Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Celebrating 25 Years25 years! In September 2013, AMS Planning & Research celebrated 25 years in service to the arts and entertainment industries. It has been an unimagined journey. On behalf of the entire AMS team, past and present, we want to thank each of you for allowing us the opportunity to help you strengthen the arts and culture sector.

When I founded AMS in 1988, it was with a simple aspiration — to ask the hard questions and bring data to the complex process of developing arts buildings. As our business grew over the past 25 years we have learned just how complicated the sector is and recognized just how essential a vibrant and vital arts and culture sector is to community success. We responded by expanding our services to delve deeper into research, policy, financial success and civic entanglement.

It would have been unthinkable in 1988 that 25 years later our clients would have trusted us with nearly 1,100 projects literally around the world. That our consulting partners from theatre consultants and acoustical experts to architects and project managers, food service experts, fundraisers, field research houses and more would have joined with us to realize over $5 billion in capital facilities for the arts in North America alone. That our staff, the heart of our value to the field, would boast nearly 75 alumni who have become leading voices in the field, who guide artistic endeavors and engage in our culture in ways we would never have imagined. To each and every one of you who have joined with us in some way over the past 25 years, especially my long-time business partner Bob Bailey who tried to retire a few years ago and Arthur Greenberg who we sadly lost too soon, thank you. It’s humbling to look back and see the many places where we have had the good fortune to help demonstrate the value of arts and culture, encourage investment in infrastructure and programs, or guide the field to strategies and best practices that effectively deliver the value that our communities deserve. President John F. Kennedy said it so clearly just over 50 years ago: ”…I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battles or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.” It has been this goal to which we hope we have contributed.

Looking forward we are very excited. Change is difficult and seemingly especially so in our sector. But the opportunity we have had to work and partner with so many smart people has afforded us a unique perspective. From our vantage point, we have begun to synthesize the key challenges and opportunities of the next 25 years. We have dedicated ourselves to ”re-thinking success” and look forward to sharing some of our big ideas over the coming months and years; testing, learning and finding the solutions that will yield energized and productive communities deeply entangled with vital and contributing arts and cultural enterprises. We look forward to many more years ‘in service to the arts and entertainment industries.’ Thank you again for the opportunity.

Steven A. Wolff, CMC, Principal
AMS Planning & Research Corp.