By Joshua Purvis, Executive Director, Eugene Film Society
On August 11, the Eugene Film Society, in partnership with the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) and Downtown Eugene Economic Development, will host the first TAD (Technology & Arts Downtown) Talk event highlighting the role the arts and technology play in supporting downtown Eugene’s recent renaissance. TAD Talks are the first fruits of labor from the newly formed partnership between EFS and TAO to promote creative enterprise and foster innovation in the Eugene area, as well as advocate for greater integration of technology and the arts into the local K-12 public education system.
The Eugene Film Society is a recently formed community arts organization that supports regional film production and a grassroots film culture by encouraging competition and collaboration among community film organizations; promoting seasonal cinematic events; fostering innovation and investment in the local visual media industry; and improving visual literacy among our youth. We organize several film events throughout the year, including a 72 Hour Horror Film Competition, a 72 Hour Music Video Competition, and a Screening & Social celebrating the best of local film production and specialized exhibition that successfully engage the University of Oregon, Lane Community College and downtown Eugene communities. Along with TAO, we now aim to coalesce much of that energy and goodwill to better support media and tech education in the Eugene School District.
We are so thrilled to have Matt Sayre in town leading the local TAO office to support Eugene’s tech sector. Already, he has helped introduce world-class internet capabilities into the downtown core and intends to expand its reach significantly if he can attract much needed investment to build out that infrastructure. The Eugene Film Society is committed to aiding Matt’s efforts because it will, in turn, increase Eugene’s ability to attract more multimedia ventures like Iris Educational Media, a behavioral research and development firm, and Pipeworks Studio, which produces live games for console, PC, tablet and mobile players. Increased investment in tech infrastructure will maximize our city’s investment in human capital—our young artists, developers and engineers—to not only compete regionally, nationally and globally in their professional endeavors, but also reinvest in our community with their creative entrepreneurship.
By examining how technology and the arts encourage economic development and community engagement in the downtown Eugene area, EFS and TAO aim to promote more creative enterprise and attract greater investment in Eugene’s tech infrastructure. After much dedication by the City of Eugene, and a network of downtown stakeholders, to renew downtown Eugene, we are starting to see signs of progress and success where once there was blight and exodus. Eugene is progressively becoming a desired destination for young professionals, and with ready access to the University of Oregon and Lane Community College, EFS and TAO believe we can become even more so.
Joshua Purvis is the Executive Director of the Eugene Film Society and serves on the board of Downtown Eugene Economic Development. He is also the Manager of Events & Promotions for the Bijou Cinemas and Community Engagement Coordinator for the University of Oregon Cinema Pacific Film Festival.