ICA Miami

Strategic Planning

The Institute of Contemporary Art Miami has quickly become an important aspect of the region’s diverse and growing cultural ecosystem. With a focus on innovative and experimental approaches to the making, exhibiting, and interpretation of art, the museum provides free admission to all visitors. CuSP led the development of ICA Miami’s inaugural strategic plan, leading up to the opening of the museum’s first permanent home.

Speed Art Museum

Strategic Planning
In 2016 the Speed Art Museum reopened after building a wHY architecture-designed expansion that doubled the size of this 90-year old Kentucky institution. Nearing the new museum’s first anniversary, Speed leadership engaged CuSP to help craft a strategic plan that aligns the team’s ambitions, capacity, and fresh understanding of how the bold and elegant new building “works.” Thinking of itself dually as the region’s venerable cultural cornerstone and as a start-up, the team is focusing on expanding its audiences and on holistic, cross-departmental operational approaches.

Northeast Small College Art Museum Association

Peer Data Survey
Since 2014 CuSP has developed and managed a data survey tool and reports for the Northeast Small College Art Museum Association (NESCAMA). Comprised of over 1,800 data points updated annually, the information contributes to management decision-making and is invaluable to helping funders and advocates better understand their campus museum’s relative resources and performance. FY16 museum participants include: Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Brandeis, Colby, Colgate Dartmouth, Hamilton, Middlebury, Mt. Holyoke, Skidmore, Smith, Wellesley, Wesleyan, and Williams.

Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Strategic Planning
Wellesley College’s art museum traces its origins to 1889 making it among the oldest academic museums in the country. Given the museum- and academia-rich Boston region, the emerging strategic plan will refine and strengthen the Davis’ roles both on and off campus, and in particular will align its contributions to the College’s overall strategic ambitions.

Culture Strategy Partners

Gund Gallery at Kenyon College

Strategic Planning
CuSP recently helped the Gund Gallery develop its first strategic plan following the 2011 opening of its $20 million resource at Kenyon College. The plan defines and focuses the Gund’s role, highlighting its contribution to the Kenyon student experience, learning, and acquisition of 21st Century skills. The College president hired Shapiro to ensure the work aligns with the concurrent campus strategic planning effort and maximizes the Gund’s impact on curriculum and the broader Kenyon community.

Culture Strategy Partners

Terra Foundation for American Art

Program Structure and Facilitation
CuSP facilitated multiple stakeholder content ideas sessions and provided internal management guidance in the development of Terra’s recently announced Chicago Art & Design Initiative. Shapiro continues to serve as an advisor to Terra leadership and as a formal member of the program’s Advisory Team.

Colorado State University Art Museum

Strategic Planning
CuSP partnered with the Colorado State University Art Museum to develop a strategic plan to guide its upcoming building expansion. The project focuses on the transition from the Museum’s current to future capacity and ambition, as well as its evolving role as a region-wide resource. As part of a land-grant school, the Museum shares the dual obligation to serve CSU students as well as all Colorado residents.

Culture Strategy Partners

Chicago Children’s Museum

Strategic Planning
CuSP worked with senior leadership to develop a 3-5 year strategic plan to prepare the museum for the opening of its expanded space on Navy Pier in Chicago. Key efforts included defining the central purpose and vision to guide the museum’s initiatives and investments, implementing a portfolio of diversified revenue streams, and streamlining activities and programming to heighten the overall impact of the organization.

Membership and Admissions Financial Modeling
CuSP created a multi-variable financial model to help assess the expected financial and attendance impact of various pricing options and membership offerings. The model contributed to a pro forma for what became one of the museum’s most successful membership offering and revenue- and attendance-positive admissions price changes.

Earned Revenue Programs
CuSP led a Board task force to generate a prioritized list of earned revenue opportunities to pursue in the next 1-3 years. Using mini-business cases and formalized assessment criteria, the task force identified 3 projects that have high likelihood of positive financial results, limited impact on operations, and strong alignment with museum mission.

