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WUGA Community Service 2018

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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.

Our pledge to our community is that “WUGA is more than a radio station”.

WUGA’s partnerships with community organizations, units at UGA and with individuals provide for an essential and vibrant connection to our listeners.

WUGA brought the NPR series, StoryCorps to Athens to record over 100 local interviews with area residents.  The months-long campaign began in early 2018 as we presented a preview to community leaders and organizations.  This presentation encouraged particpation in the local recordings.

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StoryCorps Community meeting

In the fall, we worked with the Athens Clarke County Library System to present a Community Kickoff Event.  Participants were welcomed to the StoryCorps mobile recording unit and over the next few weeks the recording process continued.

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Athens StoryCorps Kickoff Event

At the conclusion of the recording period, the community was invited to attend a StoryCorps Listening Event, which was staged in the Library's auditorium.

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StoryCorps Listening Event

Following the event WUGA's staff members went to work editing the hours of interviews down to 4 minute individual story segments.  The station then assembled those segments into hour long specials which received multiple broadcasts and were archived on the station's website.

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Mr. and Mrs. Ojo. StoryCorps participants.

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WUGA StoryCorps segment with Dr. Akinloye and Oluremilekun Ojo.

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WUGA Community Advisory Council and WUGA Staff

Many of WUGA’s outreach projects begin with input for the members of our Community Advisory Council. The 15-member council is made of up educators, business professionals, community activists and other community leaders.  Formal meetings are held quarterly, but communication and interaction between the Council and staff are ongoing throughout the year.

WUGA’s Community Advisory Council members worked with our staff to develop the Artists in Residence Series. 

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Artist in Residence Event

2018 marked the third year of the series and we presented 6 AIR community events. These artist events are held at the homes of painters, sculptors and mixed media artists. The artists are selected to represent the diverse talents of the arts community in WUGA's service area.

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WUGA Artist in Residence event.

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.  The station supports these events with on-site staff hosting, public service announcements, digital content and long-form interviews with the artists.

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WUGA Artist in Residence interview with Broderick Flanigan.

The political spotlight was on Georgia in 2018 and WUGA provided comprehensive coverage of statewide and Athens-area contests. Elections were held for Athens Mayor and several congressional and county commissioner slots. Aside from regular coverage in newscasts, WUGA produced several long-form events and special broadcasts. We worked with the Athens Clarke Library system to stage a Mayoral Debate to a standing-room only crowd.

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WUGA Promo for Athens Mayoral Debate

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In-depth expert analysis of statewide and local races was provided through WUGA's partnership with UGA's School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. Charles Bullock, a nationally-known political scholar was featured in two hour long broadcasts.

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Promo for Charles Bullock event at UGA School of Public and International Affairs.

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Dr. Charles Bullock and WUGA moderator Martin Matheny

WUGA's weekly public affairs program, Athens News Matters, featured long-form profile interviews with all local candidates in the weeks leading up the election.

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WUGA's Primary and Election Night coverage extended overnight as returns were counted. Commentators on our programming included UGA faculty and journalists from Flagpole Magazine and the Athens Banner Herald.

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Promo for WUGA Election Night coverage.

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WUGA Election Night coverage

WUGA's partnership with a local story-telling organization, Rabbit Box of Athens, provided us with the opportunity to bring the national public radio show, The Moth to Athens for a sold-out event.  The station invited local storytellers to participate in the event through extensive on-air and digital efforts. The storytellers performed before a  full house at a local concert venue. The program was recorded for consideraton for a  later national broadcast.

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WUGA presents The Moth in Athens

WUGA's annual gift of live music to the community is the Athens Jazz Festival.  Several evenings of jazz in various Athens venues culminates in a day-long outdoor concert.  The concert features regional and local jazz musicians and is produced by a local non-profit, Jazz Athens and WUGA.  Local high school students and other volunteers help set up and operate the concert. In 2018, the Festival was moved to a larger venue and was enjoyed by the largest crowd in its history. 

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2018 Athens Jazz Festival

WUGA's partnerships with schools at UGA provide the station with more tools to provide relevant and important service to the community.  WUGA supports the educational mission of the University by hosting 6 student interns in social media, programming, production and news each semester.  Our student interns produce high quality content, some of which won statewide Georgia Association of Broadcasters awards in 2018. WUGA also supports a graduate assistantship through our relationship with Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Our graduate assistant plays a major role in creating content for the station, including writing and editing for the StoryCorps series.

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WUGA Graduate Assistant Morgan Frey

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WUGA Health Reporter Lauren Baggett

UGA College of Public Health-Staff member Lauren Baggett produces Georgia Health News reports in cooperation with Georgia Health News.  These weekly features are broadcast both on WUGA and statewide on Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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WUGA's Georgia Health Report broadcast.

Nothing Funny About Money is a program designed to help the community deal with financial matters.  Two professors associated with UGA's School of Family and Consumer Sciences produce the show with the guidance of WUGA staff.  The program is regulary broadcast on WUGA and it has also been broadcast statewide on Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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WUGA promo for Nothing Funny About Money

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 2018 WUGA produced 300 unique public service announcements, with the total number of broadcasts exceeding 7,000.

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WUGA community non-profit public service announcement

WUGA produced 22 cultural interviews in support of community musical and stage performances.  These long-form segments were broadcast multiple times and were supported by the website and mobile app.

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WUGA feature interview with community theater group.

The station hosted multiple on-site tours for student groups and members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.