programs, providing community-based mental health services, and offering special education for emotionally fragile children in multiple sites around Westchester County and the New York Metropolitan area. WolfBrown was engaged to assist with the development of a strategic plan early in the tenure of the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. The focus of the planning process took into account changes in healthcare systems in the US and the impact of these changes on programs, human resources, governance, facilities, and financial resources. The final product included detailed financial scenarios as well as timelines for proposed actions.

Since approval of the plan, WolfBrown consultants have been engaged to ensure the plan’s implementation.  The consultants have also assisted with enhancements in the area of governance, fundraising, and research/evaluation.

Consultants: Thomas Wolf, Jane Culbert
Year Complete: 2016
Category: Strategic Planning

Project STEP
Feasibility Study for Consortium for Classical Music Training
WolfBrown was engaged by four music education organizations in Boston to conduct a feasibility study to determine whether and how they might embark on an initiative to provide advanced training for Black and Latinx classical musicians.  The goal of the program was to see many of these students matriculating to post-secondary instrumental training institutions.  The study was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and involved the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Community Music Center of Boston, the New England Conservatory, and Project STEP.  The final report provided an analysis of Greater Boston demographics and music training organizations, and a detailed program design, as well as a support structure that included the Boston Symphony Orchestra serving as host organization. It also included a financial scenario and details for how the groups could work productively together.

Completed: 2018
Consultants: Thomas Wolf, Dennie Palmer Wolf, Jane Culbert, Stanford Thompson (Play on Philly), Jennifer Chang (Musician, Julliard graduate)
Category: Strategic Planning

United Way of Central Indiana/Julian Center
A Financial/Fund Raising Assessment and Plan for A Social Service Organization
Responding to an invitation by a consortium of funders in Indianapolis in September of 2014, WolfBrown conducted a comprehensive assessment of the finances and fund raising of the Julian Center in Indianapolis, the largest domestic violence shelter organization in the state.  Working closely with both the staff and Board of the Center and the funder consortium, WolfBrown did an extensive analysis both of the historical financial track record and the systems in place to monitor and report financial information. This included reviewing financial systems and statements of the Julian Center going back in time in order to gain a full understanding of what had occurred as well as analyze trends over time. WolfBrown reported its findings and recommendations, all of which were accepted by both groups.

After completing this preliminary work and making its recommendations, WolfBrown was engaged by the funders for a second phase project to monitor implementation of its recommendations, including assistance and advice on financial and fund raising plans. WolfBrown’s period of monitoring and advising continued through January 2016 at which point most of its recommendations had been fully implemented and others were in process. 

Completed: 2016
Consultants: Thomas Wolf, Jane Culbert
Category: Organizational Assessment, Financial Analysis and Business Planning

From the Top
From the Top is perhaps best known for its radio program, which features performances by especially accomplished young musicians. However, From the Top (FTT) also offers a number of programs for young people, including the activities of the Center for Development of Arts Leaders (CDAL), in which young musicians develop their leadership skills beyond the concert hall. In 2011, From the Top asked WolfBrown to conduct a formative evaluation of the program. Our results indicated that while program participants felt more confident that they could work effectively in community settings, their abilities to problem-solve and communicate could be further enhanced. From the Top used these results to expand and refine the CDAL curriculum and to underpin its scholarships and leadership awards, speaking to a major issue in contemporary classical music: the preparation of a next generation of citizen artists.

Consultants: Dennie Palmer Wolf
Category: Arts Education Research and Program Development