"In 2002, middle class college students and artists create the Espaço Cubo, whose purpose was to structure the musical scene in Cuiabá, city where the collective was located.To achieve that, the youngsters decide to gather all their money to invest in an office/home,and to build a rehearsal studio for artists that had copyright songs. This studio – Cubo Mágico – has to face a challenge at this point. On one side, they couldn’t and didn’t want to charge as much as the other studios in town, because they wanted to stimulate the artists toimprove their music. On the other side, they had bills to pay together with the sustainability of the whole work force, guaranteeing financial sustainability to a venture in a market that demanded new alternatives. From that problem, rises the solution that would lately become the complementary currencies system of the network, the Fora do Eixo Card. While other studios would charge R$50 per hour, Cubo would charge R$15, being that the remaining R$35 were written down in as ervice sheet, and not charged in common currencies (R$), but in Cubo Cards (Ccs), based on hour of service provided. Knowing that the bands would need a stage to perform their music in order to show it’s work to the public, Cubo created Cubo Events to make it possible for bands to get know andconnect to their public. The card system was very useful to make those events happening: at the end of the month,there were 2 bands that had rehearsed 10 hours each, accounting for a total of 350CCs.
Espaço Cubo produced an event, and charged each band. The debt was paid with service:each band played for 100Ccs and each band player would work when not playing at the bar,as a photographer, as a rodie, as a technician amongst other tasks. This allowed the entrance of money to make Cubo’s activities financially viable. The next step was promotion and distribution, as Cubo Comunicação and Cubo Discos. These managing fronts worked marketing and communication strategies for artists and events, as well as distribution of the products. With the help of this system, the music scene in Cuiabá was evolved from the local cluster achieved by the work of Espaço Cubo , and with the bands understanding that the system was based on exchanges,establishing trust as the main driver of the system.The bands soon realized that if they worked on this system they could have credit and exchange it for Cubo’s service. And so the artists began to exchange service with Espaço Cubo’s service, as well as other services from the whole network formed in Cuiabá.
This system gave Espaço Cubo financial sustainability and opportunity for artists, since they could use the system to pay the artists that were playing and hire services from the whole network to make events that were used to pay the bills and reinvest in projects. With the development of the local music scene, there is the need to expand Cubo ’s service network, a task accomplished through the use of Festival Calango. The first partnership was with a restaurant that sponsored the festival, that in order to have it’s logo placed on the promotion of the event, would pay R$3000, but instead only paid R$1000 and the remaining was accepted at the restaurant, as 2000 Ccs, so now the artists could eat with that money. From that moment on, Espaço Cubo service network grew in a way that services from cultural (recording, press release, events) to basic pharmacy and meal, were contemplated."
Sources and references
- Paper: Fora do Eixo Card: The Brazilian System for the Solidarity Culture. By Bruno Poljokan, Lenissa Lenza et al. URL: http://www.scribd.com/doc/59754560/The-Brazilian-System-for-the-Solidarity-Culture-Fora-Do-Eixo-Card