Strategic Advisors Advancing Culture and Education

Strategy and Planning

A case study in strategy and planning

The Saint Louis Art Museum

Building on excellence.


The Saint Louis Art Museum is among the nation’s top comprehensive art museums. An invaluable regional resource, the Museum’s significant public funding carries with it the special responsibility free general admission. Following a well-supported capital campaign and building project, in 2013 the Museum opened a new East Building including 21 galleries and a 30 percent expansion of exhibition space.

In late 2012, KW was engaged to help the Museum plan its next phase by developing a strategic plan to capture the creative energy and imagination unleashed by the new building.

The process began with questions: How does the Museum see itself over the next decade? What defining opportunities are there? How will its mission and legacy be expressed in the new building and with a heightened profile? How should the Museum engage and serve existing and new audiences?

These and more detailed questions framed a wide-ranging exploration involving Museum Commissioners and Trustees, staff, and community stakeholders. The Museum examined how the new building could spur a reimagining of everything from curatorial programs and community engagement to the role of digital media and how best to use the collection itself.

Following a deliberate and inclusive process, KW worked with the Museum to draft and finalize a strategic plan that sets sights higher for every aspect of the organization.

A case study in strategy and planning

North Bennet Street School

Envisioning opportunity in change.


In November 2013, the North Bennet Street School (NBSS), which specializes in craft education and draws students from around the world, moved into a new facility on North Street in Boston. For the first time in the School’s recent history, faculty and students were now under one roof, resulting in a much stronger sense of community among everyone involved with the School. Looking ahead, the new building promised to facilitate greater interaction among programs, broaden the School’s engagement with the public, and create exciting new programmatic possibilities.

The following year, KW was engaged to guide a strategic planning process to realize the promise of the School’s new facility and to strengthen the School’s long-term financial position. The plan would lay out strategies for the growth and development in full-time programs and continuing education, a strategy for strengthening financial aid and the endowment, and expanding partnerships with public schools and other cultural and craft organizations.

KW facilitated planning committees and working groups comprising school leadership, Trustees, and Faculty. Working together, these groups identified challenges and opportunities and framed priorities and key actions. The final plan positions the School as a vibrant educational community and a valued element in Boston’s cultural landscape.