Christopher Wangro

Christopher Wangro (born January 17, 1958) is a producer and impresario.

Early life

Chris Wangro was born in New York City to a family of artists and illustrators. Early on, he became obsessed with the history of magic, circus and vaudeville. While working as a young magician, Wangro met noted Ringling Brothers' clown Freddy Yockers, who gave him his first formal teaching in circus and clowning. Wangro started performing as a clown and magician, eventually landing Off-Broadway as a sword swallower. Wangro graduated from Bard College with a special interdisciplinary arts degree and a grant from the New York State Council of the Arts to launch a traveling one-ring show, The Janus Circus- “an eclectic modern circus of mayhem, mirth and mystery.” He served as Director & Ringmaster for Janus, touring the circus for several years in North America and Europe.


Wangro's ability to create innovative public spectacle was recognized by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation; in 1988 he was recruited to produce free public events in that city’s parks. In 1990, he became the City-Wide Director of Special Events, and is credited with reinstating “Mega-Events” to Central Park where he oversaw the three largest public events in that Park's history: “Earth Day '90,” “Paul Simon's Concert in the Park, August 15, 1991” and “Pavarotti's Concert In The Park,” among hundreds of other events each year.

In 1994, Wangro resigned his position at Parks to begin his own firm, Zaragunda Inc. Working under the banner of Zaragunda, he has operated as an independent producer across an uncommonly broad range of disciplines, spanning the fields of music, entertainment, marketing, arts & politics. The impressive number and vast scale of the projects he took on, and his infectious energetic approach to producing, gained him a reputation as a true New York City impresario. Ever the juggler, Wangro spent several years running Zaragunda while acting as Executive Producer and "Vice President of Fun and Profit" for The John Schreiber Group, a national events marketing firm responsible for hundreds of events, touring programs and annual festivals.

In 2001, Wangro formed a new company with a unique model combining the skills of a diverse group of production professionals- The Usual Suspects.

Social Justice

After years of producing for the commercial and public sector, Wangro began dedicating his time to the creation of public spectacle and events for social causes. In 2003, he teamed up with award winning theatrical designer Tal Yarden, to create NY, America: a hybrid not-for-profit organization that unites the arts world with the community of social justice organizations. NY, America's first effort, coincided with the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. With over 200 events in six days, "The Imagine Festival" was the largest political arts festival to ever take place in the United States and has served as a model for arts and political organizations throughout the country. Wangro received an Obie Award for Imagine and went on to create events for many more social justice organizations including UNAIDS, the United Federation of Teachers and Care for the Homeless.


Wangro continues his work with Zaragunda, The Usual Suspects and NY, America while acting as a consultant and advisor to a number of marketing firms, arts and social justice organizations. Wangro is based in New York City, and Woodstock, New York.

Comments (3)
1. 03-09-2013 21:54
I think that we might be cousins. My grandfather George was Oscar Benjamin's youngest brother. Is OB your great grandfather?
2. 17-10-2013 16:57
hey Chris - I don't know if this will reach you, but I'll be in the Pine Hill-Woodstock area Saturday and Sunday Oct. 19-20, if you'd like to get together somehow - Saturday's OK although Sunday evening possible (between 5 and 7.You can email me or leave message on my landline voicemail - 212 924 2389). If not now give me a call next time you're in New York. Best, Jane
3. 27-07-2016 14:02
Hi Chris, 
My name is Sarah Strnad and I am the Operations Manager at Lab/Shul. We are looking for an Event Planner for our High Holy Days and Bruce Ratner suggested you to me.  
Here is a brief description of the project: 
Wanted: Event Producer for Lab/Shul’s 5777 High Holy Day Season 
Lab/Shul is looking for a stellar producer to supervise and produce this year’s High Holy Day Worship Season in NYC. Hailed as one of the hottest high holy day tickets in town, with a standing room only crowd last Yom Kippur, Lab/Shul’s worship events are a multi-media, musically focused, spiritually engaging and inclusive event with an audience of 750-1000 adults and children.  
Responsibilities include: 
Project management of all planning and show days 
Liaise with worship team for rehearsal schedule and needs 
Operations, tech and budget planning and supervision 
Includes supervision of all contracted talent and help 
Includes supervising the reservations/ticketing system logistics, accounting and fundraising tracking in concert with in-house team 
Includes event catering needs for volunteers, talent and patrons 
Operations includes production (a/v contracting/supervision), volunteer coordination supervision, aesthetic design fulfilment (flowers, religious items, decor, photography, webstreaming) and venue coordination 
Creative development support  
Marketing and development supervision 
(Advertising, print materials, programs) 
Sourcing vendors, materials and expendables 
Documentation and information management 
Providing crew for ritual days 
P/T June-July 2016 
3/4 - F/T August-October 15, 2016 
I'd love to set up a time to talk with you ASAP. Do you have time today or tomorrow when we could talk? 

Write Comment

Code:* Code
I wish to be contacted by email regarding additional comments

< Prev   Next >