John Carnwath's work at WolfBrown primarily focuses on arts funding, cultural policy, and related issues of measurement and evaluation. Past projects have included a literature review for Arts Council England on the impact and value of cultural experiences; an assessment of the needs of artists and other creatives living in Austin, Texas, for the city’s Cultural Arts Division; an extensive examination of Northwest Arkansas’ cultural infrastructure for the Walton Family Foundation; and the development of a taxonomy for tracking support for individual artists for Grantmakers in the Arts.
As a facilitator, John frequently works with arts philanthropies to support peer learning among cohorts of grantees (e.g., 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). John has also conducted several studies of patron motivations, perceptions, and behaviors, including the Triple Play study of audience perceptions of new plays and the Performing Arts Ticket Buyer Media Usage Study.
Outside of his consulting work, John has served on grant selection panels, was on the Editorial Team of the arts research blog Createquity, and served as the Dean of the Chicago chapter of the Awesome Foundation.
John holds a PhD from Northwestern University. As a graduate student he designed and taught several upper-level courses, including “The Economics of the Performing Arts” and “Organizational Structures and Production Processes in contemporary US Theater,” while writing his dissertation on the institutional development of municipal theaters in Germany.