Note: There will be no Zimfest (USA) in 2024. Applications to teach or perform at Zimfest 2025 will probably be available in January, 2025.
Information for Prospective Applicants
The Zimbabwean Music Festival celebrates the music and culture of Zimbabwe and closely related southern African music and dance. We welcome applicants whose performances or instructional offerings fit these categories. Applications are usually open during the months of January and February for that year’s festival.
In order to apply to teach and or perform at the Zimbabwean Music Festival, you must either be a United States citizen or resident, or you must have a valid passport and US visa. We cannot consider your application unless you have a passport and visa or provide evidence that a visa is being applied for. We recommend the P3 US visa type for visiting Zimbabweans. Zimfest cannot sponsor these visas, nor provide them for guest performers and teachers. You will need a contact person, agent or organization in the US to apply for the proper visa, and cannot apply for the visa yourself. The P3 visa application process can cost from $400.00 to $1000.00 US dollars. The information we have received about applications for US performance visas (visa type P, O, Q, and a few others) is that the U.S Immigration service is severely short-handed and delaying actions on applications for months. Therefore we do not recommend applying for these types of visas in 2023 unless you already have an application in process.
In other cases individuals who have been accepted to teach or perform by Zimfest may enter or be residing in the US on the B1 business/travel visa. These individuals can be paid an honorarium for participation in an educational conference (Zimfest). However, holders of these visas cannot perform in any concert for which admission is charged.
We are a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers, with a very limited budget. Our policy is that we can only reimburse a limited amount for travel to North America. You would need to source funding to pay for most of your own transportation costs to the festival location. We pay teachers for teaching workshops, but can only afford to pay a modest amount to performers for the ticketed evening concerts. In summary, it can cost a lot of money to come to perform and teach at our Zimfest, and that amount will not likely be repaid in cash.
Expectations for Zimbabwean Guests
When the Zimfest Organizing Committee hosts a visiting Zimbabwean teacher or performer applicant at the festival, we do so with the expectation that the invited individual will be a worthy cultural ambassador for Zimbabwe. We expect them to act as a respectable representative of their country while in the United States, and to represent the values of their culture well. This expectation applies not only during the festival but for the duration of their stay in the US.
If you have questions or special circumstances, please contact us at: zimguests (at) zimfest (dot) org