ORC is a pioneering organisation in French-speaking Switzerland, documenting the status of the region’s institutions and cultural actors, describing the challenges they face and attempting to identify the contemporary and future effects of public policy on culture.
The ORC has three principal missions:
• Collecting, raising awareness of and completing existing data on the region’s cultural landscape, the actors in this domain and public policies affecting culture
• Carrying out research and producing studies on a wide variety of themes linked to the domain of culture
• Organising gatherings between organisations and actors in the domain of culture
Administratively, the ORC is attached to the University of Lausanne and is the fruit of a partnership between UNIL, the HES-SO, the Conférence des chef-fe-s de service et délégué-e-s aux affaires culturelles (CDAC—the Conference of Department Heads and Delegates for Cultural Affairs) of the seven predominantly French-speaking cantons (Berne, Geneva, Fribourg, Jura, Neuchâtel, Valais and Vaud), and 14 towns and cities in French-speaking Switzerland (Bienne, Delémont, Fribourg, Geneva, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Lausanne, Meyrin, Morges, Neuchâtel, Nyon, Renens, Sion, Vevey and Yverdon-les-Bains).
The ORC is managed by its Director (a member of UNIL’s faculty) and a strategic committee made up of four representatives from its partner organisations (UNIL, the HES-SO, CDAC, and the towns and cities). The ORC’s Director is currently Professor Olivier Glassey of UNIL’s Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP).
The ORC’s domains of research are based on six key themes: financing culture, training performing artists, employment, public audience profiles, schemes for promoting culture, and cultural education. The Observatory’s studies across all these domains provide valuable decision-making tools and enable adaptations to public policies on culture.