Olney Culture Lab: Reflections from The Olney Embrace Project

“Olney Culture Lab was blessed to have started from the seeds of collaboration. It blossomed from nothing but the joy of camaraderie and community in 2014. Since then,  >>

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Featured Publications





Working together with our many collaborators, WolfBrown generates a steady stream of influential reports and publications. We advocate for transparency and public disclosure of intellectual property whenever possible,  >>

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Who we are Our website address is: Comments When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the  >>

A Brand and Mission to Meet the Moment

WolfBrown’s commitment to a more equitable and more sustainable future for the arts and culture sector is reflected in our newly refreshed brand, our all-new website, and our reconfigured communications channels. Look around our new website and join one of our new communities of practice [add hyperlink] to stay in touch.  >>

Book: Managing a Nonprofit Organization (40th Anniversary Edition)

An essential and practical resource for the nonprofit field. Celebrating its fortieth anniversary, this classic is now updated for a new generation. Tens of thousands of staff members,  >>

Teaching Artist Companion to Aesthetic Perspectives

Americans for the Arts has published The Teaching Artist Companion to Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change. The publication was developed by Animating Democracy, a  >>

Assessing the Audience Impact of Choral Music Concerts

How are audiences affected by live choral music concerts? What can we conclude about their experiences? How do their experiences differ? Can we identify drivers of impact? In  >>

Community MusicWorks: Evaluation of Multiple Programs

An Evaluation of Long-Term Impact on Program Participants Team: Dennie Palmer Wolf, Steven Holochwost Community MusicWorks (CMW) is a resident string quartet, music learning center, and set of  >>

Grantmakers in the Arts: Artist Support Benchmarking Initiative

Team: John Carnwath, Alan Brown, Claudia Bach Grantmakers in the Arts, the national association of arts funders, commissioned WolfBrown to establish benchmark data nationally on financial support provided  >>

Chorus America: Audience Research and Sector-Building Support

Team: Alan Brown, John Shibley Chorus America, the national service organization for the choral music field, has drawn on WolfBrown’s resources several times in connection with its sector-building  >>

Thoughts on Cultural Democracy, Relevance, and Resilience: The Next Normal 2.0 Symposium

In this 15-minute video presentation, Alan Brown shares his analysis of the arts sector’s challenges emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and contemplates what a more democratic culture might  >>

Deep Dive: Towards “Normalization” of COVID-19 as an Acceptable Risk

With venues reopening and 90% to 95% of arts audiences vaccinated, we have entered a new stage of the pandemic. A significant share of the audience, despite being  >>

In Conversation with Steven Hadley, author of Audience Development and Cultural Policy

Join us for a conversation with Ireland-based scholar and consultant Steven Hadley, author of Audience Development and Cultural Policy (Palgrave, 2021). Hadley’s new book adds important perspective to  >>

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: Imagining New Futures for Arts Integration

Team: Dennie Palmer Wolf, Kathleen Hill, John Carnwath Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (CBMAA), located in Bentonville, Arkansas, engaged the team of WolfBrown and Creative Generation to  >>

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation: Audience Research Collaborative

Team: Alan Brown, Rebecca Ratzkin, with Sheena Johnson The arts program staff of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation partnered with WolfBrown to support a cohort of grantee  >>

Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Implementation Plan for Detroit Harmony

Team: Alan Brown, Erin Gold Building on an initial phase of planning work completed by WolfBrown in 2018, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra commissioned WolfBrown again in 2020 to  >>

Madison Symphony Orchestra: Product Development Research

Team: Alan Brown, Robert Sweibel The Madison Symphony Orchestra selected the team of WolfBrown and Sweibel Arts to undertake a two-track scope of work aimed at strengthening its  >>

Flinn Foundation: Grantee Technical Assistance with Audience Research

Team: Alan Kline, Surale Philips, Kacie Willis For over ten years, WolfBrown has collaborated with the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation to provide technical support with audience research to a  >>

Zeiterion Performing Arts Center: Community Perception Study

Team: Surale Phillips The Zeiterion PAC, a restored historic theatre in New Bedford, Massachusetts, selected WolfBrown through a competitive RFP process to assess internal and external perceptions of  >>

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New England Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship Program

Team: Tom Wolf and Joe Kluger New England Conservatory (NEC) engaged Tom Wolf and Joe Kluger of WolfBrown to assist in the development of a new Entrepreneurial Musicianship  >>

