We have been honored to work with amazing clients from across the nation – arts practitioners who sustain and enrich the arts and culture of their communities each day. We appreciate that many have generously shared their reflections on our work together in the following testimonials.
“The consultants actually listened and incorporated our comments into our work!” That statement of shock uttered at the beginning of our post-planning de-briefing, summarizes the elation our Staff and Council felt in working with Maren Brown and Mary Margaret Schoenfeld in our recent strategic planning process. During the de-briefing, Staff and Council members had a chance to comment on the experience. The input was unequivocally positive, grateful, and empowering. From the beginning of the process to the end, we were all amazed at their capacity to facilitate a comprehensive process that engaged our public through a variety of mechanisms, leading to a “rich document” that reflects our constituents and our agency. Their expertise and methodologies were extremely valuable throughout the process. Most importantly, both Maren and Mary Margaret were the consummate listeners. Their enthusiasm was infectious, making it easy for them to actively engage all participants in our public meetings, focus groups, and working sessions. Discussions were open and conversational, resulting in a strategic plan and a framework for implementation that is our own—comprehensive, concise, and practical. In fact, our Staff was so thrilled with their work that we invited them back to lead workshops on “Partnering for Impact” at our recent statewide Arts Summit. Thank you, Maren and Mary Margaret, for engaging professionally with the Division of the Arts and investing yourselves personally in our future wellbeing.
It was a highly rewarding experience to work with Maren Brown as our Arts Consultant over a period of five months in developing a Report on our Museum’s Educational Programming. Maren possesses the rare skill of being able to communicate with a broad spectrum of people who were involved in this Study – from staff and board members to students, faculty, and other stake holders. Her findings not only resulted in some buy-in and new commitments made from the higher administration, but also a clear action plan for the museum staff. Due to this Study, we have seen an improved morale among our co-workers at the Museum. We are convinced that all these achievements are largely a result of Maren Brown’s efforts.
Maren Brown is simply extraordinary. New England Presenters – one of the regional consortium of performing arts presenters–has engaged Maren for the past two years. First, she guided the organization through an assessment that provided the foundation to shepherd us through a deep and truncated strategic plan. Maren skills always benefit the organization: she is organized; she is a well-read global thinker and a detailed manager; she has the ability to guide. She encourages and never criticizes. She is able to support an organization while coaching them on how to assume the responsibility for their growth, success and ownership. And most importantly, she has a warm personality and a generous spirit – critical attributes that help an organization as they traverse the rocky, often painful, landscape of self-examination. I would highly recommend Maren Brown.
I can’t speak highly enough of Maren Brown and her business partner, Dee Boyle Clapp. We have hired the two of them for three consecutive years to present business and marketing training sessions for artists. Maren is extremely knowledgeable and keeps up-to-date on the latest trends and issues facing the field. She is thoughtful, professional and organized. We have received so much positive feedback from the artists who have participated in the program. Artists really appreciate the encouraging and supportive tone of the workshops and the fact that Maren and Dee really understand the challenges facing artists. They present a nice blend of information, discussion and one-on-one interaction with the workshop participants. They also provided us with follow-up reports based upon evaluation responses from workshop participants. The information in the reports has been invaluable in our advocacy efforts and in maintaining funding and support for the program. Maren and Dee are such a joy to work with. They make it all seem so effortless. I would highly recommend them!
Maren Brown assisted Earthdance Creative Living Project with the development of a strategic plan through a six-month collaborative process involving board, staff and community input in 2014. Maren was an incredible resource. She brought an immense breadth of tools as well as patience, compassion, and clarity as we engaged in a rigorous planning process. The outcome is a plan that feels truly our own. The staff and board refers to the plan regularly – my copy is dog-eared already – and, thanks to Maren’s follow-up resources, we have been able to begin the process of translating this broad vision document into an actionable, constructive plan. Because of the thorough process that Maren led, it feels like a plan we have desire and agency towards bringing to fruition. I feel a huge amount of gratitude for having had the opportunity to learn from Maren, and would highly recommend her again and again!
Maren Brown Associates was invited to generate a study of the educational programming in our museum. The study not only brought into sharp focus the teaching opportunities and educational goals of the institution but also clarified how to implement the results of the study. Through MBA we were able to compare ourselves with similar institutions, receive constructive feedback from peers in the field, realized our strength and weaknesses, and were able to assess our educational programming qualitatively. We are now able to move forward with short, mid-term, and long-term goals that are well defined and achievable.
Thank you, Maren Brown Associates, for your excellent professional and interpersonal collaboration. We could not have reached this point in our institutional development without you.
Maren and her business partner Dee, were extremely knowledgeable and great resource for the group of organizations that we had present. The focus of the two day training was: Business management for the Arts and marketing for Artist and art organizations. The material that was presented was very powerful, very well organized and easy to follow. I definitely would like to have them again for another training or coaching.