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Welcome to On Our Minds. Twice a month we enjoy sharing what WolfBrown consultants are reading, thinking, and talking about - what’s On Our Minds. It’s our way of staying in touch with valued friends and colleagues, and passing along some worthwhile ideas.

On Our Minds: Holida ...

Season's greetings from all of us at WolfBrown! For this special holiday issue of On Our Minds, we asked the WolfBrown team to think about their most memorable arts experiences of the year. From opera to pop music to theatre for young audiences, these are just some of our highlights from 2016.  ...
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The Big Hurt

Reflecting on the recent election results brings me back to one of the more befuddling observations about trends in arts participation that I've been holding in my head since the late-1990s… the blurring line between fantasy and reality. The flourishing of fictitious online personas, resulting in ...
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What Does “Wel ...

I woke up the morning of November 9th and immediately tried to return to an anxiety dream, which seemed preferable to reality at that moment. But I had things to do and people to interview, for that Wednesday marked the beginning of a round of interviews for San Francisco Shakespeare Festival with A ...
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How Vulnerable Are W ...

Last month, the router in my home died. As a result, I spent nearly a week with no internet access in my home. I had no idea how dependent I had become on this mode of doing business until I was without out it. Moreover, I have limited data on my phone and tablet since I spend most of my life in a W ...
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WolfBrown publishes Sounding Board three or four times a year. It is devoted to topics of interest to our clients in the nonprofit sector. You can read the current issue below or download it for future review. There are also links to PDFs of our Working Papers publication from past years.




No. 31 | published 2013
Investing In the Long View 
How do we know the arts matter? Where is the added value? What is the evidence that investing in the arts has an impact? These are questions that arts presenters, administrators, and artists and performers working in the public sector are pressed to answer daily more >>

No. 30 | published 2011
Is Sustainability Sustainable?
Historically, sustaining an arts organization meant generating enough earned and contributed revenue to fund current operations. With so much continued change and turmoil in the arts industry, WolfBrown set out to reconsider what sustainability means in 2011. more >>

No. 29 | published 2010
All The World's a Stage
Why will some people engage with art in one setting, but not another? For example, why will someone watch great drama on television at home, but never darken the door of a theater? Why will someone listen to classical music in a place of worship, but not a concert hall? more >>

No. 28 | published 2010
What is Artistic Vibrancy?
Is “artistic excellence,” the unassailable gold standard of peer-adjudicated quality, still a useful benchmark, or do we need a better rubric for artistic health? more >>

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Community MusicWorks: Community-Centric Concert Series Evaluation
Can classical music concerts strengthen neighborhoods? In this report, made possible by funding from ArtPlace America, Chloë Kline and Dennie Wolf examine the power of music to create and support more cohesive urban communities -- a vital role in cities that host widening gaps in wealth and opportunity. The full report is available for download here. more >>

Headline Findings from the U.S. National El Sistema Study
Longy School of Music of Bard College and WolfBrown present headline findings from the first-ever cross-site investigation of the ways in which orchestral learning affects young children's lives. In this report, we highlight key early findings, report on data collection, and discuss next steps in the collaboration. more >>

Assessing the Audience Impact of Choral Music Concerts
Chorus America, the nation's advocacy, research, and leadership development organization for the choral field, engaged with WolfBrown to design a 2-year study investigating the intrinsic impacts of choral music. With participation from 23 choirs across North America, we surveyed over 14,000 audience members at 136 concert programs. To our knowledge, this is the first national study of audiences for live choral music concerts, and the first attempt to systematically assess the impact of choral concerts on audiences. The full report is available for download. more >>

Community MusicWorks Fellows Program Evaluation
Dennie Wolf and colleagues at Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI, share innovative approaches to tracking the impact of fellowships and networks that support young classical musicians in developing careers at the intersection of: 1) musical excellence, 2) community engagement, and 3) social justice. The full report, We Are Each Other's Magnitude and Bond: An Evaluation of Community MusicWorks' Extending Our Reach Initiative (April 2016), is available for download. more >>

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Of questions and canyons
Dennie Palmer Wolf's essay is one of 15 essays published in The Teacher You Want to Be: Essays about Children, Learning, and Teaching. This collection of essays explores questions about education stimulated by the remarkable pre-schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. more >>

Four Keys to Cultivating a Donor
Featured in Guidestar's October 2015 newsletter, this article by Dr. Thomas Wolf discusses four key concepts for successful donor cultivation. more >>

The Board's Role in Donor Cultivation
Headlining a Guidestar newsletter in February 2015, this article by Dr. Thomas Wolf discusses the special role that board members play in donor cultivation. more >>

Executive Functions: Formative Versus Reflective Measurement
Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, Vol 12(3), Jul, 2014. pp.69-95.
The primary objective of this article was to critically evaluate the routine use of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for representing an individual’s performance across a battery of executive function tasks. more >>

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