Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf | Principal Researcher

Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf Headshot

Find or buy Silas Munro’s W.E.B. Du Bois’ Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America. Set aside a whole day(s) to explore one of the earliest (1900), most imaginative, and searing visualizations of the ways in which racism structures daily living and opportunity.”

Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf is Principal Researcher at WolfBrown. She is one of the leading arts and human development researchers and evaluators in the United States. Wolf holds a doctorate from Harvard University. While there, she served as a researcher at Project Zero for more than a decade. She then headed Harvard PACE, an initiative linking schools and external partners in new approaches to assessing student learning. She led studies on the early development of artistic and symbolic capacities. Later, she focused on design, implementation, and evaluation strategies that help cultural organizations and communities. Importantly, the strategies examine and improve how people gain access to learning, culture, and creativity both in and outside of formal institutions.

In cities as varied as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Portland, OR, Wolf has helped a number of city-wide and regional consortia build coordinated systems. These support critical and creative learning for young people in and out of school time. Based on this work, Wolf conducted a strategic review of all aspects of arts education for the National Endowment for the Arts. She was a three-term appointee to the National Assessment Governing Board, the federal agency that measures student learning nationally. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for Arts, the US Department of Education, the Buck, Arnold, Carnegie, Mellon, Spencer, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Penn Foundations. Additionally, she has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals and books.

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a second round of funding to the REACH Lab. REACH Lab is a research collaborative exploring the impact of music on the development of children growing up in poverty. It features work by Wolf and her colleagues Steven Holochwost at Lehman College and Ellie Brown at Westchester University.

Amplifying Creative Opportunities

Wolf recently launched a specialty newsletter “Amplifying Creative Opportunities.” It explores inclusive practices—from lullabies with young families to end-of-life art-making. A recent contribution to our flagship newsletter “On Our Minds” discusses creating equitable pathways in the arts.

Dennie can be reached directly via email.

Dennie Palmer Wolf facilitating a planning discussion.


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