Hampton Roads Community Foundation: Organizational Collaboration Study

Team: Joe Kluger The Hampton Roads Community Foundation engaged Joe Kluger of WolfBrown to develop recommended strategies to increase the individual and collective sustainability of the region’s major  >>

Sarasota Opera: Strategic Plan

Team: Joe Kluger Sarasota Opera engaged Joe Kluger of WolfBrown to facilitate its strategic planning process. It resulted in refinements to the organization’s mission and values and established  >>

Penn Live Arts: Strategic Plan

Team: Joe Kluger Penn Live Arts (formerly the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts) engaged Joe Kluger of WolfBrown to facilitate a strategic planning process, which resulted in  >>

The Joyce Theater: Compensation Research

Team: Joe Kluger The Joyce Theater engaged Joe Kluger of WolfBrown to provide an analysis of the compensation and benefits plan for its Executive Director and other members  >>

Arts Corps Creative Schools Initiative: Liberating Academic Mindsets through Culturally-Responsive Arts Integration

Team: Steven Holochwost and Dennie Palmer Wolf with Arts Corps Collaborators The Creative Schools Initiative was a five-year federal grant to Arts Corps, Seattle from the AEMDD (Arts  >>

Welsh National Opera: Customer Segmentation Study

Team: Alan Brown Welsh National Opera (WNO) is a Wales based opera company that performs award-winning operas in 10 cities in Wales and England. The company seeks to  >>

Canada Council for the Arts: Qualitative Impact Framework

Team: Alan Brown, John Carnwath The Qualitative Impact Framework we developed for the Canada Council for the Arts was commissioned to improve the Council’s understanding of the many  >>


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Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation: USArtists International Program Evaluation

Team: John Carnwath Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation engaged WolfBrown to conduct an evaluation of its USArtists International grant program. The program supports American artists who have been invited  >>

Lincoln Center Education: Multi-Year Evaluation Support

Team: Alan Brown, John Carnwath, Megan Bander Lincoln Center Education (LCE), the educational arm of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, develops innovative programming  >>

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Visitor Segmentation and Public Value Research

Team: Alan Brown, Rebecca Ratzkin, Zachary Kemp Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum engaged WolfBrown to assist in developing a clearer understanding of the Gardner’s public value and to  >>

The Music Center/Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County: Strategic Assessment of Dance Programming

Team:  Alan Brown, Kyle Marinshaw The Music Center of Los Angeles County, one of the nation’s leading dance presenters, engaged WolfBrown to assess its dance programming in light  >>

San Francisco Symphony: Envisioning Concert Experiences For the Next Generation of Audiences

Team: Alan Brown, Rebecca Ratzkin, Salvador Acevedo, Monique Madara The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) is a musical institution that sets the highest possible standard for excellence in musical  >>

Chicago History Museum: Prospect Segmentation Study

Team: John Carnwath, Alan Brown WolfBrown was engaged by the Chicago History Museum (CHM) to build a new customer segmentation model for visitors and prospects. The research included  >>

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Cross-Marketing Opera to Musical Theatre Buyers

Team: Alan Brown With support from The Wallace Foundation, Lyric Opera of Chicago embarked on a significant initiative in 2015 to build audiences by encouraging crossover between its  >>

University Musical Society: “Renegade” Research – Exploring Risk and Adventurousness

Team: Alan Brown and Erin Gold University Musical Society (UMS) in Ann Arbor, Michigan is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious presenting organizations, attracting world class  >>

Federation of State Humanities Councils: Building Capacity for Evaluation

Team: John Carnwath, Alan Brown To strengthen the position of State Humanities Councils around the country, the Federation of State Humanities Councils (FSHC), in partnership with the National  >>

Ghetto Film School: Longitudinal Evaluation Focused on Student Fellows & Alumni

Team: Dennie Palmer Wolf, Kathleen Hill with Stanford Thompson and Emily Master of GoldSmith Partners WolfBrown will be partnering with the three campuses of the Ghetto Film School  >>

Play on, Philly!: Strategic Planning and Quality of Music Education

WolfBrown has worked with Play On, Philly! since 2012, supporting this young organization’s rise to prominence as a national leader in the field of music education. Our consultants  >>

Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga (Now ArtsBuild): A Citizen-driven Planning Process

Team: Thomas Wolf, Dennie Palmer Wolf, Marc Goldring, Jane Culbert As part of a Kresge-funded initiative coordinated by Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga, consultant Dr. Thomas Wolf conducted  >>

