Saturday, December 18, 2004

Structure of a non-profit community center

So, how does a Tango Center work? Well, the community makes it work. And in the end, that depends on what people do. Who are these characters? What do they do?

1. The promoters
They post flyers around town, at school, at work. They tell everyone they know about tango, and about particular events, and they bring their friends & relatives. They talk with the press about the center. They submit PSA's everywhere. They try to find sponsorships and initiate cooperative promotion partnerships. They get people in the door, so we can pay the rent.

2. The partners
They teach classes, sell coffee, repair shoes, sell CD's, sell tango-trinkets, and advertise what they do. They exchange tango coupons for something, to promote the center while it promotes them. They keeps a regular stream of new people coming.

3. The musicians
They love to play for dancers. Often, in the US, they are dancers themselves. They study the music, they ask dancers to come to rehearsals to give feedback. They try to keep it interesting. They invite others to come and play with them, both tango & non-tango musicians.They respect the recorded music, and are careful about the vibe of the evening. And when it's their turn, they play their hearts out.

4. The DJ's
They know the music, they watch the crowd, they smooth the transitions between recorded music, live music, performances, birthday dances, chacareras, lessons and breaks.

5. The Milonga Minders
They make sure that everyone knows each other, and that everyone's having a good time, They keep an eye open for potential disasters. They make sure the water cooler is full, that people clean up accidents, etc.

6. The dancers
They make each other happy. They show beginners a good time. In turn, they are shown a good time by more advanced dancers. Everyone does their best to keep things fun, to keep the floor moving.

7. The event organizers
They find good teachers to invite, arrange their housing & food and public & private lessons. They also try to get dancers & musicians to come from out-of-town.


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