John Carnwath | Associate Principal

John Carnwath Headshot

For those who aren’t familiar, I recommend Vu Le’s insightful, provocative, and humorous blog about the nonprofit sector: Nonprofit AF. Le delivers robust critiques of the nonprofit field (and society at large) along with practical advice and inspiration to do better … all with a side of cute animal pics.

At WolfBrown, John Carnwath works primarily on arts funding, evaluation, and cultural policy. Carnwath recently developed a long-term plan to build capacity for evaluation and impact assessment among State Humanities Councils. It was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was an integral part of the team that developed a Qualitative Impact Framework for the Canada Council for the Arts. Carnwath is currently conducting a field scan of the arts ecosystem in California. It combines statistical analysis of the best available data on arts nonprofits with consultations in local communities to identify sources of inequity in the distribution of private and public arts funding across the state.

Recent evaluation projects John Carnwath was involved in at WolfBrown include:

  • An assessment of the nationwide Why It Matters program, which encouraged civic and electoral participation through public humanities programs.
  • An evaluation of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals’ Building Bridges grant program. The program fostered interfaith and intercultural understanding through residencies featuring Muslim artists and artists from Muslim-majority countries on US college campuses.

As a facilitator, Carnwath frequently works with philanthropies and service organizations to support peer learning. He has worked among cohorts of grantees such as the Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability program, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Building Demand for the Arts initiative, and the Association of Performing Arts Professionals’ Building Bridges program. Carnwath recently facilitated a series of webinars and working groups. These explored a range of research and evaluation topics to build staff capacity for the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

He received undergraduate and master’s degrees from UC Santa Barbara and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He lives in Alameda, California.

John Carnwath can be reached directly via email.

At the Watts Towers Arts Center, learning about the Arts Ecosystem of South LA with fellow researcher Anh Thang Doa-Shah and local poet Peter J. Harris

Portrait of John Carnwath at home

Focus group with local muralists in Del Rey, California


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