Organization: Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene (ABAE)
Project: BRAVA Breakfast event
I contacted the Karen Rainsong, the managing director of the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene about being my organization for the AAD 610 re-branding project. My research will focus on partnerships between arts groups, businesses, and sustainability advocates, so I wanted to connect with ABAE in some way. I looked at their website, which was very basic and thought they might welcome the help of a graduate student.
Karen said that she hopes to get final approval of a new ABAE logo at her next board meeting on October 25th. In conjunction with this, they have been designing a new website with WordPress and if the logo gets approved, they hope to launch the site in the next month or two.
With their re-branding already underway, she suggested helping them to brand their BRAVA Breakfasts, an event that takes place twice a year in the Hult Center Lobby and attracts almost 200 people. She said they would like for the breakfast to have its own logo and develop a program and banner that can give the event a distinctive profile.
She did say that they have talked about developing a marketing plan for the overall organization and would welcome my assistance on that piece. They have had discussions with a graphic design/business consulting group (the Terrell Group) about this. She suggested that I could help get this moving. Karen believes strongly in documentation, so getting ideas down on paper and recording the process would be a big help.
The remainder of our conversation centered on the BRAVA Breakfast events and answering the “organization questions” presented as part of the class.
1. What is your organization or company. Give background history including who, when, and why it was founded.
“In 2006, the City of Eugene began a year-long public dialogue aimed at assessing our community’s cultural strengths and developing an integrated vision for the future. This year of research and conversation resulted in the Cultural Policy Review (CPR), which recommended, among other things, the establishment of an alliance that would coordinate and strengthen the efforts of the public, private and nonprofit cultural sectors and foster high-level civic leadership in support of arts and culture.
“In late 2008, the Arts & Business Alliance of Eugene (ABAE) was launched by founding partners the City of Eugene, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Travel Lane County, Lane Community College, and the University of Oregon.” (Eugene a Go-Go, 2013).
“As a part of the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene’s mission to “enrich our community through strong arts and business partnerships,” the BRAVA Breakfasts are an opportunity to raise awareness about the economic, educational and business benefits of arts and culture, and to show that the goals of the arts and business sectors are congruent. In addition, the spring breakfast serves as an opportunity for the Alliance to promote collaboration between the arts and business sectors, publicly recognizing and celebrating the dynamic partnerships that already exist in the Eugene community.” (BRAVA Breakfast Event Summary, 2013).
Karen said that the event started in fall of 2009. The fall breakfast usually features an inspirational speaker while the spring breakfast is for awards and recognition. Two of the awards are for arts achievement. The third is a recognition of arts and business partnerships and recognizes three such partnerships with short 2-3 minute videos of each one (K. Rainsong, personal communication, October 15, 2013).
2. What do they do or make? Describe the products and services and what makes them unique.
In addition to the BRAVA Breakfasts, ABAE’s other products include the following:
• Eugene-a-Go-Go – a website promoting arts and cultural programming and allowing artists to gain visibility and connections within the community.
• Arts After Hours – a gala event/open house in the spring to connect arts and businesses
• Create! Eugene – a month-long series of workshops and classes. The main event is the Plein Air Paintout. 2013 was the first Create Eugene event and plans are to hold it next summer as well.
They are also the fiscal agent for a project to improve lighting in the downtown business district.
Karen said what makes ABAE unique is the partnership of five prominent organizations represented on the ABAE board: City of Eugene, University of Oregon, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Travel Lane County, and Lane Community College.
3. What is the culture and atmosphere of the organization/meetings? Characteristics of their location and important roles and relationships?
The focus of ABAE is on recognition and promotion. Collaboration is important.
For the BRAVA Breakfast event, Karen said that the atmosphere they are trying to create is professional and celebratory, with a certain sense of excitement. Elected officials speak and there is some form of entertainment (e.g. youth symphony, excerpt from radio plays). She said they want to break even on the event this year instead of losing money. They’ve gotten Kendall Auto as a past sponsor and that this itself is an example of a business-arts partnership. This year they are going to have donation cards on the table.
They hold the event at the Hult Center. It’s a good location because it’s in the center of the city. It has tall ceilings, full of air and light, and the Hult Center donates the use the space for free. (K. Rainsong, personal communication, October 15, 2013).
4. Who is the targeted audience? What are their demographics?
Attendees at the event are middle-aged and a little older. There are some retirees, some professionals in their late 30s and early 40s who are professional staff members. There are a few younger folks, primarily from ELAN.
5. What is the organization or company mission statement?
“Through vision, leadership and service, the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the Eugene community by acting as a catalyst for the creation of dynamic partnerships among the arts and business sectors.” (ABAE, 2013)
Arts and Business Alliance of Euegene (n.d.). Eugene a Go-Go website Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://eugeneagogo.com/about/abae/
Arts and Business Alliance of Euegene (n.d.). Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene website Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://artsandbusinesseugene.com/
Arts and Business Alliance of Euegene Events Committee (2013). BRAVA Breakfast Event Summary. unpublished
Rainsong, K. (2013, October 15). Telephone interview.