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Organizational Questions – MMC I

October 14, 2013 by   

I will answer the below questions about the organization I have chosen to rebrand for Marketing, Media, and Communication I: the University of Oregon’s Cultural Forum.

1. What is your organization or company. Give background history including who, when, and why it was founded.

2. What do they do or make – describe the products and services and what makes them unique.

3. Describe the culture of the organization or company. What is the work environment like – the atmosphere? What is the building like – exterior/interior, architecture, fittings and furniture? How do the employees work together? What are the jobs and roles of individuals? How are they treated by management?

4. Who is the targeted audience? What are their demographics?

5. What is the organization or company mission statement?

1. The Cultural Forum is a student program board of the University of Oregon. Operated under the ASUO (Associated Students of the University of Oregon), it has been providing arts and cultural activities and presentations for students of the UO since 1948. Programs reflect a wide range of diversity and artistic expression in the entertainment, art and political worlds. Cultural Forum events are conceived of, initiated, negotiated, booked, promoted and carried out by student coordinators with the support of dedicated staff members. The organization was founded both to bring arts programming to students, and to give student coordinators real-world booking and presentation experience.

2. Student coordinators program content for a given academic year in these areas: campus art galleries; contemporary issues; late night activities; regional music; national music; performing arts; production assistant (helps run events); other visual arts; an annual music festival; and film. What makes the Cultural Forum unique is the sheer breadth of their offerings. Because there is one coordinator each dedicated to twelve specific content areas, it is guaranteed that during the course of the academic year, the Cultural Forum will present everything from speakers addressing issues like prisoners’ rights, to hip-hop shows, to a festival showcasing queer filmmakers. Each year is totally unique, as coordinators choose content that reflects their individual tastes. Programming does not have to fall in line with a particular sensibility, so it’s a real pastiche. Additionally, since coordinators are always programming for their peers, they are likely to know what their demographic will like. There is a big opportunity there for responsiveness to the consumer. Finally, since each coordinator is given an allotment of cash to work with for the year, there’s no pressure to write grants (or satisfy grant makers), or necessarily even charge admission for events. This provides a lot of flexibility in programming.

3. The Cultural Forum is a presenting organization, rather than a venue. The work environment is a large office located in the Erb Memorial Union; however, this fall, the Cultural Forum and all ASUO student groups will be temporarily moving to Mac Court while the EMU is renovated. Currently, the office space is shared with these employees: three professional staff positions of Program Coordinator, Office Coordinator, and Technical Support Coordinator; and twelve stipended student positions, each of which programs different content areas.  In addition, there are several part-time student Office Assistants. The Program Coordinator works with each student coordinator to help him or her program the content that he or she wishes. Structure and guidance is provided, while students are given a large degree of autonomy over their work. The work environment is casual, exciting, and full of learning, if a little hectic and sometimes fragmented. The office is clean, organized, and is full of resources for student coordinators to use. At any given time the office has between three and ten individuals present, sometimes engaging in event planning together, sometimes working alone. There are weekly staff meetings, which all employees must attend. These meetings are fun and offer an environment of mutual support and teamwork.

4. The targeted audience is the student body of the University of Oregon, which would be young adults aged 18-24 with little discretionary income. Occasionally, student coordinators will actively target a non-UO audience. Marketing for many events does reach readers of Eugene Weekly, and posters are put up all over town. Sometimes CF-sponsored shows take place off-campus, such as at WOW Hall or Cozmic Pizza. However, generally coordinators book and design events with mainly or only UO students in mind.

5. The mission of the Cultural Forum is to provide University of Oregon students, and the campus community, with exposure to and experience with the breadth and depth of human expression through productions focusing on contemporary culture, film, performing arts, music, late night programming and visual art in the Adell McMillan, Buzz and Aperture Galleries and management of the EMU permanent art collection. The Cultural Forum supports the efforts of other on campus organizations serving students through advisement and collaboration in accordance with this mission.



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