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Welcome to On Our Minds. Twice a month we enjoy sharing what WolfBrown consultants are reading, thinking, and talking about - what’s On Our Minds. It’s our way of staying in touch with valued friends and colleagues, and passing along some worthwhile ideas.

Is “the New ...

I spent much of last summer engrossed in the new biography of Arturo Toscanini, the legendary conductor, which was reviewed in the New York Times last June. At over 900 pages, the biography by Harvey Sachs has represented quite an investment of my time -- but it has been worthwhile simply to gai ...
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An Introduction

As the newest member of WolfBrown's San Francisco office, I want to introduce myself to our readers and share how excited I am to continue learning about arts audiences and organizations with my colleagues and our clients. My own interest in the puzzle of how to capture the impact of arts and cultur ...
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Circus Arts On the R ...

Those of you who have read my On Our Minds posts over the years will know that I have a passion for circus arts (although I keep my own feet firmly planted on the ground). Awareness of circus arts has blossomed in recent years, in part due to the popularity of Cirque du Soleil and more recently (and ...
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Victoria Plettner-Sa ...

I'm pleased to announce that arts research, planning, and strategy consultant Victoria Plettner-Saunders has joined WolfBrown. Before joining WolfBrown, Victoria managed her own private consulting practice, v.p.s. cartographie, for 12 years providing "navigational" assistance for arts and culture or ...
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WolfBrown publishes Sounding Board three or four times a year. It is devoted to topics of interest to our clients in the nonprofit sector. You can read the current issue below or download it for future review. There are also links to PDFs of our Working Papers publication from past years.




No. 31 | published 2013
Investing In the Long View 
How do we know the arts matter? Where is the added value? What is the evidence that investing in the arts has an impact? These are questions that arts presenters, administrators, and artists and performers working in the public sector are pressed to answer daily more >>

No. 30 | published 2011
Is Sustainability Sustainable?
Historically, sustaining an arts organization meant generating enough earned and contributed revenue to fund current operations. With so much continued change and turmoil in the arts industry, WolfBrown set out to reconsider what sustainability means in 2011. more >>

No. 29 | published 2010
All The World's a Stage
Why will some people engage with art in one setting, but not another? For example, why will someone watch great drama on television at home, but never darken the door of a theater? Why will someone listen to classical music in a place of worship, but not a concert hall? more >>

No. 28 | published 2010
What is Artistic Vibrancy?
Is “artistic excellence,” the unassailable gold standard of peer-adjudicated quality, still a useful benchmark, or do we need a better rubric for artistic health? more >>

View the Sounding Board

 

In Order to Flourish: Musical Pathways, Opportunities to Build and Questions to Ask
This document sketches out the processes that support -- and challenge -- young musicians seeking to enter the field of classical music, from early childhood through young adult professional lives.
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Lullaby: Being Together, Being Well
Since 2011, Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute has pioneered a lullaby program that pairs skilled musicians with expectant or recent mothers, many of whom are raising young families under stressful conditions: single parenthood, temporary housing, or incarceration. This report by Dennie Palmer Wolf shares early, qualitative findings from 10 lullaby projects in the New York City region. more >>

The Socioemotional Benefits of the Arts: A New Mandate for Arts Education
New research, commissioned by the William Penn Foundation and conducted by WolfBrown and Johns Hopkins University, examines the impact and potential benefits of the arts on students and suggests that participation in the arts supports the development of specific traits that can help students achieve future success. The study also explores students' engagement in school in relation to their access to arts education. more >>

Community MusicWorks: Community-Centric Concert Series Evaluation
Can classical music concerts strengthen neighborhoods? In this report, made possible by funding from ArtPlace America, Chloë Kline and Dennie Wolf examine the power of music to create and support more cohesive urban communities -- a vital role in cities that host widening gaps in wealth and opportunity. The full report is available for download here. more >>

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Of questions and canyons
Dennie Palmer Wolf's essay is one of 15 essays published in The Teacher You Want to Be: Essays about Children, Learning, and Teaching. This collection of essays explores questions about education stimulated by the remarkable pre-schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. more >>

Four Keys to Cultivating a Donor
Featured in Guidestar's October 2015 newsletter, this article by Dr. Thomas Wolf discusses four key concepts for successful donor cultivation. more >>

The Board's Role in Donor Cultivation
Headlining a Guidestar newsletter in February 2015, this article by Dr. Thomas Wolf discusses the special role that board members play in donor cultivation. more >>

Executive Functions: Formative Versus Reflective Measurement
Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, Vol 12(3), Jul, 2014. pp.69-95.
The primary objective of this article was to critically evaluate the routine use of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for representing an individual’s performance across a battery of executive function tasks. more >>

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