From Lesly Rosenthal, Chief Operating Officer & Corporate Secretary, The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School has provided world-class conservatory education for 115 years, but its K-12 curricular resources have only been developed over the past five years. Now that its relationship with its founding client, a prestigious network of international private schools, has been firmly established in three genres of music, dance, and drama, Juilliard was ready to extend the reach of its K-12 programs and initiatives. An HBSCNY Community Partners team provided the know-how needed to expand the reach of Juilliard’s K-12 offerings into public and charter schools. Team members brought to the table an intense curiosity, strategic thinking, consummate professionalism, and a personal passion for broadening access to high quality arts education. They engaged in a rigorous interrogation and discovery process, challenging staff to reflect and articulate its programming, brand power, and the ways it is unique within the K–12 space. Team members generously provided personal contacts and boldly cold-called perfect strangers as they surveyed the field and conducted market research on public school arts curricular acquisition and spending.

The team’s findings and modeling have provided an understanding of the financial challenges faced in the public school sector and yielded invaluable business recommendations to focus efforts on larger school systems or pre-existing networks rather than a patchwork of individual school relationships. A serendipitous introduction to a network of charter schools that was recently funded to expand its arts offerings has produced a promising lead for a partnership. The Community Partners work has also empowered Juilliard’s K-12 team to pursue high-level conversations for a state-wide public school opportunity.

At the same time, a second team of Community Partners consultants worked with the Juilliard Evening Division to significantly step up its presence and provide business logic for a relaunch. In existence since the 1930s, the school’s continuing education wing today serves nearly 800 students taking performance, appreciation, and professional development courses in Dance, Music, and Drama. But it has been a well-kept secrets among adult learners, mainly communicating through a printed catalog and in-person-only offerings. The HBS Alumni team reviewed nearly a decade’s worth of enrollment data, physical space, tuition rates, market information and much more, concluding with a comprehensive and actionable analysis of the division’s performance and promise. The team helped the Evening Division’s incoming leadership understand how the division could scale up, drive increased revenue, and serve the School’s overall mission and strategy with new energy and alignment. Creative solutions included maximizing space usage, innovating its marketing and pricing strategy, increasing the number of course offerings, and broadening and diversifying its audience.

Shortly after the HBS Community Partners teams concluded their consultancies, Juilliard, its K-12 program, and its Evening Division, together with the rest of the world, were driven by the COVID-19 outbreak to conduct all work remotely. Although the rapid pivot to online teaching and learning for individuals spanning the age range from 5-92 was not formally a part of the consultancies, the HBSCNY teams’ work provided both teams with knowhow and confidence that have served these divisions of the school well. Both the K-12 and Evening Division leadership have experimented, reached out, learned, and grown through this difficult period, with inspiration and know-how gleaned from the Community Partners projects that had concluded just weeks before.

Juilliard is so grateful to HBSCNY Community Partners and its leadership, Barry Puritz and Cornelius Marx, for their staunch commitment to broadening access to quality arts education, and for the business insight and love that they and their team members have lavished on the school through these twin projects.

Lesley Rosenthal
Chief Operating Officer & Corporate Secretary
The Juilliard School

*This testimonial was shared by the Juilliard School in the Spring of 2020 following two successful Community Partners consulting projects.