Association of Academic Museums and Galleries

Strategic Framework and Pricing
CuSP oversaw the development of AAMG’s 2017-19 strategic framework. Shapiro’s close collaboration with the board helped focus the decision-making, resources, and desired outcomes for this all-volunteer organization. By conducting a thorough review of peer membership and conference pricing and the AAMG’s own financial model, Shapiro developed a fresh price structure that reinforces the Association’s affordability, value, and sustainability.

Business Case
CuSP worked with the Association director (and then-director of the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University) to develop a streamlined business case to accompany the organization’s 2013 strategic plan. “Stress testing” challenged proposed sources and uses of funds, assessing the inherent risks and crafting necessary contingencies. By aligning the strategic plan and business case, the AAMG was able to evaluate potential weaknesses in its programmatic, operational or infrastructure investments.

Culture Strategy Partners

Rhode Island School of Design Museum (RISD)

Strategic Retreat and Guidance
CuSP facilitated a board retreat to explore key areas of opportunity and investment for the Rhode Island School of Design Museum (RISD Museum) over the next 3-5 years. It was preceded by a series of 3 internally led sessions, each with a different handful of board members, to build alignment and establish a shared understanding of the Museum’s current environment. The retreat further cemented board and senior staff’s mutual commitment and set the path for strategic planning and decision making.

Culture Strategy Partners

Phoenix Art Museum

Strategic Vision and Focus
CuSP facilitated the strategic focusing process for the Phoenix Art Museum. The Museum recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and the opening of a major building expansion. As part of setting a strategic course for the next 5 years, CuSP helped senior leadership and the Board re-craft their Mission, Vision and strategic ambitions.

Culture Strategy Partners

Contemporary Jewish Museum

Strategic Marketing Plan; Organizational Ambition
The Contemporary Jewish Museum opened a $60 million Daniel Libeskind-designed museum June 2008. CuSP contributed to a high level strategic marketing plan to help senior leadership focus on the right audiences, the right messages, and the right mission.

Measuring Success
CuSP developed a comprehensive set of measures to help assess the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s performance at the overall museum level as well as at department levels. The matrix of measures includes traditional ROI metrics and tools that delve into and embrace more audience-impact and mission-oriented achievement.

Culture Strategy Partners

Chandler Holocaust and Tolerance Museum

Museum Charter
CuSP facilitated the development of this nascent organization’s founding Mission, Vision and Values. The Chandler Holocaust and Tolerance Museum, under development in Chandler, Arizona will be the region’s only Holocaust museum and is committed to combatting communal indifference and promoting individual engagement as weapons against future genocide.

Culture Strategy Partners

University of Illinois Chicago Gallery 400

Approaching its 30th anniversary, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois Chicago needed to reestablish a compelling identity for the museum. CuSP worked with Museum and University staff, gathered peer feedback, and outlined a coherent positioning approach.
Culture Strategy Partners

University of Iowa Museum of Art

Best Practices
CuSP worked with the University of Iowa Museum of Art Envisioning Committee, chartered by University President Sally Mason to develop a best practices-based vision for a new museum to replace the structure damaged by 2008 flooding. Shapiro also presented at a public forum at the Old Capital building.

Culture Strategy Partners

San Francisco Arts Education Project

Strategic Planning
San Francisco Arts Education Project a 40-year old leader of public school-based arts education, works with over 6,000 kids aged 8 to 14 years. CuSP lead the development of their 2007-2012 strategic plan and 2009 plan update.

CSAA (AAA for California, Utah and Nevada)

Tom Shapiro led the development of a new pricing strategy for the California Automobile Association, a 4.3 million member chapter of AAA. Shapiro also designed a new tier of membership which became one of the organization’s best-performing new offerings. Quantitative research underpinned the analysis.

Helping cultural organizations reach their goals and engage audiences