Alan Brown is a leading researcher and management consultant in the nonprofit arts industry. His work 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. His studies have introduced new vocabulary to the lexicon of cultural participation and propelled the field towards a clearer view of the rapidly changing cultural landscape.
For 2009-11, Alan’s work will follow several veins. His work on assessing the intrinsic impacts of arts experiences continues to expand and evolve, with several new studies on the horizon that aim to develop new lost-cost assessment tools for cultural institutions. Through 2011, Alan is leading large evaluation and assessment projects for the Doris Duke Charitable Trust (Creative Campus grant program) and Dance/USA (Engaging Dance Audiences). Another focus of Alan’s work is developing survey methodologies that communities can use to reliably and repeatedly measure levels of cultural engagement, using an expanded definition of ‘culture.’ With Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf, he plans to continue developing new approaches to measuring the ‘creative capital’ of children, families, workers and whole communities.
Customer segmentation remains a major thrust of Alan’s work, with recent studies for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Steppenwolf, Welsh National Opera, and the Major University Presenters consortium. He is presently working with other consultants to develop the next generation of marketing databases for the arts industry that will incorporate survey data as well as transaction data.
Alan serves in a volunteer capacity on the Research Advisory Council of the League of American Orchestras, and has served on the organizing committee of the National Arts Marketing Project annual conference since its inception. He speaks frequently at conferences in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.
Prior to his consulting career, Alan 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 holds three degrees from the University of Michigan: a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Music in Arts Administration and a Bachelor of Musical Arts in vocal performance. Alan makes his home in San Francisco with a yellow Labrador Retriever named Golden Brown.