Keen Independent Research
Phone: (303) 3858515
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172 N. Washington Street
Wickenburg , AZ 85390
100 Fillmore Street, 5th Floor
Denver , CO 80206

Waco Arts Study

Project Overview

The City of Waco hired Keen Independent to examine the feasibility of creating a center for performing arts in Downtown Waco. This required a thorough exploration of the market for arts in the region, needs of local organizations, operating/capital costs and revenue potential, operating models, potential synergies and collaboration between organizations, components of a potential multipurpose facility, and a plan for implementation.

To complete the study, Keen Independent performed the following tasks:

  1. Identify practical and technical needs of non-profit arts organizations wanting to relocate downtown and how those intersect;
  2. Conduct market analysis of current and potential audience reach for different types of activity and programming;
  3. Identify areas of stand-out artistic merit that are under-exposed in the central Texas arena;
  4. Identify potential benefits/savings of operational collaboration;
  5. Identify cross-sector artistic and revenue generating synergies;
  6. Examine pros/cons and projected value of realistic capital capacity and funding tools;
  7. Recommend sustainable operating model components that balance innovative programming with predictable revenue streams;
  8. Examine the cost/benefit of the various location options;
  9. Conduct community engagement with local arts and cultural organizations, business leaders, educators and others;
  10. Outline the project scope for potential multipurpose cultural facility/facilities; and
  11. Deliver a report with an implementation plan for new multipurpose cultural facilities.

Study Team

Keen Independent is a national research firm with expertise in arts and culture. Alex Keen, Keen Independent Associate Principal, led the study. Keen Independent was joined by consulting firms Victor Gotesman Performing Arts Facilities Planning, Theatre Consultants Collaborative and Venue.


The study launched in the fall of 2019 and was completed in February 2022.

Study Findings