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Self Determination Music! People's Ballroom Openin'!

Self Determination Music! People's Ballroom Openin'! image
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LOOK OUT! September 1st and 2nd The People's Ballroom will be opening its doors for the killer people's jams, large tribal gatherings, people's workshops – any people's service that needs a large area. These two opening nights we'll hear bands like the Wild Boys, Mojo Boogie Band, the Mighty UP, Guardian Angel, and Petunia playing for free for the People's Ballroom to get energized for the fall. Finally a place where people can come together to hear the people's music in a ballroom made by and for the people. (Don't forget there is still a lot of work to do finishing up the floor; so, help us get it finally together, stop by at 502 E., Washington St. and volunteer some time.)

We have to look at all aspects of The People's Ballroom and see that this can be one of the heaviest things that has happened to the Rainbow Community recently. The ballroom was started months ago with little money and not too much organization, but people from all over the state came and scraped, painted, and hammered this ballroom into a reality. Now, with the ballroom almost finished, we can begin to see everything that the Ballroom is going to mean to us as a community. There has never been a working people's ballroom before. With past ballrooms, the typical scene was high prices, overcrowding, poison food, and a really bad bogus drug problem, with the owners never dealing with the people's needs, only raising the prices per person. Well, these places didn't survive, and now we'll be able to go to the People's Ballroom and listen to our music in a place that is open because sisters and brothers realized the need and dedicated themselves to the task, realizing that nothing is going to happen unless we make it happen by developing people's institutions.

As at the free concerts on Sundays, the ballroom will really show the Rainbow Community's abilities to deal with our own needs without having to bring in honkies to deal it for us. The Tribal Council Food Committee will bring us fruits, fruit juices and munchies to cool us off between stomps, and the People's Communication Committee will also be dealing with all the publicity for the ballroom, which everyone can help on. (Watch the SUN's Calendar for Communication Committee meeting times.) Drug Help and the Psychedelic Rangers will be helping with security and drug problems. WHEW! SELF-DETERMINATION MUSIC!

The establishment of the People's Ballroom also is a major step toward Ann Arbor's Rainbow Community economic self-determination. Hopefully, with our profits (when we make them), and the Blues and Jazz Festival (which is donating some of its profits to the ballroom), we will be able to pay the bands that jam for us, strengthening them and the ballroom's commitment to the music and helping bands survive. We'll need money for lighting systems and a permanent PA, but once we get these our profits will be turned over to first the ballroom, and then the Community Center to further those people's projects. We ain't gonna need the $350 a night Union Ballroom no more! The university and the slick promoters aren't going to be taking the people's money from these gigs. And we will be donating no more than $2 (even members of the Music and Ballroom Committee are expected to pay - two bucks isn't that hard to get together, try selling 20 SUNs and you're in!). This way, the music and the ballroom will survive, and help plant the seeds for other people's programs.

The People's Ballroom will be the scene for so many programs. The Tribal Feasts, Tribal Council Meetings, and gatherings of all kinds now have a place to really start taking care of some business.

The Ballroom needs people who would be into helping keep the whole thing organized, help with bookings, promotion, etc. You can be a part of all this, call the Tribal Network for meeting times! Most important, we must finish the floor by September 1st; so, come to the Community Center at 502 E. Washington between 10-12 and 1-5. Remember, the best way for people to develop a sense of community, and to be turned on to the people's programs is to see them working, and the people's programs will only work if everyone who can, takes the time to work and help them grow!

Kathy Kelley and Walden Simper People's Music and Ballroom Committee

Liberation music, self-determination music, the two terms are coterminous, they define each other – and they help us define ourselves, as the music does. This music is means to liberate you, just as it liberated the musicians as they play it, just as their own personal and collective liberation is the productive force of the music itself – these are free musicians, and they can get this music to you to help you free yourselves so you can join with them then to help free the rest of the people.

Quoted from "Self Determination Music", originally published in "jazz and pop" magazine. (Also printed as a pamphlet.)