WUGA FM GABBY Award For Community Service
The Mission Statement of WUGA: Making a difference in quality of life by delivering programs that inspire curiosity about and engagement in the world, the arts, and the human condition. WUGA is operated by the University of Georgia in a partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting. WUGA is committed to serving its service area with broadcast and digital program content and reaching out to the community through meaningful and relevant events.
2017 marked the 30th anniversary of WUGA’s first broadcasts and we presented several celebratory community events. The series of events were capped with a gala evening featuring speaker Steve Inskeep from NPR’s Morning Edition. Over 450 guests attended the event, which included featured speakers from the community and WUGA’s history.
We also observed the 20th anniversary of WUGA’s local program, African Perspectives. This program is focused on African issues and culture. The station hosted a live program recording event at a local music venue. African music was performed by student and community groups and African culture was discussed by featured speakers. Over 200 people attended the live event which was recorded and later broadcast.
WUGA hosted a taping of the national public radio program, eTown, at another local music venue. Hundreds of attendees enjoyed an evening of music from a national touring musician and local performers. During the evening, a local literacy program was honored for their educational contribution to children in the community. This was a sold out event at Athens’s Georgia Theatre. The program was later broadcast twice nationwide.
WUGA’s outreach programs are guided by a 15-member Community Advisory Council. The Council is a diverse volunteer group composed of engaged volunteers whose responsibility is to increase WUGA’s relevance to the community. WUGA’s service community is rich with artists from many disciplines.
WUGA’s Community Advisory Council members worked with our staff to develop the Artists in Residence Series. 2017 marked the third year of the series and we presented 7 AIR community events. These artist events are held at the homes of painters, sculptors and mixed media artists. Members of the community are invited to visit the artists’ homes, where they view the artists’ work, enjoy an expert lecture on the works displayed, and learn about the artist’s creative journey.
Each year WUGA stages community events which provide direct benefits to the quality of life in our area. In 2017 we produced a free shredding event so citizens in the area could efficiently destroy and recycle confidential paper documents. The event drew 100 cars within a 4 hour period.
WUGA produced a local music event, the Athens Jazz Festival, in cooperation with a local organization, Jazz/Athens. This free, six hour concert featured area musicians and was attended by hundreds of music lovers on the lawn adjacent to WUGA’s facility.
WUGA regularly hosts educational student and senior tours of the broadcast facility. In 2017 WUGA hosted 4 tours from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute as well as visits from local children’s’ groups.
WUGA develops relevant local radio programs, often in partnership with schools and units on the University of Georgia Campus.
In 2017 a personal finance series, Nothing Funny About Money, was created with professors from UGA’s School of Family and Consumer Sciences. The series presents financial guidance and advice in a light-hearted manner. This program provides a service to many listeners, who might not be able to afford high-quality financial advice.
A new music series, On Stage/On Campus, was created in partnership with the School of Music at UGA to present performances from UGA staff, students and touring artists. These programs are produced and broadcast on a monthly basis.
WUGA supports the academic mission of the University of Georgia through student internships throughout the year. Current students from UGA and other area colleges work alongside WUGA staff in news gathering, programming, production and social media. 15 students participated in the program in 2017.
WUGA provides opportunities for non-profits and other community service organizations to reach a broad audience through free broadcast and online public service announcements. In 2017 WUGA produced 305 unique public service announcements, with the total number of broadcasts exceeding 7,000.
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