Module Code: 4512MTE
Module Leader: John Reynolds
Lecturer: Liz Carlisle
Student: Tom-Hendrik Uebelgünn
Student Number: 01402385
Assessment Task 1:
Programming and artistic policy/market orientation
Table of Contents
II. Report: Programming at “wilde Oscar”
p. 4 - 9
p. 11 - 16
This report looks at the programming and artistic policy of the café and performing arts venue “wilde Oscar” located in Berlin – Charlottenburg. The information of this report is based on primary as well as secondary sources including articles, interviews and graphs. The main focus of this work lies upon identifying and formulating an artistic policy and also analysing and evaluating the methods used to compile a diverse cultural programme and to promote those events. This report reaches its conclusion by looking at the history and structure of the venue, the progress of programming, the promotion of events and the market orientation. It simultaneously underlines the importance and diversity of performing arts sector.
Programming at “wilde Oscar”
Berlin is a unique and odd city in many ways. It lives from its cranky people, its history and most importantly from its love for culture. The city has something to offer for everyone. A similar description would fit to the “wilde Oscar”, a café and event venue with a capacity of 200 people, located in the heart of Berlin. It is part of a big, complex project initiated by the Schwulen Beratung (engl. Gay counselling). The Schwulen Beratung launched the project “Lebensort Vielfalt” (engl. Living Environment Diversity) two years ago. Lebensort Vielfalt consists of a housing complex for gay men, guidance for gays and a café which “occasionally presents concerts or theatre shows” (Pascal Ferro, 2014). However, the project expanded quicker and bigger than expected. New equipment and a bigger stage had to be bought and the programme grew from presenting shows occasionally to putting on different productions nearly seven days a week. The “wilde Oscar” is by far no usual venue, it is listed as a project for integration because it offers jobs, as a waiter, barkeeper etc., for people with a handicap. Half of the people working at “wilde Oscar” have a severe disability. Since it is a project of integration, “Aktion Mensch”, the largest private social funding organisation in Germany, is financially supporting it, e.g. “Aktion Mensch” financed 80% of the new stage and PA system. However, the goal is that the “wilde Oscar” is self-financed in 2 more years. This should not be a problem, since the venue is very popular amongst the artists, which is also the main reason for this unexpected exponential growth. “The artists were happy to have a new venue to perform. Locations with a 150 – 200 capacity are very rare in Berlin” (Pascal Ferro, 2014). It is not only the capacity and location that makes it so popular, but also its atmosphere and special concept.
“The “wilde Oscar” is a centre of tolerance and communality. It is a place, where you can reside, live and work. Homosexuals from Germany, Europe and the rest of the world have the opportunity to develop their own ideas and to realize projects, which should result in more openness and recognition in the community.” (Two Tickets)
The “wilde Oscar” is a place for everyone, not only for gays. Unfortunately a lot of people, who have never visited the venue, think of it as a facility for the gay community. However, approx. 80% of the venue’s guests are heterosexuals. Looking at the cultural programme of the “wilde Oscar”, one will notice that this place has a lot to offer. The programme provides a variety of musicals, comedy shows, drama plays and concerts. For people standing on the outside it is very difficult to identify an artistic policy or even a clear strategy of how the venue compiles its programme. However, Pascal Ferro, the artistic director at