Boston Symphony Orchestra: Feasibility Study and Plan for Tanglewood Learning Institute

Team: Thomas Wolf, Jane Culbert In order to enhance the summer program offerings at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), the Orchestra contracted with  >>

A Far Cry: Strategic Planning

A Far Cry is a twice Grammy-nominated self-conducted orchestra in Boston in which decisions are made collectively and leadership rotates among the players. This structure has led to consistently  >>

Jacob Burns Film Center: A Strategic Plan

Team: Dennie Palmer Wolf, Thomas Wolf, Jane Culbert The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is one of America’s leading nonprofit cultural arts centers dedicated to film, visual literacy, and  >>

Office for the Arts at Harvard: A Ten-Year Strategic Plan to Envision Undergraduate Participation in the Arts

Team: Thomas Wolf, Dennie Palmer Wolf, Jane Culbert, and Kathleen Hill with Stanford Thomas of Goldsmith Partners and a team of Harvard Undergraduate Researchers The Office for the  >>

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

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  >>

Big Thought: A Multi-Year, Learning Partnership

Team: Alan Brown, Dennie Palmer Wolf, Thomas Wolf Big Thought is one of the largest organizations in the United States that focuses on making creative learning part of  >>

“The Changing Cultural Diet” Executive Briefing

Part of the dedicated executive briefing series with the Audience Outlook Monitor: COVID-19 Study  >>

Economic and Fiscal Impacts of COVID-19 on Palm Beach County Cultural Organizations

Responding to the Coronavirus state of emergency in 2020, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County issued a survey about COVID-19 impacts on its constituent organizations between March  >>

Audience Outlook Monitor: COVID-19 Study Research Notes

Audience Outlook Monitor COVID-19 Study is a collaboration of international cultural organizations working together to understand audiences preferences during the pandemic. Our partners and research notes include:  >>

Triple Play: Audience Perceptions of New Plays

Triple Play was a national research project led jointly by TDF (Theatre Development Fund) and Theatre Bay Area to explore the relationships between playwrights, audiences, and theatres. The  >>

Could It Happen Again? The Fate of the Other Russian Musicians

During the present crisis in the Ukraine, much has been made of the fate of Russian musicians who are supporters of Vladimir Putin. Superstars like conductor Valery Gergiev and  >>

Audience Research Program (Intrinsic Impact)

WolfBrown is a leader in developing tools and methodologies for assessing the intrinsic impacts of arts experiences – how individuals are affected emotionally, intellectually, socially, and aesthetically by  >>

Audience Outlook Monitor: COVID-19 Study

Team: Alan Kline, Erin Gold, Surale Phillips, John Carnwath, Alan Brown, Megan Bander At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, WolfBrown discerned a sector-wide need to  >>


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Making a Joyful Noise: The Role of Music Making in the Well-Being of Families

This research report from WolfBrown and the Bernard van Leer Foundation combines a comprehensive literature and landscape review that highlights the value, impact, and scaling potential of music  >>

More Than Measuring: Program Evaluation as an Opportunity to Build the Capacity of Communities

More than Measuring is the final publication of the longitudinal study that assessed the impact of ArtsPartners. The evaluation, conducted over five years in cooperation with the Dallas  >>

The Search for Shining Eyes: Audiences, Leadership, and Change in the Symphony Orchestra Field

From 1994 to 2004, a seminal decade for the arts in America, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation invested $13 million in its Magic of Music  >>

Richmond Region Cultural Action Plan

When a major region of the country announces a new cultural action plan, it is important news—especially when the plan provides a bold vision in these challenging economic  >>

The Contours of Inclusion: Frameworks and Tools for Evaluating Arts in Education

In her article “Freedom Machines,” Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf outlines a bold approach to the evaluation of arts and cultural learning programs. The article is part of “Contours  >>

If You Are Walking Down the Right Path and You Are Willing to Keep Walking

A Participatory Evaluation of Community MusicWorks In the fall of 2009, Community MusicWorks (CMW) completed an 18-month participatory evaluation funded by The Rhode Island Foundation. Findings Summary The evaluation  >>

Fund For Artists Matching Commissions: Donor Motivations Study

This suite of three reports, completed in 2010, explores why donors give to arts groups in the Bay Area. It captures lessons learned by individual artists and small  >>

Getting In On the Act: How Arts Groups are Creating Opportunities for Active Participation 

Arts participation is being redefined as people increasingly choose to engage with art in new, more active and expressive ways. This compelling trend carries profound implications and fresh  >>