Surale Phillips | Principal

Surale Phillips headshot

Ann Lamott said, ‘Grace is spiritual WD-40’ in her TED Talk 12 truths I learned from life and writing. This talk inspired me so much that I signed up for a writing retreat in Collioure, France in 2023.”

Surale Phillips (she/her) is a distinguished researcher who has guided countless organizations and agencies through research and consulting projects over the past 20 years. Her focus is applied research for marketing and audience development. Surale joined WolfBrown in 2020 to assist with Audience Outlook Monitor’s COVID-19 Study and became a principal of the firm in 2022. She leads a portfolio of projects and is a key thought partner in developing Audience Outlook Monitor’s on-demand surveys and special topic studies. Surale also supports other consultants’ cultural and public art planning.

Since 2002 Surale has worked on hundreds of projects in every discipline and state, in cities large and small. Her work has been the foundation for projects supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Wallace Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Knight Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and others. Clients include national, state, regional, and local arts service organizations, united arts funds, municipalities, presenters, theater, opera, dance companies, orchestras, festivals, museums, and colleges. Exploring the role of the arts in local economies has been a focus of her work, including assignments in cultural tourism and economic impact.

Surale is a frequent presenter at conferences, including the National Arts Marketing Project Conference, Latino Memphis Congreso, Convening Culture Florida, Raleigh Arts, Southeastern Council of Foundations, Midwest Council on Philanthropy, San Diego Commission on Cultural Affairs, Extraordinary Charities, and the American Folklore Society.

In 2019, Surale launched DRMTM, a unique boutique that brings exceptional research, messaging, design, and activation together to reimagine stale arts brands and teach the process. In past years she served on the Montana State Arts Council’s Cultural and Aesthetic Grants Committee as an Adjudicator for the Tennessee Arts Commission, and Research Technical Advisor for Dance USA. She is on the steering committee for Arts & Business Council of Miami and the marketing committee for Nonprofits First.

If you’re truly interested in what Surale was doing before 2002, she’ll agree to tell you over a glass of wine or coffee. She’s lived in Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Montana, and resides now in South Florida with her husband and super dog Abby.

Surale can be reached directly via email.


We always welcome inquiries from potential collaborators. Please send a message and one of our consultants will respond.