Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County, Texas
In 1985, WolfBrown began a long-term relationship with the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County that has enabled this private, nonprofit arts agency to make the arts a key player in the region's development. The Council first approached WolfBrown with a need to reconceive its franchise: as a simple re-granting agency, it wasn't set up to participate in, much less lead, the kind of planning it could see the arts community wanted and needed. The consultants therefore worked first on a plan that would expand the Council's purview, one establishing it as the City's designated planning mechanism for the arts. With major implications for the agency's governance, staffing, relationship to the city, minority issues, and funding, the plan laid out how each of these areas should be handled and provided a five-year budget to accomplish the reorganization as well.

Having helped the Council create a new charter for itself, the team then began offering services in support of the Council's new mission. In 1990, the consultants generated an economic impact study documenting the fact that Houston's nonprofit arts sector was generating over $300 million worth of economic activity. Two years later, they conducted research on the area as a market for the arts. They inventoried activities residents were attending, sampled opinions on arts issues and potential initiatives, and finally, developed projections of future growth in local audiences. More recently, WolfBrown has provided the Council with studies of model programs, funding mechanisms, and infrastructure that comparable agencies have designed; advised the Council in managing the task forces at work on broad-gauge cultural plans for the community; and developed a multi-year budget for all cultural activity in the Houston/Harris County area.

The relationship that has developed over the past decade between the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County and WolfBrown consultants is a good example of how WolfBrown tailors its services to meet the unique and developing needs of clients - and the achievements that can result: funding for the arts has increased by 35 percent in the city of Houston, and Harris County is providing its first-ever cultural funding.

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