San Francisco-based Alan Brown is a leading researcher and management consultant in the nonprofit arts industry. As principal of WolfBrown, he focuses on understanding consumer demand for cultural experiences and helping cultural institutions, foundations and agencies see new opportunities, make informed decisions and respond to changing conditions. Recently, he has worked with organizations such as the Doris Duke Charitable Trust and Dance/USA to develop new evaluation and assessment tools. Brown also creates survey methodologies that communities can use to measure levels of cultural engagement over time. Customer segmentation is a major thrust of his work, with recent studies for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Steppenwolf, Welsh National Opera, and the Major University Presenters consortium. He is pioneering new approaches to marketing databases for the arts industry as well. Prior to his consulting career, Brown served for five years as executive director of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, where he presented Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and many other artists. He speaks frequently at conferences in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage hosted Brown in March 2012, as well as Brad Erickson and Clayton Lord of Theatre Bay Area, for an event that brought together 150 arts leaders from all over Philadelphia, at which they presented the findings of an important national study on the intrinsic impact and value of the arts. The study took place over the course of two years and focused on 18 theaters around the country, including Philadelphia-area theaters Bristol Riverside Theatre, the Arden Theatre, and People's Light & Theatre Company.