Third Street Music School Settlement: Study/Strengthen/Engage: A Strategic Plan for Third Street Partners Program

Third Street Partners.jpg

Third Street Music School Settlement is among the oldest, continually operating community music schools in the United States. At its core is an enduring commitment to welcoming children and families from a widening circle of New York City neighborhoods.

Following work for Third Street by Joe Kluger of WolfBrown’s Philadelphia office, the school in 2019 asked WolfBrown to support its staff in developing a strategic plan for their innovative “Third Street Partners” program. Third Street Partners has long supported musical learning partnerships with schools throughout New York City, going as far as providing scholarships for young people who wish to participate in group lessons and classes at the school’s downtown campus.

This consultancy was a logical extension of Kluger’s work, which had included an organizational strategic planning process; executive coaching for Third Street’s Executive Director and senior executives; and development of a performance management process for administrative staff. A targeted look at Third Street’s major outreach program fit well within the organization’s planning timeline.

Undertaken and pursued during the COVID-19 pandemic, the strategic plan, overseen primarily by WolfBrown’s Cambridge office, was designed to address the long-term viability of the Partners program, even in the most difficult and unforeseen of circumstances, as well as its potential for growth. More specifically, the plan developed action steps for:

  • More vigorous marketing
  • Continued investment in professional development
  • Culturally-responsive curricula
  • New models for fiscal viability
  • Enhanced digital learning strategies

Embraced by senior staff and the Board, the WolfBrown report established a timeline and priorities for implementation and provided promising action steps for a vital program well into the future.

Valerie Lewis, Third Street’s Executive Director, says, “WolfBrown has been a critical partner in guiding Third Street to reimagine its future.  We are especially grateful for their efforts to evolve a 60-year-old community program in a new and exciting direction.”

Visit the Third Street Music School Settlement website learn more about their work.